ACE: Academy of Clergy Excellence


ACEis an alternative continuing education program for clergy serving in the North Georgia Annual Conference. ACE2 is based on a peer group learning model.  From 2018-2022, ACE has launched 21 clergy peer learning groups whereby clergy bond, learn, and dream together over a two year period.  Clergy self-select their peer group and design a custom continuing education plan based on the group's area of study they feel they need in order to be healthy and relevant for their congregations. In 2023, ACE will not launch these two-year learning cohorts, but will instead sponsor a variety of short-term clergy peer learning groups designed for recreation and RE-creation. 

Click here to find out more about ACE 2023.  

Important Current ACEGroup links

Submit Reimbursements 

Report Group Activity

ACE Photo Upload

ACE Exit Survey


Questions about ACE2

Please contact the Conference ACE2 Coordinator
Rev. Leigh Martin

ACE2 Frequently Asked Questions

What do ACE2 groups study?  

Each ACE2 group decides what their group will study.  Previous groups have rallied around a variety of topics, including: immigration, rest and renewal, how to handle conflict, spiritual disciplines, difficult conversations, diversity, systemic racism, embracing the unknown, creative arts in worship, listening to God, finding God in the secular world, as well as physical, emotional and spiritual wellness.  The premise of ACE2 is that clergy know what they need in order to be more faithful disciples and more effective leaders.  

Why should my pastor participate?

In these uncertain and divisive times, your pastor has provided opportunities for worship, service and witness to keep the church moving forward in the name of Christ.  Most are exhausted.  Even though they offer themselves sacrificially in service to the church, they could use some encouragement and appreciation along the way.  Your sponsorship will connect your pastor with other clergy to bond, learn, dream and renew at such a time as this.  

How will ACE2 benefit my church?

Healthy congregations need healthy leaders.  ACE2 is an avenue for clergy to decide what they need in order to be an effective leader in the church and beyond.  Each group is centered around an essential question that they want to explore.  Some topics will translate easily to the local church, while others will have a more subtle impact. 

Who's eligible to participate?

Any combination of the following actively serving clergy: 

  • Ordained Elders
  • Ordained Deacons
  • Local Pastors who have completed Course of Study/seminary and have served under appointment for at least two years.
  • Extension Ministers in the above categories
  • Clergy enrolled in degree programs or currently in provisional status may not apply as these are also engagements of peer learning.  

What's the time commitment?

ACE2 requires participants to be involved in peer learning 10-14 days per year for two years.  Although it will be different for each group, groups are expected to gather at least four times per year.    

How do I get an ACE2 group?  

Clergy must self-select their ACE2 group. While no one will be assigned to an ACE2 group, many clergy need help finding other interested clergy.  If clergy need help connecting with other interested clergy around a common area of interest, they fill out an interest form to find matches.   


Bikes and Bibles: How can cycling improve our mental, physical, and spiritual health?

Curds and Jelly: How does the act of eating food bring us together?

Enneagram Explorers: How can we use the Enneagram as a tool to grow spiritually, emotionally, relationally and professionally?  

Pescalogians: How do we remain in love with God and thrive in life and ministry? 

Restoration: How do we show up in a holistic way as pastors and leaders to what connection with Christ will look like in the future? 

Story Companions: How can we build sustainable relationships in a broken world? 


Border Walls and Bridges: How do we prepare the table to be a place of welcome for everyone in order to have crucial conversations?

Care Bears: How does care lead to transformation?

Church Pirates: Where do you see the Holy Spirit outside of the institutionalized ideology of the church?

Conversations Along the Journey: How do we have civil conversations in a divided world?

Intellectually Curious, Socially Conscious and Holy: How do we embrace diversity and welcome the other in our midst?

Intentional Pilgrims: How do we recognize the value of what is old and seasoned in our spiritual lives while energizing enduring practices with new approaches?

Job's Friends: How do we share with other clergy the value of covenantal peer groups over the course of ministry?

Parts Unknown: How do we make the unknown known to our churches as we seek to discover and participate in what the church may look like in the next 25 years?

Prayer and Place: How does one become a person of prayer instead of a person who prays? 

Purer Space: How do we create purer spaces in our lives together through authentic and trusting relationships?

Rest and Renewal: How can I pour myself out knowing that I will be refilled?

Serenity Sisters: How do we as female pastors integrate mind, body, spirit and environment for the purpose of personal renewal and deepen our relationship with God and others?

Theology of Play: How do we reclaim our identity as those who are created to play?

Walking Women of the World: How do we strengthen our mind, body and spirit, recognizing the spirituality of our physical selves and walking into the authentic individuals God created us to be?

Weavers of Worship: How can we grow spiritually and glorify God by using all of our senses through incorporating creative arts in worship?

Wholly Living: Am I currently living a life of wellness? Am I striving to become whole? How is my wellness or lack thereof affecting my vocation and community?

ACE2 Launches Clergy Peer Groups

This summer ACE2 rallied more than 90 clergy in the North Georgia Annual Conference into 13 peer learning groups. When asked why this program generated such enthusiasm, participants said they were looking for: connection, lifelong learning, adventure, renewal, and a desire for God to do a new thing in me and my church.


Learning, Bonding, Dreaming: 2019-2020 ACECohort

"Bond, learn, and dream" was the mandate given to the participants of North Georgia’s Academy of Clergy Excellence, otherwise known as ACE2. ACE2 groups are embarking on their learning adventures near and far.