Leadership Development Workshops

2022 Offerings

The Synod’s overarching theme for 2022 is “In our Synod, we’ll try anything to equip leaders who attend to God’s creative, emerging future.”  Working toward this goal, we are offering the following equipping opportunities this year, beyond our monthly workshops to equip preachers, which you can explore here. This year we are again working with LeaderWise and also expanding our partnerships.

Introduction to Boundaries
Offered by LeaderWise
Dates: 11/16/2022 and 11/17/2022
6:00-8:30 pm Eastern both days
Targeting: Teaching and Ruling Elders
Cost: Fully covered by the Synod and Presbyteries
Register: HERE

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

It’s our (LeaderWise’s) experience that pastors, church staff, and other leaders who transgress boundaries by-and-large are not predators. In fact, not even close. Most people in ministry who violate boundaries are individuals who know and follow the rules most of the time but whose judgment may be impaired due to an unusually stressful time in their lives.

With that in mind, Not-Your-Average Boundaries Training is tailored to focus on strategies to foster mental health, emotional resiliency, and well-being. While we still cover the requirements—“Don’t sleep with a parishioner unless you’re married to them” and the like —we believe the best prevention is to encourage clergy to take steps to manage their stress in order to maintain balance and perspective when temptation arises. We further teach a 3-step strategy to help stop them in their tracks before they commit a boundary violation; and participants leave with their own personal prevention plan.

This training is lively and interactive, full of reflection and conversation—and even laughter. Attendees have given us feedback that our boundaries training was a great experience, AND caused them to re-evaluate some of their own practices.

In order for participants to receive credit for completion of the program, they must be present for all 5 hours of the training.

If you have already taken a LeaderWise Introduction to Boundaries training, click here to learn about Advanced Boundaries Training.

Questions about whether you are required to participate in this training?  Contact your presbytery’s Stated Clerk.

Questions about the training content?  Contact Synod Interim Executive Chip Hardwick at chip@synodofthecovenant.org.

Questions about registration or technology?  Contact Synod Office Manager Heather Johnston Deeb at heather@synodofthecovenant.org

Past Workshops

Healthy Church Boundaries
Offered by LeaderWise
11/08/2022 & 11/09/2022
6:30-9:00 pm Eastern both days
Targeting:  Teaching and Ruling Elders and Other Congregational Leaders
Register: HERE

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Registration Deadline: September 23, 2022
Cost:  Fully covered by the Synod and Presbyteries

This congregation-centered boundaries training is for lay leaders and key members of congregations to help them understand healthy boundaries in the system of church. Some of the topics covered are:

  • Triangulation and healthy communication as an alternative
  • Good boundaries for adults meeting with youth
  • Roles and boundaries within them
  • And things like: Why do you want windows in office doors?

Leading in Divided Times
Offered by One America Movement
October 25-26, 2022
10:00 am to 12:00 pm Eastern both days
Targeting: Teaching Elders and Commissioned Ruling Elders
Register: HERE

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Registration Deadline: October 24, 2022
Cost: Fully covered by the Synod

Ministry has always been a heavy calling, but pastors and Commissioned Ruling Elders now face new challenges as we seek to navigate today’s fault lines. How can we build unity (which is different from everyone thinking the same way) in your congregation in times of division? How can we equip our members to do the same?

Join us for these training sessions as we explore leadership in divided times. We will begin with big questions like “What does science have to teach us about why we are so divided?” and move to pointed and practical questions like “How can two people have a real conversation about their disagreements?” Our hope is that we can start building an America that is more resilient to toxic forms of division and ready to address problems in our local neighborhoods.

During this two day training, participants will gain an understanding of why division happens and learn the symptoms and drivers of toxic polarization.  They will start to unpack where some of these symptoms and drivers might be happening in their own congregations or organizations and lastly will begin to explore how do we have productive conversations across lines of differences.
We will use a mixture of presentation, poll questions, and breakout rooms in order to help lead congregations through times of division.

