Hot off the presses: Leadership Institute 2016-2017!

Photo courtesy of the Leadership Institute: Interim Ministry Seminar, 2015

Some of the many resources we offer at Union Presbyterian Seminary are seminars, continuing education opportunities and certification courses through our Leadership Institute.

In an effort to support graduating students, clergy-folk in the community and congregations as a whole, the Leadership Institute seeks to, “participate in the mission of the church by forming and equipping leaders for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ (Eph. 4:12). An increasingly complex church and world challenges leaders to develop fresh perspectives and skill”.

There are several offerings, each year, which appeal to both clergy and lay-folks alike. We welcome all who wish to learn, grow and fellowship with the sisters and brothers both near and far!

In our work as Church Relations Officers, my colleague and I have been keeping you abreast of the timeline for the release of the new schedule, and it is finally here!

Here are some highlights in programming for this coming year:

  • Start with Good News: Rediscovering the Why of Evangelism” Sept. 27-29, 2016
    • Before we even think about evangelistic strategies and outreach programs, church leaders and members need to relearn how to talk about the gospel and why it matters in our lives and in the world.
    • Led by Nikki MacMillan, Roger Ross, Anthony Smith, Jonathan Wilson-Hargrove and John Vest. 
  • “Strategic Planning in an Uncertain World” Oct. 17-20, 2016
    • This workshop will focus on the role of strategic planning in an adaptive context. Participants will be introduced to a variety of concepts and resources including creating an environment for change, building resiliency in the congregation, and tools which focus the heart of ministry in a target, measurable yet flexible way. Each participant will leave with seeds for a planning process which matches the style, timeline, and resources of his or her own church setting.
    • Led by Jill M. Hudson and Laurie Ferguson.
  • “Stewardship Comes in all Sizes, Shapes and Colors” Mar. 20-23, 2017
    • Every congregation has a story to tell, a story that reveals the mission and vision of the ministry of the congregation. Our stories are different because our congregations are different. In this workshop, we will explore the many ways to tell the story and share the mission and vision of a congregation with the various methods of talking about stewardship.
    • Led by Deborah Rexrode and Raymond Bonwell.
  • “Writing (Righting) Wrong: Memory, Resistance, Resilience” Apr. 4-6, 2017
    • In this workshop we will assess and redress the muted, masked, and mangled testimonies and the trans generational experiences of women, men and children whose ancestors were enslaved Africans. Instead of giving in to justified feelings of fury, our worship combines the anatomy of the idea with the genogram, in order to stabilize in writing how characteristics prevalent in the Black Church community are ingrained and shaped by memory, resistance, and resilience.
    • Led by Katie Geneva Cannon and Paula Owens Parker.

**New for the Fall 2016 program schedule from the Leadership Institute!**

  • “Pathways to Learning and Leadership” 2-year Program for CRE
    • The Leadership Institute has been hard at work envisioning ways for our seminary to equip church members for deeper discipleship, faith, and service.  Beginning in September, we will  offer five-week, online courses for church members and those interested in becoming Commissioned Ruling Elders.  There will be four courses offered in 2016-17, two in the fall and two in the spring, in Biblical Interpretation, Reformed Theology and Church History, The Christian Life, and The Mission of the Church.
    • Participants will meet with an instructor online for two hours each week, and learning will be supplemented with readings, online discussions, and practical application. 
    • Pathways to Learning and Leadership is a two-year program. Church members who complete both years (nine courses) will be awarded a certificate of completion.
    • Certified Ruling Elder candidates will work with their presbyteries to complete presbytery requirements toward becoming commissioned. 

In addition to those above mentioned opportunities, we have continued training and certification curricula on both Richmond and Charlotte campuses. Church Business Administration seminars will be hosted on our Richmond campus over the course of two weeks in July, and on our Charlotte campus in individual segments throughout both the Fall and Spring semesters. Christian Education Certification Courses (hybrid online and on-campus course) will begin in September 2016.

Finally, clergy resources will be available in Retirement Seminars, Interim Pastor Training, and Preaching the Gospel of Matthew. We hope you will take the time to carefully read and consider each of these wonderful offerings.

Join Professors John Carroll, Frances Taylor Gench and Richard W. Voelz for “The Gospel Of Matthew: Challenges and Resources for Preachers Today”

We are excited to share with you the 2016-2017 Leadership Institute offerings through our website (here) and via print mail!

If you wish to receive a printed catalog of offerings, please contact your respective Church Relations Officer: VA, WV, and DC churches should reach out to Nicole at and all others should reach out to Jordan at

Dates, locations, costs for registration and further details are listed online and in the printed brochure.

Should you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact the Leadership Institute at 1-800-229-2990 ext 301.

We hope to see you this year!



Nicole Childress Ball, Church Relations Officer



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