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 prcoess for the RCLI ’20 Class will open February 1 and remain open until the March 30 deadline.

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
  • Exhibiting potential for (or positioned in) LEADERSHIP roles within their church, profession, or community

The following demographics represent 312 Alumni members across 11 annual Classes:

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

 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 a 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: RCLI provides details on these financing options as part of the enrollment process after selection is complete.)
  • Reviewing all pre-session materials and being fully present at each of the ten monthly sessions, September-June.
  • Proactively engaging with fellow Classmates and other RCLI contacts.
  • Preparing to interconnect the dynamics of our region with your Christian faith.

Sample Session Topics

  • Civic Engagement & Public Policy
  • Crime & Poverty
  • Education
  • Business in Society
  • Land Use
  • Immigration
  • Race & Community Relations
  • The Role of the Family

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