Rural Pastors InitiativeApril 12, 2019 (Jackson) - Belhaven University is looking for pastors who have a passion for rural and small-town ministry for a two-year fellowship called the Rural Pastors Initiative (RPI).

Belhaven's RPI Fellowship will connect, equip, and empower rural Mississippi pastors for the revitalization of churches and communities. “Rural pastors not only shepherd and servethe people in their congregations, but theyoften play a central role in the close-knit communities where they serve,” said Belhaven University Provost Dr. Bradford Smith.

The Fellowship is a practical and flexible field training program of mentoring, continuing education, and ministry partnership. There are 40 spots available and there is no expense for fellows. Participants will earn a ministry training certificate, receive a Kindle Fire Tablet, and audit two online Biblical Studies classes at Belhaven.

Dr. Smith adds, “We at the University are thrilled that we can work closely with pastors and help them connect with other pastors, find encouragement through summer retreats, and receive mentoring and expert one-on-one consultation. Ultimately, we want them to have renewed joy for ministry and be inspired by one another onto greater faithfulness and perseverance.”

Belhaven's RPI program comes from an almost $1 million dollar grant from Lilly Endowment Inc.'s Thriving in Ministry. Belhaven University is one of 78 organizations located in 29 states that are taking part in the initiative. The organizations reflect diverse Christian traditions: mainline and evangelical Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Orthodox.

To sign-up or learn more about Belhaven's RPI program, email John McCarty at or Perry McCall at