What is Excellence in Leadership ?

Excellence in Leadership is a two-year (four-semester) program. Each year consists of seven sessions. Four sessions are a total of six hours in length; the remaining three sessions are three hours each. There are three options to choose from, with a variety in style of delivery, days, and times. See Schedule Here.


Based on the foundation of emotional intelligence and steeped in Bible study and spiritual practices, the program incorporates family systems theory, vulnerability/connectedness, adaptive leadership, and generative/transformational change. Through respect, confidentiality, and trust, participants will find a brave and safe place to explore their own spiritual lives and to practice becoming healthier leaders. With intentionality and openness, lay people, deacons, and pastors will flourish in all parts of their lives, strengthened in wisdom, maturity, emotional intelligence, and spirituality.


What is the Desired Result of Excellence in Leadership?

Excellent leadership begins with spiritually connecting our true identity with our surrounding community (friends, family, work, faith, civic) and then learning how to use ourselves as primary agents in practicing God’s kingdom on earth, proclaiming God’s unconditional love for the world. In Excellence in Leadership, as we weave together the five theories of leadership, we begin to form courageous, resilient, and faithful leaders who are better equipped to follow the path of transformation and to build courageous, resilient, and faithful communities.

What is the Challenge of Leading in Today’s Church?

We are at a crossroads. It’s not easy to be the church these days, and the old practices of making disciples for Jesus no longer work. Uncertainty in what our spiritual home will look like in fifty years can lead to grief and anxiety. Knowing how to lead under such conditions requires spiritual grounding, awareness of self, and the courage to chart a new course. Excellence in Leadership is designed to meet these challenges.



Where do We Start?

What if we shifted the story we are telling ourselves about the impending demise of mainline religion as we know it? What if we were to see this crossroads as an opportunity to realign ourselves and our expectations of Church with the teachings of Jesus? What if we started with Matthew 22:37-39 where Jesus prioritizes the commandments of love: love God with your whole being and love your neighbor as yourself.

Christianity, being the Church, the Body of Christ in the world is a communal event. Attending to relationship—honest, humble, courageous relationship—is what Jesus has called us to do. Our personal journey toward emotional and spiritual wholeness allows us to build strong, healthy, and authentic relationships. Focusing on our own learning while gathered in community allows God’s creative power to transform us into agents of positive change.



Is Excellence in Leadership Right for Me?

YES, if you want to deepen your spiritual life, grow in emotional intelligence, learn how your church system works, and build authentic relationships with other congregational leaders.

YES, if your congregation wants to be more effective in its ministries and build toward a vibrant, spiritually rich future.

YES, if you have a team of leaders ready to move beyond old models and embrace emerging signs of hope.

YES, if you are excited about what the Church may be in 10 or 50 years and feel God calling you to be part of its creation.

YES, if you are looking for ways for your congregation to not only survive, but thrive!


Registration and Schedule


“Solid leaders grow other leaders.”

–Darlene Nipper, Rockwood Leadership Institute

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