The Center for Christian Leadership equips Christian leaders to thrive amidst the complex challenges of contemporary ministry; address the most pressing issues in church and public life with theological depth, intellectual rigor, and practical insight; and reach across theological, social, and geographical divisions to find new possibilities for common life and ministry.

Auburn's Center for Christian Leadership is the recent recipient of an $800,000 grant from the Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment Inc. to equip bold and resilient leaders for 21st century ministry by bringing pastoral coaching to clergy across the country, training new pastoral coaches, strengthening new senior pastors, bolstering women’s leadership, and cultivating wisdom about money in congregational leaders. Learn more about Auburn's Coaching Program.  


  • Auburn’s Rev. J.C. Austin reflects on the New Hampshire GOP debate, Romney’s ascent, and one religion question on the media’s mind: Are Mormons Christians?
  • As the 2010 Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) General Assembly considers a task force report recommending the Belhar Confession’s inclusion in the Book of Confessions, J.C. Austin takes a closer look at this article of faith.


The Center for Christian Leadership traces its mission back to the founding of Auburn Theological Seminary. Auburn was founded in 1818 to ensure that there would be ministers “hardy enough for the rigors of ministry on the frontier." The students lived in spartan accommodations with modest food and little heat in order to develop physical hardiness, and they learned creative methods of ministry to address the new and unique context of frontier ministry.

While the frontiers of the 19th century were geographical, today they are technological, cultural, and intellectual. Yet then and now, the church needs leaders who can thrive amidst the isolation, uncertainty, and challenges of ministry and who can lead their congregations with creativity and insight.  Through innovative programs and stimulating resources, the Center for Christian Leadership ensures that Auburn will continue to develop church leaders hardy enough for the rigors of ministry on the frontiers of the 21st century.