How to Try: Innovation in Ministry
Offered by TryTank
October 21, 2022
10:00 am to 3:30 pm (free lunch included!)
In Person
Maumee Bay State Resort, 1400 State Park Rd, Oregon, OH 43616
(Approximately 20 minutes from Toledo on Lake Erie)
Virtual
Live Streamed or Posted on YouTube (register for more information)

Targeting: Church Leaders
Register: HERE

*Note: If you are attending the full Synod Assembly, you do not need to register again.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Registration Deadline: October 18, 2022
Cost: Fully covered by the Synod

What if tried and true methods from the corporate world could raise your ministry’s probability of success by a considerable margin? TryTank, a lab for church growth and innovation, has developed a fresh straightforward framework for experiments in new ministry based on research and interviews. With three clear steps, this framework can have a lasting impact on any church that uses it. You can even start innovating today, using this specific and actionable process within your church community.

This workshop is for you if:

  • You want to try new things!
  • You’re curious about design thinking.
  • You want to learn a few tools that can help you maximize your chance of success.
  • Want to find the steps to prove your idea before you invest too much.
  • You want to take away practical skills you can share with others, to help them think about new ways of doing things.

Scripture is full of examples encouraging us to try new works in the name of God. This 2-hour workshop gives the tools and templates for how to do just that, and to find God in the failures as well as the successes.

This course is taught by the Rev. Lorenzo Lebrija, the founding director of the TryTank Experimental Lab, a joint venture for innovation in the church from Virginia Theological Seminary and General Theological Seminary.  Recipients will receive a copy of his book, How to Try:  Design Innovation and Church Innovation.

Three Hour Resilience and Renewal Retreat
Offered by Presbyterian Disaster Assistance
October 13, 2022
9:00 am to 12:00 pm by Zoom

Targeting: Teaching Elders and Commissioned Ruling Elders
Register: HERE

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Registration Deadline: October 12, 2022
Cost: Fully covered by Presbyterian Disaster Assistance

This three-hour retreat is designed to give you a chance to take a breath and a break in the midst of busy schedules. Participants will experience essential healing and resilience-building tools, including story telling, strengthening positive connections with others and spiritual practices. This retreat, grounded in relaxation and self-care techniques, will provide an opportunity to experience respite and offers opportunities for small group sharing in addition to plenary sessions. There will be time for journaling, reflecting and a silent gratitude walk.

Advanced Boundaries Training
Offered by LeaderWise
September 13-14, 2022
1:30 – 4:00 pm Eastern both days
Targeting: Teaching and Ruling Elders
Register: HERE

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Registration Deadline: September 6, 2022
Cost: Fully covered by the Synod and Presbyteries

With systems theory as the backdrop, this boundaries training investigates the well-being of the leader and the implications for the organization. Topics to be explored through presentation and collegial interaction include resiliency, differentiation, and self-regulation. Expand your learning through large and small group discussions, interacting with case studies, and times of self-reflection.  Join us for practical insights about decision making and relational interactions, plus glean encouragement to continue your pursuit of holistic health.

This course assumes you have taken Not Your Average Boundaries Training.

It’s Not Just Sundays
Offered by Rev. Dr. Jevon Caldwell-Gross
Pre-Seminar for Tech Beginners: 9/8/22 6:30 to 8:00
Main Seminar: 9/15/22 6:30 to 8:30
Post Seminar for Going Deeper: 9/22 6:30 to 8:30
Targeting: Teaching and Ruling Elders
Register: HERE

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Registration Deadline: TBD
Cost: Fully covered by the Synod

During the pandemic, the church has found virtual ministry to be a vital way to connect with congregants and new participants as well.  This workshop will cover major shifts in the current ministry landscape, drawing on research from the Barna Group, and exploring ways to expand the impact of churches of all sizes by developing a digital strategy for ministry that complements in-person ministry.

Note:  Dr. Caldwell-Gross is in the process of developing bonus sessions both for beginners (technological novices) and advanced leaders (exploring how to measure success in a hybrid model, new skills, etc.).  Details to come!

