Julie Mader Hostetter, executive director of the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership, has announced her retirement effective January 31, 2017. She has served in this role since 2008, in partnership with the Church of the Brethren Office of Ministry.
Steven Schweitzer, academic dean at Bethany Seminary, acknowledged her personal and professional contributions: “With more than forty years of experience as a pastor and as denominational staff, Julie has touched many lives and worked diligently to strengthen ministerial leadership training in the Church of the Brethren. Her commitment to people and process, to relationships and excellence in her work have been a hallmark of her ministry.”
Along with oversight of denominational certificate-level ministry programs, including Training in Ministry and Education for Shared Ministry, Hostetter provided leadership for continuing education. The Sustaining Pastoral Excellence program, underwritten by the Lilly Endowment Inc., continued to give many pastors the opportunity for spiritual, intellectual, and relational growth. This was succeeded by the Sustaining Ministerial Excellence program in 2015, offering similar experiences for persons in other forms of ministry. In addition, new training for supervisors of ministry students was offered in 2014 through Supervision in Ministry classes. To better serve Spanish-speaking Brethren in ministry training, the Seminario Biblico Anabautista Hispano (SeBAH-COB) certificate program was launched in cooperation with the Mennonite Education Agency in 2011. In 2015 the Academy also assumed responsibility for ministerial ethics training in the denomination, involving dozens of seminars nationwide, many led by Hostetter.
The Bethany community thanks Julie Hostetter for her exemplary service to the Seminary and to the Church of the Brethren, wishing her a joyful and restful retirement.