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Vibrant Faith MasterClasses

Move Ministry Leaders from knowledge to Action

We’re living out our calling to ministry in a time of rapid change. We know we need to be nimble, but how do we keep up with new realities and put the latest research into action? Bridging the gap between learning and action is what Vibrant Faith MasterClasses are all about.

Over the course of two 90-minute interactive online sessions, MasterClass Instructors distill new learnings into training experiences that make it easy for participants like you to learn, practice, and use new tools to fuel ministry reinvention.

A MasterClass Includes:

  • Two 90-minute, interactive sessions led by an expert Instructor
  • A private course page on Catalyst, our online learning community, to ask questions, interact with colleagues and instructors, and access additional resources
  • An office hour with the Instructor after the second session—to ask deeper questions and dialogue about the topic.

What You Gain from a MasterClass:

  • New insights into the topic that shift your perspective
  • A clear path to implement what you’re learning, with a tool-kit of action steps
  • Renewed energy and momentum for ministry reinvention
  • New colleagues in ministry who share your same concerns and are driven by your same hopes

There are 3 ways to Enjoy Masterclasses

Choose Yours

Coaching is now part of the MasterClass Experience

When you attend a Masterclass, we want to see you put your new learnings into action.

That’s why we’re offering a coaching opportunity as part of your MasterClass Pass experience.  When you purchase a Fall 2022 Season Pass you’ll receive 2 free coaching sessions (1 free session for a Select Series Pass) for yourself or another team member. Your sessions will be available through January 30, 2023, and you’ll receive a link to sign up with a coach after you purchase your pass.

What Makes Vibrant Faith Coaches Stand Out?

Our Vibrant Faith Coaches have ICF (international coaching federation) certification. ICF is a 3rd party credentialing organization that verifies that Vibrant Faith has trained coaches to a set standard and that coaching graduates have fully mastered several core competencies:

  • Coaching presence allows coaching professionals to create and nurture a spontaneous relationship with each client through open, flexible, and confident communications.
  • Active listening ensures that the coach listens to and hears the client’s questions and concerns, allowing them to respond with a meaningful response and solution.
  • Powerful reasoning and questioning when clients share their concerns allow coaches to pause and think critically to search for a meaningful solution.
  • Direct communication skills mean that a coach answers and offers insights politely and directly without talking around the subject and causing additional confusion.
  • Creating awareness of alternative answers and solutions to those that are most obvious in the moment. A strong coach will consider other options that might directly impact the client, as opposed to the standard industry solution or their personal response.

When you work with a Vibrant Faith Coach, you can rest assured your coach completed more than 100 hours of training and coaching practice and that Vibrant Faith Coaching School faculty met or exceeded the ICF standards for coaching education.

Vibrant Faith Coaches are known as leaders in their fields. They’ve written books, pastored churches, spoken at conferences, and navigated similar experiences to you. They lean into your life and ministry with lived experience that leads to lasting transformation faster than working with a consultant or mentor.

Vibrant Faith Coaches work from their calling. The fields Vibrant Coaches work in are fields of calling. They believe that God has formed each of their lives and experience and to impact the lives and calling of clients like you.

Finally, Coaching leaves you in the driver’s seat. You know your church and your ministry best. A coach comes alongside you, and helps you bring out the best of your faith community to affect change that has generational impact.

Course Catalog- Fall 2022

Shannon Hopkins

5 Keys to ‘Measurement’ In Ministry

Wednesday, September 7 & 14 2022

12:00 - 1:30 PM EST

This course is an interactive learning workshop that will help you understand WHY real change is hard to measure, and explore the difference between financial and social change in a ministry context. I’ll help you name the type of change you’re seeking to make, describe that change, then use four simple and innovative measurement tools to help leverage that desired change in partnership with your community and with God. You’ll learn how to communicate impact to your congregation, and dive into the principles and practices you need to start your measurement journey. This is a quick-but-deep dive into a way of thinking that will launch you in the right direction.
Charity Starchenko

Crafting a Sustainable Digital Strategy In Your Church

Wednesday, September 21 & 28, 2022

12:00 - 1:30 PM EST

What could you accomplish as a church if you had a digital presence that “spoke hope” over your community instead of billboarding transactional events? Relative to church “marketing,” most conventional strategies are based on getting… Getting better attendance, getting more financial benefit from attendance, getting more attention, and so on. But these strategies require a lot of work, feel gimmicky, and are often inauthentic. The truth is that God builds and sustains churches from a place of giving… Giving his life, so we can fully live into ours as we walk in his way. Our digital strategies must find their source in the act of giving—hope, community, and personal transformation. But how do we even begin to do that? In this course, we’ll look at it takes to build a digital presence that comes from a place of giving, and not getting.
Adam Young

