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.

Advanced Boundaries Training
Offered by LeaderWise
May 11-12, 2022
1:30 – 4:00 pm Eastern both days
Targeting: Teaching and Ruling Elders
Register: HERE
Registration Deadline: May 2, 2022
Cost: Fully covered by the Synod and Presbyteries

For pastors and other church leaders who’ve taken LeaderWise’s boundaries training in the past year, this advanced boundaries training offers leaders the opportunity to reflect on their experiences since the first training, and to delve deeper into topics covered in the training, as well as discuss topics such as triangulation, gender, leaving/retiring well, and other topics not previously covered.  (Learn about Introduction to Boundaries here.)

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

For some, “adaptive leadership” feels like a buzzword that everyone is throwing around. For others, it’s a brand new concept. 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 pastors 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. Participants will be in assigned small groups that will meet during the workshop, and encouraged to support each other outside of the workshop time too.

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
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!

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
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?

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

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

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.