Online Courses and Workshops

Courses and Workshops poster with photo of a woman listening to a lecture

Our dynamic, expansive, and practical courses and workshop are designed to help clergy and lay leaders deepen their spiritual lives and enhance their ministry. We warmly welcome all leaders from all backgrounds and denominations to join us.

Courses Sliding Scale: $75, $125, $175
Workshops: Free Will Offering
Preaching Intensives Sliding Scale: $155, $175, $195
Generous scholarships also available. Email us for information.

Three-Part Workshop
From Fear, Rage, & Meanness to Trust, Serenity, & Compassion: Contemplative Practice as a Resource for Peacemaking
The Rev’d Masud Ibn Syedullah, TSSF
September 24, October 1, and October 8, 12:00–2:00 pm

In such a time as this, rife with seeming irreconcilable differences and points of view fueling social upheaval and violence, religious leaders face the challenge of personally living into the Christ-centered principle of loving our neighbor – all our neighbors – as well as guiding the communities we serve to do the same. This three-part series draws from the roots of Christian biblical and contemplative spiritual traditions, as well as insights of depth psychology and interreligious Wisdom traditions to assist individuals make the spiritual, emotional, and ethical transition from destructive community-denying attitudes and actions to community-affirming ones – even with people with whom we do not agree.
Learn more and register.

Leading People Through Difficult Decisions
The Rev’d Angela Gorrell, PhD
October 7, 14, 21, & 28, 11:00 am–1:00 pm

People often go to spiritual leaders for guidance when they are at a crossroads, are feeling an internal conflict, or have gone through a crucible experience or crisis. This course provides a process that you can use to guide others who are trying to figure out what to do or to help yourself if you are trying to make a difficult decision or transition. Based on research on discernment methods, stories of people throughout history who have made difficult decisions, and interviews of people who have made hard choices, this course provides a helpful and creative journey for helping people you lead to choose a wise way forward, with God.

Praying with the Mystics
The Rev’d Hillary Raining, DMin
November 4, 11, 18, & 25, 12:00–2:00 pm

Christianity is in a time of major transition brought about by changes in culture, technology, politics, and pandemic. At times, it can feel like there are very few resources to help guide spiritual leaders through these moments. Thankfully, we have the mystical tradition to help us find a way to God and evolve in our faith. This seminary-level class will reach back to some of the most important figures of the mystic tradition. Their wisdom will help us look forward to the future.

Residential Training
Executive Certificate in Religious Fundraising
The Rev’d Nathan Kirkpatrick and Meredith McNabb

November 12–14, 2024, Mercy by the Sea Retreat Center

The Executive Certificate in Religious Fundraising (ECRF), offered in partnership with the Lake Institute on Faith and Giving, is designed for religious leaders in faith-based organizations and institutions who wish to learn more about the spirituality of fundraising and gain a core foundation in fundraising principles. The ECRF is sponsored by Berkeley Divinity School at Yale and held at Mercy by the Sea retreat center in Madison, CT. The ECRF covers four key topics and includes select required reading to be completed in advance and the completion of a final project.

Learn more and register.

Intrapersonal Conflict Management for Faith Leaders
Ryan Dunlap
November 19, 2024, 12:00–2:00 pm

Faith leaders are often adept in assisting others navigating challenges of intrapersonal conflict, which can impede personal growth and development. Paradoxically, these leaders often find it difficult to apply the same level of proficiency to address their own internal conflicts. Consequently, they bear unresolved tension and discord, which may adversely affect those under their care. This training program is crafted to empower leaders in surmounting intrapersonal conflict issues. It offers participants a comprehensive examination of the impact of their communication, conduct, and character on others, coupled with a structured framework for personal advancement. Throughout the workshop, attendees will delve into the 3-Core Pillars of the Real Tact Model®, elucidating the roles of self-awareness, self-confidence, and self-control in mitigating their contributions to conflicts.

Beyond Crisis: Crafting a Proactive Communication Blueprint for Churches
Helen Osman
January 7, 14, 21, & 28, 2025, 12:00–2:00 pm

If you are in the midst of a crisis and thinking about communications, you’re too late. When you are trying to dodge the “stuff” that’s already flying, it is not a good time to consider how to be proactive in positioning your church in a positive light! Strategic communications involves more than preaching and fliers. It is a holistic strategy that considers who your core stakeholders and audiences are, what message resonates with them, and how you can take advantage of modern technology to dialogue with them. This four-session course offers a strategic and theological consideration of communications, as well as practical standards, tools, and resources for church leaders to implement a strategic communications plan. 

Soul Care: Practical, Evidence-Based Practices for Clergy and Lay Leaders
Rae Jean Proeschold-Bell, PhD
January 21, 2025 12:00-2:00 pm

Ministering to others requires heartfelt connection and can be life-giving and rewarding beyond measure. Yet many of today’s systems, including those involving churches, make it hard for clergy and lay leaders to sustain themselves in ministry work for the long-term. Since 2007, the Duke Clergy Health Initiative has been identifying, testing, and promoting ways to prevent burnout and foster flourishing for Christian clergy. In this course, you will try out several practices that have been tested and shown to improve the health and well-being of clergy. You will also learn about a curriculum for church personnel committees that can improve communication, trust, and open-hearted reflection among lay leaders, for the betterment of the church. 

Conflict Management for Faith Leaders
Ryan Dunlap
February 4, 11, 18, & 25, 2025, 12:00–2:00 pm

This transformative four-week course, tailored for faith leaders, is expressly formulated to enhance leadership capabilities in both self-management and the facilitation of conflict resolution within faith-based organizations. The course curriculum delves into the nuanced challenges unique to such organizations, encompassing topics such as the potential drawbacks associated with a grace culture, intricacies surrounding conflict arising from strong belief systems and ideologies, inadequately structured internal reporting mechanisms, and the imperative for specialized conflict management strategies. Each week of the course is dedicated to an in-depth examination of a distinct facet of conflict management. The curriculum spans the exploration of conflict management systems, the reinforcement of conflict management and resolution skills, and an analysis of the intricacies involved in cultivating effective conflict management practices.

Two-Part Workshop
Rabbi Elan Babchuck
Introduction to Spiritual Entrepreneurship
March 11 and 18, 2025, 12:00–2:00 pm

Part I: Cultivating an Entrepreneurial Spirit
In the first of two workshops, we will explore some of the recent trends in spiritual entrepreneurship, most notably the remarkable growth of faith-rooted social impact organizations that have burst onto the religion scene over the last decade.
Part II: Move Slow and Fix Things
In today’s America, we have accepted leadership practices rooted in coercion and charisma, and our work during this session will be to deconstruct those models and collaboratively craft a more dignified, humane, and grounded model.