DEADLINE: February 28, 2018

Applications for the 2018-2019 RWS Cohort will be received between January 1, 2018 and February 28, 2018.

This program of the Synod of the Northeast cultivates executive leadership training.


Robert L. Washington

Robert (Bob) Lee Washington – Teacher, Preacher, Activist, Leader, Educator, Counselor, Husband, Father and Friend lived a life that surely evokes the scripture … "Well done thy good and faithful servant".

A graduate of Coulter Memorial Academy, a Presbyterian school in Cheraw, South Carolina, Bob received his degree in Christian Education in 1942. He dedicated his life to teaching, and creating opportunities to further the church, civil rights and economic equality. In the Presbyterian Church he served in all levels: at the General Assembly, the Synod of the Northeast, the Presbytery of New York City and the Session of Rendall Memorial Presbyterian Church in Harlem, NY. It is in his memory and honor that this program has been established. 


The Robert L. Washington Scholars program provides resources for robust discernment regarding vocation, call and abilities of service for the Church. Each year we provide funding for three Scholars, which includes training through an approved leadership formation program.

Scholars will: — Address the rapidly changing environment of transformational leadership beginning with transformation of self. — Acquire insights into who they are, how God has gifted them as a leader, and their roles in relationship to others. — Form a learning community rooted in Christian practices — Learn how to assess the context in which they are serving and plan for the future — Explore the concepts of organizational culture, group dynamics, systems theory, leadership in adaptive change — And more…

As we live into the goals of the Synod of the Northeast, a priority will be placed upon choosing young leaders from racial ethnic communities represented throughout our Synod community. Attention will also focus upon members of other marginalized communities.

Scholars will be provided with: — A community to discern current and future service to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) — Tuition, room, board and travel expenses related to all components of this program — Training in Executive Leadership at McCormick Seminary — One retreat with Synod staff and leadership — One immersion trip to engage in reflection with a community of origin representing one of our racial ethnic communities

We are looking for Scholars who: — Possess a strong commitment to exploring innovative ways of being gospel communities — Are excited to lead gospel communities through the changing landscape of mainline Christianity — Are interested in middle governing body leadership — Hold a desire to engage in personal and ecclesiastical transformation

Click here for an introduction to the 2017 Scholars.


The Robert L. Washington Fellows is a natural extension of the Scholars program. It will support the further development of leadership experiences for an individual chosen from those who have successfully completed the RW Scholars program, who have discerned a call to ministry in mid councils. A personalized plan to engage in mid council leadership will be developed to provide an in depth and hands on learning experience. This will occur within the Synod of the Northeast in a particular aspect of regional mission, ministry, resourcing and leadership. More information will become available after the first round of scholars begins their program.

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Contributing to the Fund

Initial funding for the Robert L. Washington Scholars and Fellows program comes from the Synod’s budget. We welcome all gifts, small and large towards the growth of this program.