The Texas Baptists Center for Ministerial Health is pleased to announce the reopening of the Pastor Sabbatical Grant Program. The program was originally launched in 2022, when 95 recipients were awarded grants, and interest in the grant has continued to grow.
The Pastor Sabbatical Grant is a response to the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has seen pastors experiencing higher rates of burnout, increased stress, and difficulties in finding time to unplug from the demands of ministry. The grant program helps churches make a pastoral sabbatical possible by providing financial support of up to $2,000 for churches to employ an interim in the pastor’s absence and by providing travel and financial assistance for the pastor.
“Pastors who have previously received the grant reported that the sabbatical period provided much needed rest and renewal but even more than that, it provided time for the pastor to reconnect with their family and with God in ways that only extended time away can yield,” Tervooren explained.
Funding for the new sabbatical grants will come from the same funds used for the Minister’s Financial Health Grant therefore, there is a financial education requirement for the church’s leadership. The financial education includes a variety of options that best suit the needs of the church and is intended to ensure that the effects of the grant last long past the sabbatical time.
In addition to receiving funds, pastors will also have access to free pastoral counseling and resources to ensure that they have a beneficial sabbatical experience.
Churches must be affiliated with Texas Baptists, contribute a minimum amount annually to the Texas Baptists Cooperative Program and submit a short essay to be eligible for the grant program. A grant committee will review grant applications and select grantees based on eligibility criteria and essay responses. Churches will be notified of grant approval/denial within two weeks of application submission. Applications will be accepted through the end of 2023 or until funds are no longer available.
For more information and to apply, click here.