Leadership Development

How We Work

Leadership Development for Health & Social Service Organizations

NBA offers education, companionship, inspiration, and resources to strengthen Disciples leaders including clergy, chaplains, social entrepreneurs, community organizers, nonprofit administrators, and young adults committed to justice work. We support the growth of and care for leaders by offering peer learning and wellness groups, continuing education, mental health and wellness tools, and more.

Our hope is to and invite people of faith into activism and advocacy for communities that are often overlooked and underserved. NBA partners with Disciples leaders in the shared work of creating compassion, healing, and justice for all of humanity.


Program Areas

Strengthen Your Ministry in Partnership with NBA

Explore the ways NBA supports and restores Disciples leaders to continue our shared work of transforming communities.

Peer Learning & Wellness Groups

Engaging leaders in peer-to-peer learning, spiritual renewal, justice, and wellness.

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Mental Health & Wellness Initiative

Cultivating awareness, understanding, and healing for mental health and self-care.

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NBA XPLOR

Prophetic movement for young adults considering lives of care and service.

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Educational Resources

Continuing education, professional development, and theological materials.

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SENT Seminar

Annual educational conference for social enterprise and nonprofit project leaders.

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Mission & Ministry Grants

Supporting Disciples programs for older adults or at-risk youth.

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Leadership Development Stories and News

Social Entrepreneurship: The Good News of Reimagining the Work of the Church

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Rev. Dr. Ben Bohren on the Heart of NBA XPLOR

Before the end of 2020, we asked Ben to reflect on “the heart of XPLOR,” the Four Cornerstones of the program, and what being part of young adult leadership development has meant to him personally.

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Transitions and Celebrations in the NBA Mental Health & Wellness Initiative

After more than five years of service, Rev. Angela Whitenhill-Shields will transition out of her role as NBA’s Mental Health & Wellness Initiative Manager.

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Introducing the Members of the First SENT Cohort

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NBA Honors Rev. Margie Pride of Memorial Boulevard Christian Church

The National Benevolent Association celebrates the ministry of and congratulates Rev. Margie Pride on her recent retirement from more than 30 years of ministry as pastor of Memorial Boulevard Christian Church in St. Louis, Missouri.

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The SENT Seminar Confirmed That I’m on the Right Path

Attending the 2020 SENT Seminar was the confirmation Amie Vanderford needed to keep shaping her new social enterprise Project Least.

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Empowered to Impact Dreams: The Dreamkeepers Find Direction at SENT Seminar 2020

"Before the SENT Seminar, I was struggling with what type of organization I was creating, who my target market was, and how I was going to build a supportive network around me that would serve as a guide during the formation years. Now, after attending the SENT seminar, I have no doubt in mind that such support actually exists."

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Why the SENT Seminar is for Everyone

Embarking on the journey to launch a health and social service ministry can be daunting. That's why NBA created the SENT Seminar, to help social entrepreneurs find their way through.

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SENT Seminar Was a Map When I Was Lost

Amber Mattingly, SENT 2020 participant and founder of Sacred Flow, an online yoga community, shares how this year's seminar helped her embrace the unknown and be okay with getting lost.

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A Journey of Defining the Social Impact My Organization Will Have

Managerrie Winston shares how this year's seminar helped define the social impact her organization will have.

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XPLORing the Creation of the NBA Voting Rights and Registration Resources

Alex Keys, Resident of the 2019-20 NBA XPLOR St. Louis House shares why created NBA's voting resources and the importance of faith communities involvement in elections.

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Introducing NBA’s 2020-2022 Multilingual Latin@ Pastors and Leaders Peer Group

Introducing NBA's newest Peer Learning and Wellness Group for Advocacy and Activism.

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NBA Welcomes Second Incubate Partner of 2020, Good Life Care Resource Center

The National Benevolent Association is welcoming another faith-rooted social enterprise as a new Incubate partner. Good Life Care Resource Center is NBA’s twelfth Incubate partner.

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NBA Announces New Incubate Partner, StoryWagen

The National Benevolent Association welcomes StoryWagen as a new Incubate partner and affiliate that is committed to innovative approaches to health and social service ministry.

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Becoming a Trauma-Informed Church

Creating a space that challenges systems of oppression and gives room to all God's people.

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Meet our SENT 2020 Presenters

NBA has adapted its traditional SENT model and moved the seminar to online-only this year. We are grateful to our lineup of esteemed presenters who will share their knowledge with our SENT participants. Get to know them!

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Singleness, COVID-19 and Sheltering in Place

Sheltering in place with family and roommates certainly has its challenges, but so does being single and living alone during this time writes Rev. Dr. Christina Hicks.

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Healing in the Time of COVID-19: How to Feel Your Way Through

"Our feelings are not there to be cast out or conquered. They're there to be engaged and expressed with imagination and intelligence." — T.K. Coleman Therapist Becca Moravec teaches us how.

