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Excellence in Leadership

Excellence in Leadership (EiL) seeks to form courageous, resilient, and faithful leaders who are better equipped to build courageous, resilient, and faithful communities of faith, for the sake of the world.

Glory be to God whose power working in us can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine.
Ephesians 3:20

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.


What is Excellence in Leadership ?

Excellence in Leadership is a two-year (four-semester) program. Each year (Sept through May) consists of seven sessions presented via Zoom. Four sessions (Sept, Nov, Feb, May) are scheduled for three hours on Fridays, followed by small group sessions. The remaining three sessions (Oct, Jan, Mar) are scheduled for 2½ hours on Saturdays.Click image for larger view

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.

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What is the Desired Result of Excellence in Leadership?

“Solid leaders grow other leaders.” – Darlene Nipper, Rockwood Leadership Institute

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.


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!

How Do I Get Started?
Deadline – Registration – Payment

Excellence in Leadership is designed for rostered ministers and lay leaders, perhaps a ministry team of three of four. The program, however, can easily accommodate individuals who want to grow personally and spiritually.

Prior to registering, please review your calendar and the program schedule. To build healthy, effective, experiential learning communities, it is critical that  participants make the online gatherings of these communities a priority, be as fully present as possible, and engage in the learning activities. Your small group leader will be your primary contact to make sure your experience is tailored to your growth.


Registration is closed for the 2020-2022 cohort. Please check back for other opportunities available in various formats. If you are interested in learning more about upcoming resources, please email


Cost per person, per semester is $200 by check or $206 + fees w/credit card. Register online, then make an online payment or mail in registration form with a check.

If paying by check, make check payable to Rocky Mountain Synod and send to Excellence in Leadership, Rocky Mountain Synod, 7375 Samuel Drive, Denver, CO, 80221.

When paying by credit card, in the payment window on the registration form, choose “Excellence in Leadership Registration.” Paying with a credit card at a later date can be done on the RMS website by scrolling to the bottom of the homepage and clicking on the green “Give” box.


Please direct questions to Dana Anderson, EiL program manager,