Lake Fellow Residency

Rev. Christopher Palmer
Lake Fellow in Parish Ministry
(317) 253-6461


Rev. Christopher Palmer
Lake Fellow in Parish Ministry
(317) 253-6461

Rev. Gracie Payne
Lake Fellow in Parish Ministry
(317) 253-6461


Rev. Gracie Payne
Lake Fellow in Parish Ministry
(317) 253-6461

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    Lake Fellow Residency Overview

    This two-year residency program is for seminary graduates who hold particular promise as pastors and wish to develop their ministerial skills under dedicated supervision in a large church setting. This is an ordained position in which Lake Fellows serve and learn alongside the staff and congregation of Second Presbyterian Church. The program was established by a generous bequest from Second Church members Tom and Marjorie Lake. Fellowship classes have historically consisted of two or three individuals from a variety of seminaries. Currently there are four Lake Fellows serving in the congregation.

    The program has a threefold emphasis: pastoral, congregational and academic.

    The program begins mid August of each year and lasts two years. Applicants must be on track for ordination in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and hold the M. Div. Degree. Preference will be given to recent seminary graduates.

    Pastoral Emphasis

    The pastoral emphasis includes two five-month rotations during the first year in the areas of pastoral care and mission.  During the second year of the program, residents design their own rotations in an area or areas of special interest. The Pastoral emphasis of this residency program focuses on the various areas of ministry and the leadership skills essential to effective ministry. Areas of emphasis include:

    • Preaching & Worship: Each Fellow preaches on a quarterly basis at Second     Presbyterian Church (8:15 a.m. or 6 p.m.). All sermons are videotaped and discussed. The Fellows sit on the worship team, which is responsible for the planning of Sunday worship. Each Fellow regularly participates in weekly worship services. Fellows are also partnered with a smaller congregation within the community, in which they share preaching and worship planning and leading responsibilities once a month. They also have the opportunity to learn from a mentor relationship with the solo pastor of that congregation.
    • Pastoral Care: This rotation includes regular hospital and shut-in visits, as well as on-call assignments. This rotation also includes working with our Board of Deacons in their congregational ministries.
    • Mission Outreach: Fellows will have particular responsibility in one or more of the ongoing outreach programs of the church through the Board of Deacons.
    • Christian Education: Focusing on the broad range of educational opportunities, the Fellow can teach, plan and evaluate our adult education programs. They sit on the planning committees for our annual Festival of Faith program and our mid-week educational opportunities program.
    • Administration: Each Fellow assumes responsibility for the oversight of a fellowship group at Second Presbyterian Church. In addition, administrative duties will be assigned to each  Fellow during quarterly rotations as pertinent to that particular area of ministry. Fellows will participate in staff meetings and planning retreats. They will also attend Session meetings. The Fellows will have the opportunity to meet weekly with the Senior Pastor and staff to reflect on church administration.
    • Evangelism: Fellows participate in our new member class orientation as well as our program that calls on prospective new members. They also have the opportunity to participate in one of our spiritual formation retreat weekends called “The Great Banquet.”
    • Stewardship: Each Fellow will have an opportunity to learn about the theology and practice of faithful stewardship in the life of the congregation. At least one colloquium, in addition to the pastoral seminars, will focus on this subject.

    Congregational Emphasis

    The purpose of the congregational track is to help clergy discover how people think and feel about faith and church as they struggle to put their beliefs and values to work in the public square of their individual worlds. Congregations are also cultures; each congregation being distinct and unique. To be effective witnesses in both their congregations and their communities, pastors must understand and appreciate how people think and feel and experience faith. The Congregational track includes:

    • A member or family in the congregation to serve as a faith mentor. Together they will meet with once a month to share their faith stories and experiences within the church.
    • A connection to the Lake Fellow ministry team, which supports the Lake Fellows during their two year residency. This diverse group of congregation members gathers with the Lake Fellows to offer hospitality and meals throughout their time together.

    Academic Emphasis

    The over-arching goal of this program is to inspire young men and women to develop those personal disciplines essential to the pursuit of a learned ministry.  The academic dimension exists to provide the residents with an opportunity to reflect theologically on what they are experiencing as pastors engaged in ministry in the 21st century. The Academic emphasis intentionally links head with heart, learning with doing, action with disciplined reflection, including:

    • A weekly seminar for reflection on pastoral theology and preaching with the Senior Pastor. Required readings include at least one book plus journal articles to be read each month.
    • Specific topics pertinent to ministry will be explored in a once-a-month, all-day colloquium. Among the resources already committed to this program are, Indiana University School of Philanthropy, Lilly Endowment, Whitewater Valley Presbytery, Heartland Film Festival, Robert Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership, and the Polis Center-Indiana University.

    Lake Fellow Program Founder

    William G. Enright, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Lake Institute on Faith & Giving at the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University and the Senior Pastor Emeritus of Second Presbyterian Church. With the generous support of church members Tom and Marjorie Lake, and the expertise of colleagues at the Lilly Endowment, Dr. Enright developed the Lake Fellow program in 1997. About the Lake Fellow program, he says:

    "Years ago, a young minister by the name of Reinhold Niebuhr was asked why any intelligent person would enter the ministry. Niebuhr replied: 'Where can one invest one’s life where it can be made more effective in as many directions? Here is a task which requires the knowledge of a social scientist, the insight and imagination of a poet, the executive talent of a business person, and the mental discipline of a philosopher.' I believe that being a parish pastor is the most invigorating and fulfilling calling in the world.

    Following medical school, young doctors pursue their medical specialties in extensive residence programs. Bright young attorneys conclude law school with clerkships in courts of law or they serve as apprentice associates in large law firms where they learn the fine art of turning theory into practice. What happens to young seminary graduates? Recent clergy studies reveal that it is the first church experience following seminary which is most formative in shaping the kind of minister they will be. This program is for those women and men who, having felt God’s call to parish ministry, desire to get off to the right start by fine tuning their skills in a large congregation with a long standing commitment to excellence in ministry."

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    Apply for the Program
    Applications due January 31, 2020

    Applications are due by January 31, 2020. 
    Interactive Form | Download Form

    The two-year program begins in mid-August. Applicants must be on track for ordination in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and hold the M. Div. Degree by the start date. Preference will be given to recent seminary graduates.


    Please send the following to each program to which you are applying:

    1. Cover letter that includes:

    - Your reasons for seeking placement in a pastoral residency program and this one in particular.
    - Description of a mentoring relationship and two or three significant ways it shaped you. 

    2. PIF or Form 1 (interactive form)

    3. Seminary transcripts (emailed or U.S.mail)

    Interviews for selected finalists will be scheduled on:

    • March 6-8, 2020 

    Applications should be emailed to:

    Second Presbyterian Church Lake Fellow Residency Program
    Rev. Christopher A Henry, Senior Pastor
    Katherine Ellis, Executive Assistant
    Second Presbyterian Church
    7700 N. Meridian St.
    Indianapolis, IN 46260
    Email to Katherine Ellis at kellis@secondchurch.org.