The mission of Excellence in Leadership is to

Grow authentic and effective leaders— free from fear, free to love
for the sake of the world:
Deepening emotional capacity
Growing effective leaders
Fostering authentic relationship

Registration for Class of 2024-25 is now open!

18 month programs will run September 2023 - March 2025
13 month program will run January 2024 - January 2025

More information and register here


What is Excellence in Leadership ?eil_program_diagram.png

Excellence in Leadership is a ministry born out of the need for courageous and resilient people in the church, in organizations, and in the world.  We are currently living in a time that asks specifically for leaders who have the capacity to think about the future in new ways and we believe that effective leadership begins with the individual and is honed in community. This ministry helps each person learn how to appreciate who they are, how they are embodied, and manage the way they personally respond to challenges and conflict. Through doing this work, they are then able to show up more effectively in places of anxiety, conflict, and frustration. When leaders show up in healthy ways, they are better equipped to help the people and systems they work with to also respond in healthier ways.

The coursework for Excellence in Leadership provides tools and exercises to help the leader work through challenges. But perhaps more than that, it provides opportunities for deep self-discovery and enrichment. The work done in the sessions invites each person to become more courageous, resilient, and faithful as an individual and as a leader for the sake of the self, the community, and the world.


How will Excellence in Leadership help you and your community thrive?

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.

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!

Reconciling in Christ

Excellence in Leadership, as a ministry of the Rocky Mountain Synod, ELCA, welcomes all into the fullness of God’s love. We follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, whose love leads us to affirm our common identity as children of God. This welcome is inclusive of the variety of ways we are embodied including: race, culture, national origin, immigration status, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, sex, age, physical or mental ability, and social standing. We commit to work against racism and all forms of bias, understanding they are systemic, institutional, and personal. We create learning opportunities for people to explore their own self-awareness, their own reactions to the people around them, their place in systems, and to become more aware of their own communities so they may become change agents in the Church and the world. We commit ourselves to this work, always growing as courageous, resilient, and faithful leaders for the sake of the world.

“Our real power comes from the courage to deal with our fractured relationships, the vulnerability to acknowledge our hurt feelings, and the awareness to know when ego shows up.”

- Shawn Ginwright, PhD The Four Pivots: Reimagining Justice, Reimagining Ourselves