When Amanda Adams was growing up, she considered a number of professions: doctor, nurse, writer, teacher, psychologist and bareback rider.
She eventually became a Presbyterian minister because it includes all the things she wants. “Ministry,” said Adams, 26, “is an extraordinary balancing act between what we do every day—the mundane paperwork and meetings, sitting at people’s beds when they’re ill—and personal time, time for our own devotions.”
Adams and two other young ministers arrived at First Presbyterian Church in Ann Arbor, Michigan, last September, committed to two-year residencies. They’re part of the Transition-into-Ministry Program funded by the Lilly Endowment.
Indianapolis-based Lilly in 1999 began a number of pilot programs to help young ministers move from seminary to full-time pastorates. Transition-into-Ministry, part of Lilly’s larger effort to improve preparation of pastoral leaders, so far has invested $38 million in programs.