The Jim Henry Leadership Institute

Strengthening Leaders for Kingdom Service

The Jim Henry Leadership Institute at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary exists to strengthen ministry leaders for the next generation of Kingdom service.

Christian Leadership engages a unique discussion in the context of congregations, denominations and ministry organizations.  As an emerging academic discipline, it is easy to recognize, yet difficult to define or prescribe.  From a biblical and spiritual perspective, leadership centers upon influence – moving people from where they are to where God wants them to be.  Currently in the Southern Baptist Convention, the average pastoral tenure is 3.5 to 4 years.  Three state conventions (LA, MS, AL) report 20-25% of their churches do not have pastors.  The dropout rate of pastors increases annually.  Consider this quote from Brian Croft, Executive Director, Practical Shepherding

“Pastors are leaving the ministry in droves.  Recent statistics reveal that 50% of current pastors will not be in ministry in five years and 80% will not be pastors in ten years.  But it doesn't stop there.  Many pastors admit having battled depression at some point in their ministry and 42% of pastors considered quitting just in the last year.” (The Foreword of Strategic Church Revitalization, p. 13) 

We, through the Jim Henry Leadership Institute at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, will provide an intentional impact and influence on present and future ministry leaders, with the purpose of increasing pastoral tenure and reducing the pastoral dropout rate.  Five Strategic Initiatives will drive this effort.


Institute Objectives


Research Fellowships

The Jim Henry Leadership Institute offers Research Fellowships utilizing NOBTS doctoral students to explore and research identifiable leadership topics. The Research Fellowships include tuition and fees for a doctoral student up to four years as long as the student remains in good standing in their respective program after an annual review. Five research topics have been identified: pastoral tenure, ministerial wellness, burnout prevention, pastoral transition and strategic leadership proficiencies. 

Annual Leadership Conferences

The Jim Henry Leadership Institute hosts an annual Leadership Conference at NOBTS, built around a specific topic of leadership interest. The first annual Prepare Here Leadership Conference, October 12-13, 2023, involved 249 participants, representing 10 states.  Components of the conference included three plenary sessions led by three renowned guest speakers, 20 Breakout sessions led by 20 different presenters, 2 Panel discussions, and 4 worship services.  Conference sponsors involved 4 state conventions (LA, MS, AL, TN), one Association (the New Orleans Baptist Association) and several NOBTS entities.

Leadership Summits

The Jim Henry Leadership Institute hosts Leadership Summits involving leadership roundtable discussions, peer groups/networks and mentoring sessions. Summit topics include Resolving Church Conflict, Leading Congregational Change, Becoming a Strategic Leader, Revitalizing Dysfunctional Churches, Preventing Leadership Burnout and Restoring Ministerial Wellness.  A customized option is available for additional summit topics.  Summits completed in 2023: (1) Conflict Resolution Summit for the LA Baptist Convention, Alexandria, LA, August 31, 2023, 25 in attendance.

Publishing and Media

The Jim Henry Leadership Institute website and APP have both been developed.  Website content includes recent news, event highlights, newsletters and general information.  APP content includes Jim Henry sermon series and top ten book lists.  Content for both the JHLI website and APP will be updated frequently.  Future publishing initiatives to be determined.


The Jim Henry Leadership Institute partners with researchers, state conventions, local associations and other ministry organizations to provide consultants when requested.  Consultations completed in 2023: (1) Strategic Planning for Woodland Heights Baptist Church, Conway, TX, June 10-11, 2023, and (2) Associational Merger for East Texas Baptist Network, Longview, TX, July 25-26, 2023.


Contact the Jim Henry Leadership Institute

3939 Gentilly Blvd., Box 280, New Orleans, LA 70126

Institute Director

Dr. Reggie Ogea
Director of the Jim Henry Leadership Institute, Professor of Leadership and Pastoral Ministry 


Administrative Assistant

Kimberly Myers


About Jim Henry

JimHenry.jpgThe institute honors the ministry of Jim Henry, an NOBTS graduate and longtime pastor who served as president of the Southern Baptist Convention in 1994 and 1995. Under Henry's leadership from 1977 until 2006, First Baptist Church in Orlando, Florida, grew to a congregation of 10,000 plus members. The church consistently gave sacrificially to the shared work of Southern Baptist through the Cooperative Program. A few years after his retirement from Orlando First, Henry began pastoring again. According to Henry, he was "redeployed” as pastor of Downtown Baptist Church in Orlando from 2015 until 2019.

During his time at NOBTS, Henry pastored churches in Alabama and Mississippi. After his graduation, Henry pastored Two Rivers Baptist Church in Nashville, Tennessee, before accepting the call to FBC Orlando.

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