Adaptive Leadership Workshops and Practicum
Offered by LeaderWise
August 4, Sept 1, Oct 6, Nov 3
Time 9:00 to 3:00 Eastern each day
Targeting:  Teaching Elders and Commissioned Ruling Elders
Register: HERE

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Registration Deadline: July 23, 2022
Cost:  Fully covered by the Synod and Presbyteries

“Adaptive leadership” is the kind of leadership that we need when it is not at all clear how to meet a challenge that faces us.  You might know it as a buzzword that everyone is throwing around or it might be a brand new concept to you. Regardless, it IS the type of leading that we leaders of 21st century church need to practice, in order to affect deep and lasting culture change in our contexts and in our communities.

This workshop introduces church leaders to adaptive leadership and asks them to work a small adaptive challenge in their system. We will gather for 4 day-long workshops over 4 months, and participants will put the concepts into practice in between large group gatherings. This workshop is for teaching or ruling elders, deacons or any other congregational leaders.  Participants will spend time in small group cohorts to meet during the workshop—it would be ideal if several members from a Session joined their pastor, or if a presbytery leadership team attended together.  In the registration you can identify others with whom you would like to work in a small group, or you can join others randomly who are also working on challenging issues in their home context.  Each small group will be encouraged to support each other outside of the workshop time too.

Journey Groups
Offered by LeaderWise
Meet Monthly from March to November
Timing to be Set by Group
Targeting: Pastors/Commissioned Ruling Elders in any type of ministry
Registration Deadline:  February 15
Cost: $100 total cost per participant; remaining costs covered by the Synod and Presbyteries

It is a disruptive and chaotic time to lead. Pastors need more support than ever. These facilitated journey groups (small group cohorts for support of 5-7 people) will gather monthly to take a time apart for reflection on their wellbeing. LeaderWise facilitators are trained in wellbeing and resilience and will interject learning and encouragement along the way. Particular focus is made to help the group bond, so that at the end of the program groups might choose to stay together even without the facilitator.

Race, Science and the Church
Offered by Science for the Church
February 16 and 23, 2022
12:00 to 1:30 pm ET both days
Targeting: Anyone Interested
Registration Deadline:  February 16, 2022
Cost: Fully Covered by the Synod of the Covenant

Science, like the church, is facing a reckoning as it comes to grips with scientific racism past and present. The human sciences – biology and psychology – are shedding light on what race is and how it impacts us, body and mind. The range of fields connected to medicine are learning the complicated and often ugly relationship between race and health. These are just a few of the ways science can inform and improve the conversation our churches have about race.

Boundaries Training

This boundaries training focuses on strategies to foster mental health, emotional resiliency, and well-being. While the essentials will still be covered, the best prevention is to encourage church leaders to take steps to manage their stress in order to maintain balance and perspective when temptation arises.

The Synod of the Covenant is sponsoring 3 Zoom boundaries trainings over the course of 2021. Each training will be 5 hours online via zoom, 2.5 hours each day for 2 consecutive days. Sign up for whichever one fits best into your schedule. (5 CEUs will be granted upon completion of the program.)

There is no cost for this training; participating presbyteries and the Synod are fully providing this experience for you.

May 18 and 19, 2021
10:00 am -12:30 pm Eastern each day

Registration Deadline 5/5/21

*This Session Primarily For Pastors/Teaching Elders/Commissioned Ruling Elders

August 18 and 19, 2021
6:00 – 8:30 pm Eastern each day

Registration Deadline 8/5/21

This session primarily for volunteer church leaders (e.g., ruling elders, youth/children ministry volunteers, personnel committee members, deacons, etc.)

November 9 and 10, 2021
10:00 am – 12:30 pm Eastern each day

Registration Deadline 11/01/21

This Session Primarily For Pastors/Teaching Elders/Commissioned Ruling Elders

Training for Committees on Ministry and Committees on Preparation for Ministry

This content of this workshop by Zoom will be developed in conjunction with participating presbyteries and LeaderWise staff, to be sure that specific needs and concerns are met among leaders serving on these two vital teams.

