2021-2022 Ministry and Leadership Incubator Placements

2021-2022 Ministry and Leadership Incubator Placements

The Presbytery of Philadelphia is pleased to announce our three host sites for the 2021-2022 Ministry and Leadership Incubator and their in-coming seminarians who will serve alongside them beginning September 2021. These seminarians will not only walk alongside their respective congregations in the discernment and development of contextualized gospel possibilities, but also form a collective cohort of dreamers, learners, practitioners, and faithful designers of relevant ministry in these unique contexts. Seminarians will serve in one of the three congregations for the duration of the program, with the pastor of the given congregation serving as the direct supervisor. In addition to the site placement, the full cohort of seminarians will participate in monthly leadership labs facilitated by executive staff of the presbytery of Philadelphia. These labs serve as additional coaching and conversation opportunities, exploring relevant resources, tools, and questions not always engaged in the seminary classroom. We look forward to incubating possibilities with the five seminarians serving in these three churches this fall!

If interested in serving as a host site for 2022-23 click here. We will be solidifying next year’s placement congregations by this fall.



Bethesda Presbyterian Church, Rev. Heidi Hankel

Located in a working class section of Northeast Philadelphia, Bethesda Presbyterian Church believes their call to is to walk alongside their neighbors who have experiences of trauma and abuse. Aware of the increased needs for solidarity and care with those for whom this is a part of their narrative, the faithful of Bethesda have taken on an increased interest in equipping their leadership for a virtual church. Their intentional efforts to be present with those for whom the setting foot in a church building is terrifying and a heightened sense of distrust in organized religion exists practices the presence of Christ in a way that meets people where they are.

Luke Ekstrom

Luke is currently a first-year student at Princeton Theological Seminary, pursuing a Master of Divinity. His area of concentration is in Practical Theology, with special focus on Pastoral Psychology and Psychoanalysis. A graduate of Whitworth University, where he earned degrees in both Theology and Philosophy, Luke is also pursuing ordination in the Presbyterian Church (USA) with a call to Hospital Chaplaincy.

Salvador Rodrigo Jaimes 

A second year M.Div student at Princeton, Salvador has interests in psychology, philosophy, and counseling.  Salvador was born in El Salvador; he and his family moved to Sioux Falls, SD when he was nine-years-old.  He has lived there ever since, eventually graduating from the University of Sioux Falls.  Salvador is excited to move to Princeton and gain pastoral care experience while working alongside the folks at Bethel Presbyterian Church.

Valley Forge Presbyterian Church, Rev. Timothy Dooner

Located in a suburb 20 minutes west of Philadelphia, Valley Forge is a booming retail and residential neighborhood with an increasingly diverse population. The congregation was founded in the 1950’s and has ebbed and flowed in membership. Recently, Valley Forge has experienced a wave of rebirth and revitalization as they continue to explore how to live into their call as a Matthew 25 congregation [link the highlighted section to the covenant connections story] and minister alongside their neighbors, especially in response to the various food and housing insecurities that often are overlooked in their context.

Peter Manning

Peter is in his third year as an MDiv student at Princeton Theological Seminary.  He is a candidate for ordination under the auspices of the New York City Presbytery and a longtime member of Brick Presbyterian Church in New York City where he is an Elder and has been deeply involved in Youth Ministry.  He comes to seminary with a varied career that includes theater, real estate and founding an eponymous clothing company.  He is married to Andre Bishop and the father of a 23-year-old daughter who will commission as an officer in the Marines in 2022.  He spent last year as an intern at First Presbyterian Church at Dayton and prior to seminary did a year of chaplaincy in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at New York Presbyterian hospital.

East Falls Presbyterian Church, Rev. Kari Olson
Located in the East Falls neighborhood of Philadelphia, EFPC is a multigenerational neighborhood congregation that has experienced revitalization over the last two decades. As the congregation has adapted along with our neighborhood, we are excited about a growing relationship with our local public school as a way to love our neighbors. At EFPC, along with other opportunities, seminarians will explore multigenerational ministry and neighborhood engagement, helping us to imagine new ways of serving children, youth, and their families in our congregation and community. East Falls is participating for a second consecutive year in light of adaptive shifts and creative possibilities encountered during the pandemic.

Beth Putney

A Pacific Northwest native and Sarah Lawrence College graduate, Beth Putney is in her third year of the MDiv/MACEF Dual Degree program at Princeton Theological Seminary and a candidate for ordination in the PC (USA). She is so excited to be able to work with the Incubator for a second year and to further the relationships she made in her first year of ministry at East Falls Presbyterian Church under the mentorship of Rev. Kari Olson. Beth is passionate about ministry to young people, storytelling, and cultivating the imagination of what Church can be.

Listen to podcasts of our Incubator Stories here: