Diocese of North Carolina Announces First Curates of Reimagining Curacies Program

Posted Jun 1, 2020

The Rev. Amanda Bourne, Mawethu Ncaca and Philip Zoutendam will be the first three curates in the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina’s Reimagining Curacies initiative, the Rt. Rev. Samuel Rodman announced on Friday, May 29, 2020. They will begin their ministries on June 1 and serve in the Diocese for the next three years.

“We are excited to welcome Amanda, Mawethu and Philip as our first cohort of curates. Individually and collectively, they bring such extraordinary gifts to the program. We look forward to seeing how they shape our pilot-round congregations and how the congregations shape them,” said Rodman.

Bourne is a recent graduate of Virginia Theological Seminary and a transitional deacon from the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia. Before seminary, she earned a B.A. in English at Marymount University and completed a monastic internship at the Society of St. John the Evangelist, through the Episcopal Service Corps.

Ncaca, a native of South Africa, recently completed a chaplain residency at Duke University Hospital. While most of his previous academic training occurred in South Africa at Stellenbosch University, he moved with his family to North Carolina five years ago to be closer to his wife’s family. He is a postulant in the Diocese of North Carolina.

A 2020 graduate of Duke Divinity School, Zoutendam will be ordained to the transitional diaconate on June 6. Since he and his wife moved to North Carolina in 2017, they have been members of Church of the Holy Family, Chapel Hill. He has served internships at Orange County Correctional Center in Hillsborough, North Carolina, and St. Alban’s Anglican Church in Strasbourg, France.

The three are participating in Reimagining Curacies, a project funded with a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. through its Thriving in Ministries Initiative.

With this project, the Diocese is seeking to adapt a traditional model of curacy to the needs of a changing church. Rather than a traditional two-year curacy in a single congregation, curates in this program are assigned to three geographically-proximate vibrant congregations for multiple years, with each curate serving one year in each congregation.

The aim is to provide them with experience in congregations that differ in size, liturgical preference, racial and ethnic composition, community context and specialized ministries.

In November 2019, Rodman announced the first congregations to participate in the program: The Chapel of the Cross, Chapel Hill; St. John’s Episcopal Church, Wake Forest; and St. Titus’ Episcopal Church, Durham. Bourne will spend her first year in the program at Chapel of the Cross; Ncaca will begin at St. John’s, and Zoutendam will be at St. Titus’.

The Diocese has also partnered with Alban at Duke Divinity School on the implementation of the next phase of the initiative. Alban, headed by the Rev. Nathan Kirkpatrick, a priest in the Diocese, carries forward the legacy of the Alban Institute, which at one time was the largest independent provider of resources to congregations and congregational leaders in the world and has a long-standing interest in innovative approaches to clergy and lay formation. Kirkpatrick will be working closely with the Rev. Canon David Sellery, diocesan canon for congregational mission and other leaders across the diocese to ensure the program meets the goals established in the grant application for the curates, the participating congregations and the diocese.

The Diocese of North Carolina is one of 78 organizations located in 29 states taking part in the nearly $70 million Thriving in Ministry initiative. The organizations reflect diverse Christian traditions: mainline and evangelical Protestant, Roman Catholic and Orthodox. Thriving in Ministry is part of Lilly Endowment’s grant-making to strengthen pastoral leadership in Christian congregations in the United States, a grant-making priority at Lilly Endowment for nearly 25 years.

Press Release published here.