Costs:  The costs for this workshop are fully covered by participating presbyteries and the Synod.

Date:  October 13, 2021, 9:00 – 11:30 Eastern time by Zoom

Healthy Conflict, Healthy Church

Conflict abounds in church today. That’s not the problem, since no significant change happens without conflict. The problem arises in people’s inability to engage in healthy conflict. In this program, each participant will take the TKI (Thomas-Killman Conflict Mode Instrument) assessment, and then attend a ½ day workshop led by one LeaderWise staff person. In this Zoom workshop, we will explore the difference between healthy and dysfunctional conflict, learn about different conflict styles and when to use each, and explore one’s own strengths and opportunities for improving how they step into conflict.

Costs:  The costs for this workshop are fully covered by participating presbyteries and the Synod, but each TKI assessment has a cost per person of $35.  Please check with your presbytery staff to see how they might be subsidizing that cost.

Date:  Wednesday Sept 29, 2021, 9:00 – 12:00 Eastern time by Zoom

Registration Deadline: Sept 8, 20021

Racial Justice Training

In this day and age, we can’t afford to ignore the impact racism has had on our country and in our churches. Each of us needs to do our own work. In this program, each participant will take the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI), which is the premier assessment of cross-cultural acumen, have a 1:1 debrief with a LeaderWise psychologist, and then participate in a ½ day workshop for the group led by 2 LeaderWise staff members who are certified to administer and teach the IDI. During this Zoom workshop, participants will learn more deeply about cross-cultural competence; constructions in in diversity, equity, and inclusion; reflect on their own opportunities for increasing competence; and begin to create their own development plan for increasing their competence.

Costs:  The costs for the workshop are fully covered by participating presbyteries and the Synod, but each Intercultural Development Inventory has a cost per person for the individualized debrief. The cost for a one-half hour debrief is $150; please check with your presbytery staff to see how they might be subsidizing that cost.  An additional half hour debrief, for a total of 1 hour, costs an additional $70.  The Synod will subsidize this additional cost for the first 60 people who sign up for this seminar.

Dates to Keep in Mind
May 21, 2021: Participants must have completed the IDI (link sent to participant on or before May 15, or as soon as possible if the participant signs up after 5/15/21)

May 26, 2021, 1:30 to 4:30 Eastern Time by Zoom

By June 30, 2021:  All IDI Debriefs will be completed (to be scheduled soon after 5/26/21 workshop)

Becoming an Emotionally Intelligent Leader

Emotional Intelligence (EI) is the key to successful leadership in this day and age. EI is core to being an adaptive leader, is foundational to being resilient, and is required to effectively manage conflict. In this Zoom workshop, each participant will take the Emotional Quotient Inventory 2.0, and then attend a full-day workshop led by two LeaderWise staff members. In the workshop, participants will explore their own strengths and opportunities for growth from the lens of emotional intelligence, and will create an action plan for practicing new ways of being.

Costs: The costs for this workshop are fully covered by participating presbyteries and the Synod, but each Emotional Quotient Inventory 2.0 has a cost per person of $115. Eastminster Presbytery is fully subsidizing this expense; Detroit, Lake Michigan, and Miami Valley Presbyteries might also be offering a subsidy. Members of these presbyteries should contact their presbytery leaders to learn more. The other presbyteries throughout the Synod are not offering subsidies for the EQI 2.0.

Keep these dates in mind:

  • Registration Closed at Noon on 6/11 (so please advertise ASAP)
  • By 6/14 LeaderWise will send the link for participants to complete the Emotional Quotient Inventory 2.0 (EQI)
  • 6/17 all EQI’s must be submitted by participants
  • 6/18 Participants will receive EQI results and zoom link
  • 6/24 Workshop 9:00 to 3:00 ET, by Zoom

Questions?  Contact Interim Executive Chip Hardwick at 309-530-4578 or chip@synodofthecovenant.org.