African American Leadership Initiative

With RUF at JSU, Redeemer PCA, Mission Mississippi, Voice of Calvary Ministries, and New Horizons, RTS Jackson provides a unique context for multi-ethnic, urban, and African American ministry.  Partnering with these ministries and more, the African American Leadership Initiative (AALI) will provide mentoring, modeling, fellowship, and scholarship for our students.

The Initiative

The African American Leadership Initiative is open to anyone, but particularly to full-time African American seminary students demonstrating leadership potential who are pursuing an MDIV or MA degree.  Through multiple platforms members of AALI will learn how to apply the Gospel to the unique challenges and circumstances of ministry in a multi-ethnic, urban setting. 

Two Goals and Four Platforms

The African American Leadership Initiative has two goals: 1) to recruit more African Americans to RTS Jackson and 2) to equip students of any race for ministry in African American, mutliethnic, or urban contexts.  We accomplish these goals through four platforms: 1) Mentoring, 2) Modeling, 3) Fellowship, and 4) Scholarship.  These platforms are required for those on scholarship, but they are open to the whole seminary community.

Mentoring
One of the richest aspects of AALI comes in the form of access to accomplished professionals who are engaged in ministries in a multi-ethnic, African American, urban, or at-risk context.  Once a semester, Mike Campbell from Redeemer Church (PCA), Elbert McGowan from RUF at JSU, Mac McCarty of County Line Missionary Baptist Church, Neddie Winters of Mission Mississippi and Voice of Calvary, Ronnie Crudup of New Horizon Church, and Wy Plummer of the PCA’s African American Ministries will host on-campus lunches to discuss contextualization of your seminary education and Gospel ministry. Additionally, each semester one of our mentors will host a 3-hour seminar that will allow for a more in-depth discussion of an aspect of ministry. 

Modeling
Instead of simply hearing about all the work that could be done in multi-ethnic, urban, and African American ministry, participants in AALI will witness firsthand the work that is happening in the city.  They will gain exposure to several organizations, churches, and ministries which are faithfully preaching the Gospel and that are doing work specifically geared toward addressing issues of race and poverty in an urban context. Each semester AALI will attend one ministry event as a group hosted by one of our mentors and then meet with the mentor after the event to discuss the experience. 

Fellowship
Members of AALI will gain opportunities, both formal and informal, to meet, interact, and forge relationships with fellow Initiative members on campus, Reformed African Americans in the community, and others who are interested in ministry in urban and multi-ethnic settings.  Fellowship opportunities include lunches together on campus, attending conferences, and other activities.

Scholarship 
A scholarship equivalent to 50% of tuition will be awarded to those participating in AALI.  Expected participation includes one Modeling event, one Mentoring event, and two Fellowship events each semester.  In addition, in their first year, scholarship recipients are required to be a part of the AALI Cohort.  Normal Financial Aid Application and Policies apply.