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A Call to See and Respond to the Crisis of Domestic and Intimate Partner Violence

The novel Coronavirus is a threat that is very real, but we cannot see it. I relate this invisibility to Domestic Violence.

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Former St. Louis NBA XPLOR Residents Reflect on the Novel Coronavirus

Residents from the St. Louis XPLOR House chose to stay in the house until the end of their residency. They’ve shared how it felt when they first heard about the novel Coronavirus and what the remainder of their time in the XPLOR program was like.

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3 Myths of Suicide and How the Church can Address Them

There are several myths about suicide that, at one point in my life, I believed.

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Artistic Expression as a Form of Resilience

Residents created art as a way to navigate their feelings in adapting to life under social distancing.

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How Hiram Christian Church Faithfully Used the COVID-19 NBA Response Grant

When news of the COVID-19 pandemic began to emerge, a small group of concerned members of Hiram Christian Church (HCC) gathered to prayerfully discern how the church could offer care to the community through this time. This is what came of those meetings.

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NBA XPLOR Announces Hiatus for 2020-21 Program Year

After considerable discernment, the National Benevolent Association (NBA) has made the difficult decision to place our young adult residential program, NBA XPLOR, on hiatus for the 2020-21 program year.

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Talking to Children During A Pandemic: Empathy, Connection and Tolerating Uncertainty Teaches Resilience

It can be difficult to know how much to share with children about the novel Coronavirus, Raiza Spratt shares resources that she's been using to explain COVID-19 to her children.

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3 Mitos Acerca del Suicidio y Como la Iglesia Puede Abordarlos

Hay varios mitos acerca del suicidio que, en un momento de mi vida, yo creía.

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What I’ve Learned as an NBA XPLOR Resident and Why You Should Apply to Join

Why should young adults apply to be part of the NBA's XPLOR cohort? 2019-20 Bloomington, Indiana Resident, Adrian Griffin explains what he's learned during his Residency.

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XPLOR Responds to Coronavirus with “Virtual” Residency Model

NBA XPLOR has been a nexus of change and transformation for young adult Residents and local communities since it began in 2004. This spring, COVID-19 brought changes to our program, here's what we're doing.

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A Message from New Communion, NBA Health and Social Services Partner

New Communion is committed to providing nourishing food in the Winston-Salem community.

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Life of the Beloved

XPLOR Resident Evan Gough joined this program for many reasons, but one specifically was to find what was missing in his life, here's what he's learned so far.

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Learn and Grow with NBA Resources

Worship for Families of Incarcerated Individuals

These resources were created to offer people of faith an opportunity to worship together and reflect on the experience of immigrants in the Bible and the experience of immigrants living in the United States.

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Liturgy for Working with Incarcerated People  

We invite you to explore immigration through these liturgies and worship resources.

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Liturgies for Immigration and Detention

We invite you to explore immigration through these liturgies and worship resources.

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Liturgy for Reentry Ministries

We invite you to explore immigration through these liturgies and worship resources.

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Webinar: Tending to Our Spiritual and Mental Wellbeing After Crisis and Trauma

Join Disciples, mental health professionals, as they speak to the importance of tending to our mental health and wellness, especially as we return to social gatherings beyond family, and even begin to worship in person again. 

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WEBINAR: Resources for Domestic Violence Awareness and Prevention

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Empathy For All: Prayers for Mental Health by Rev. Lizzy Diop

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Empathy for All: Seeing with Someone Else’s Eyes by Rev. Derek Penwell

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Empathy for All: Mental Health Sunday by Rev. Mark Poindexter

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Empathy for All: A Word on Empathy by Rev. Jonah Koetke

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Empathy for All: A Sermon on Empathy by Rev. Amie Vanderford

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Empathy for All: A Mental Health Sermon Series

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Faith-Based Black HIV/AIDS Awareness & Prevention Guide

16-page PDF resource with historical insight into the HIV/AIDS epidemic, sermon starters, and statistics.

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Webinar: Speaking into the Silence

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Webinar: Deep Cries Out to Deep: An Online Grief and Loss Worship Service

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Webinar: Cuidado Pastoral y Espiritual durante Desastres

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Webinar: Creating Safe Boundaries for Congregations Serving Those with Severe Mental Health Issues

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SoulCare Conversations: A Time to Pause and Process Together

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Sermon Series: For Such A Time As This

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Mental Health Awareness Month

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Liturgy for Immigration and Detention

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2020 SoulCare Moments

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Webinar: Spiritual Care in the Midst of Crisis

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Webinar: Salvemos Vidas, Juntos Vamos a Prevenir el Suicidio

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Webinar: Cuidado y Consejería Pastoral

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Workshops and Resources from 2019 General Assembly

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General Assembly 2019 SoulCare: A Moment to Pause and Process

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¿Cómo hacer frente durante momentos de Crisis o Trauma?

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Webinar: Fe, Comunidad y Salud Mental

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Webinar: After Suicide, How Communities of Faith Can Help Reduce Suicide Contagion

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