If you envision a region that is more intentional, connected, and whole, then RCLI needs you.  If you’re looking for a group of dedicated peers who share your vision and your faith in Christ, then you need RCLI.

Every year, eager, civic-minded Richmonders find RCLI’s Christian leadership program to be the perfect setting in which to exchange ideas, grow spiritually, and develop a network for action.  And our region is the better for it.

Admission to RCLI is competitive, with about 30 Class members participating each year.  The application period for the RCLI ’19 Class is now OPEN.  The DEADLINE for all application materials is THURSDAY, MARCH 29th.  

[View RCLI’19 program dates here.]


Application Process

To be considered for the RCLI ’19 Class, complete these three steps by the Thursday, March 29 deadline:

Quick links:

You are unique – RCLI looks forward to receiving your application!

“RCLI is a cutting-edge leadership development initiative that is truly equipping community, business, and church leaders for transformative work.  Participants’ exposure to proven, on-the-ground practitioners is one of the program’s strongest assets.— Dr. Emory Berry, Jr.; Senior Pastor, Greenforest Community Baptist Church, Decatur, GA  (Former Pastor, Fourth Baptist Church, Richmond, VA)

Portrait of a Typical Class Member

  • Age 25-40
  • Maturing in and driven by a personal FAITH in Jesus Christ
  • Demonstrating a HEART for the Richmond region
  • Positioned in (or exhibiting potential for) LEADERSHIP roles within their profession, church, or community

The following demographics represent 312 enrolled members across eleven annual Classes:

  • Church Affiliation
    • 55 churches across nine denominations
    • 36 non-denominational churches
  • Gender
    • 55% Female
    • 45% Male
  • Race/Ethnicity
    • 29% African-American
    • 63% Caucasian
    • 3% Asian
    • 2% Latino(a)

 Program Details

“It’s the best way to get a theologically-formed civic education of [RVA] for all who want to serve the work of God’s kingdom [here].” — Rev. Corey Widmer; Senior Pastor, Third Church

The leadership program consists of ten monthly sessions, held once per month between September and June—from 6:30p – 9:00p on Friday and from 9:00a – 4:00p on Saturday.  The locations vary, providing exposure to the region’s diversity of pastoral leadership.  (NOTE: The September and May sessions are in the form of overnight retreats.)

Sessions examine—from a Christian perspective—the many dynamics that shape our region.  This includes learning from local experts and thought leaders and engaging in experiences that provide up-close exposure to life in RVA.  Regular small group discussions and support from committed volunteers add to the value of the program.


The expectations of enrolled Class members are detailed more fully in the Commitment Covenant, but include:

  • Paying tuition by July 31.  Generous donations from across the community help underwrite each Class, limiting tuition to about 20% of the actual cost: $750.  Partial scholarships and payment plans help ensure that finances are never a reason to not apply.  (NOTE: The scholarship request and other financial support options are incorporated into the RCLI ’19 application.)
  • Reviewing all pre-session materials and being fully present at each of the ten monthly sessions, September-June.  See the RCLI ’19 dates here.
  • Proactively engaging with fellow Classmates and other RCLI contacts.
  • Preparing to interconnect the dynamics of our region with your Christian faith.

Sample Session Topics

  • Business in Society
  • Civic Engagement & Public Policy
  • Community Relations
  • Education
  • Land Use
  • Immigration
  • RichmondVA: Examining the Region
  • The Role of the Family

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