Ascend: For New Ministry Leaders

Welcome to the Diocese of Dallas!

The Ministry Leaders of the Diocese of Dallas form an incredible community of committed, competent, and holy missionary leaders. We believe each Ministry Leader has been commissioned by Christ to promote His Gospel and we are so excited to have you join the local efforts in Dallas. If you’ve already been around and part of the ministry community, we are thankful to continue to serve alongside you!

This page is for Ministry Leaders who are NEW to ministry in general or NEW to their current ministry roles. If this describes you, firstly, please complete the New Ministry Leader ID Form below to get connected with the Office of Youth, Young Adult, and Campus Ministries. You will be contacted by our office after completing this form and you will be added to our monthly eGram list. Secondly, as a new Ministry Leader, you have a valuable opportunity to participate in Ascend: Orientation and Training for New Ministry Leaders. Check it out below!

Get Connected Here

Want to be kept in the loop on formation opportunities, diocesan announcements, and upcoming events? Complete the New Ministry Leader ID Form below. Doing so will add you to our database, as well as our monthly eGram mailing list.

Note: If you are a “seasoned” Ministry Leader (have been in your current ministry position for over a year), but would like to add yourself to our database in order to receive support and communications from the OYYACM, please complete our Ministry Leader Database ID Form.

Check out Ascend

Ascend is orientation and training for New Ministry Leaders. It represents an extensive investment of resources from the OYYACM to ensure that those new to their positions or to ministry all-together have the support needed to be fruitful ministers. Ascend involves an orientation to “all things diocesan” with the OYYACM staff, a ministry self-assessment, a personalized formation plan, the opportunity to gather monthly in a Formation Cohort under the mentorship of a Seasoned Ministry Leader, and formation videos. The areas of formation offered through Ascend are spiritual, human, intellectual, operational, pastoral, and methodological. Ascend is about elevating a leader’s knowledge of diocesan and parish operations, ministry competencies, and how to best serve those entrusted to our care.

Ascend Takes Place in Waves

Ministry Leaders will participate in a particular “Wave” of Ascend, depending upon the timing of their arrival to their new ministry position. Ascend Waves enable each Ascend member to benefit from the fullness of the Ascend Process, regardless of when they are hired. The dates for Ascend Waves are listed below.

Ascend Wave
If you are hired Between…
Your Orientation Will Be On…
And your Cohort Months are…
Ascend Wave #1 March 2022 – Mid August 2022 August 16, 2022 (Day offering)
August 18, 2022 (Evening offering)
September 2022- December 2022
Ascend Wave #2 January 2023 – Mid April 2023 April 20, 2023 (Day & Evening offering) May 2023- July 2023
Next Year’s Ascend May 2023- July 2023 August 2023 TBD

Key Components of Ascend

The Office of Youth, Young Adult, and Campus Ministries supports your PASTORS (Direct Supervisors, Principles, Presidents, etc.) by supporting YOU. You are an employee of your particular entity and we cannot emphasize enough that all participation in Ascend or any other service offered by the OYYACM must come with the Pastor’s (or Direct Supervisor’s) complete support. Our office has the utmost respect for the work of Pastors and we want to honor their leadership in all that we do.

The NMLO is a crash course in all things diocesan with which every member of our diocese should be familiar!  It is an excellent introduction to the team at the Office of Youth, Young Adult, and Campus Ministries as well as to your fellow ministry leaders in your Ascend Wave.

Who do you call if you have a concern about Safe Environment? How about a question regarding Confirmation? Where can you find templates for permission forms? What formation events are taking place this year? How can you advertise your ministry events to the diocese-at-large? The NMLO will have you covered!

Check the Ascend Wave table for your upcoming Orientation Date.

The Office of Youth, Young Adult, and Campus Ministries believes that all Ministry Leaders have the responsibility to be their absolute best. Incredible work for the Kingdom can be accomplished by God’s grace and our cooperation. The MLFAT is a self-assessment opportunity for new Ministry Leaders to highlight both the strengths and weaknesses in their previous ministry formation. The information provided by this self-assessment allows the Ministry Leader to note where they would like to focus energy in their professional development. The areas of assessment are spiritual, human, intellectual, operational, pastoral, and methodological formation. The tool is specifically designed so that it will be relevant to all participants, regardless of their previous experience in ministry. It is our conviction that we are all “in via”, never fully having reached perfection and always having room to grow.

All those who complete the Ministry Leader Formation Assessment Tool and submit their responses to the Office of Youth, Young Adult, and Campus Ministries will receive a personalized formation plan developed by the OYYACM Team. The formation plan will be directly inspired by the responses to the MLFAT and approved by the Ministry Leaders’ Pastors or Direct Supervisors. It is our belief, that if followed throughout the course of the year, the personalized formation plan will greatly enhance the effectiveness of the Ministry Leaders’ ministerial efforts.

The benefit of Ascend Formation Cohorts cannot be understated. Each New Ministry Leader will be assigned a Cohort within their Ascend Wave. Each Cohort will have several New Ministry Leaders and will be under the leadership of a Seasoned Ministry Leader. The four Cohort gatherings will provide an opportunity to get to know each other and to digest the content from the Ascend Formation Videos.  To the best of our ability, Volunteer Ministry Leaders (those whose full-time job is outside of Ministry) will be grouped in the same cohort to better accommodate their schedules.

Formation Cohorts offer the following benefits to Ministry Leaders:

  • Peer Networking (Each member has something to contribute and something to gain)
  • Solid Mentorship from a Seasoned Ministry Leader (at no cost!)
  • Accountability in Completing Personalized Formation Plan
  • A Safe Place to Discuss Seek Advice on Situations Occurring at One’s Parish or School
  • Prayerful Support in Mission

The Ascend Formation videos provide an overview of the six components of formation that the OYYACM upholds as most important for ministerial fruitfulness: spiritual, human, intellectual, operational, pastoral, and methodological formation. In these videos, we have compiled the MOST essential information that ALL ministry leaders need to know when serving in parish and school environments. The content is specifically intended to serve both New Ministry Leaders who are green to the field of Ministry and those that are more experienced. The videos offer self-reflection questions that provide an opportunity for each individual to challenge themselves and continue to grow in ministerial competencies.

The videos will be shared with Ascend participants via their Cohort mentor and the content will be discussed in the content of Cohort groups.