How Trauma & Attachment Theory Impact Faith Formation

Wednesdays, October 5 & 12, 2022

12:00 - 1:00 PM EST

In this two-part MasterClass, trauma therapist Adam Young, host of the podcast The Place We Find Ourselves (in the top 20 of most-listened-to religious podcasts in America), will explain how trauma and attachment science can inform church ministry. We will begin by defining developmental trauma and explaining the “Big Six”—six things every child needs from his or her parents. From there Adam will provide an overview of attachment, including both avoidant and ambivalent attachment styles. In Part 2, we will look at how our attachment style profoundly influences our relationship with God and how the church can incorporate trauma and attachment science into approaches to ministry. (NOTE: This MasterClass will be made up of two 60-minute sessions instead of two 90-minute sessions.)

Jim LaDoux
Nathan-Swenson-Reinhold-vibrant-faith-coach
Rev. Dr. Nathan
Swenson-Reinhold

Coaching Paid & Volunteer Leadership Teams

Thursday, October 6 & 13, 2022

12:00 - 1:30 PM EST

Coaching strategies, practices, and tools can transform how pastors and church leaders empower their leaders and teams to discern God’s intentions, draw out people’s wisdom, clarify roles and goals, and create a culture of creativity and accountability. This class will help leaders reframe conversations in ways that celebrate strengths, rethink norms, and reimagine ministry in new ways. Specifically, this class will equip participants to…
  • Ask better questions
  • Listen actively
  • Evoke new awareness, and
  • Facilitate ongoing growth of their leaders and teams.
This course is led by the Rev. Dr. Nathan Swenson-Reinhold, one of Vibrant Faith’s trainers and coaches, and Jim LaDoux, who oversees Vibrant Faith’s Coaching Services. The course will be seasoned with illustrations, live demonstrations, case studies, and practical tips that participants can learn from and replicate in their own ministry settings.
Dr. Nancy Going

What’s Really Happening with Faith Formation at Home

Wednesdays, October 19 & 26, 2022

12:00 - 1:30 PM EST

We experience the best ministry moments, like the best moments in our best relationships, like unplanned miracles. The transformation we long to see in others’ lives often happensin spite of our best-laid plans and programs. But what if you could plan for these unplanned moments of transformation? And what if your impact as a ministry leader expanded exponentially because you learned how to follow where Jesus is leading in the moment, not simply follow your notes? And what if you discovered the skills that improv comedians have learned to maximize every interaction in your ministry? When we learn to lead others into “miracle moments,” the fruit is more powerful than a well-delivered message or lesson. This course is an immersive experience that delivers a hands-on experience in transformational ministry leadership. I’ll show you how to maximize the planned and predictable elements of your program with an infusion of improvisational leadership skills—this combination naturally leads to transformation in others’ lives and intimacy in their relationship with Jesus. Through innovative and highly engaging activities, hands-on experiences and feedback, and interactive learning, you’ll not only learn how to invite more of “improv” moments in your ministry, but grow in your ability to respond with impact in others’ lives.
Dr. Amy Jacober

Intentionally Small: Learning From the Advantages of Smaller Churches

Thursday, October 20 & 27, 2022

12:00 - 1:30 PM EST

The history of the church is small. A small church is typically defined as fewer than 200 actively participating in the congregation, but often looks more like 30 to 65 members. Despite our increasingly networked world, research shows that we are more disconnected than previous generations, except within a small church. Everyone notices when you walk in AND when you are not there. This is connection. This is belonging. This is part of the beauty of a small church. Smaller churches face their own challenges, of course, but those challenges scale with church size. This MasterClass does NOT pit one size church against another. Rather, it affirms small church as an historic expression of Christian community and as particularly apt for the 21st century. In this course we’ll explore best practices for those who lead intentionally small churches. And we’ll explore how small church can be a powerful response to modern and post-modern society. It is nimble. It is creative. It is collaborative. It is powerful and a force for hope. Small church has survived for centuries and isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Jonny Baker

Releasing Your Inner Entrepreneur: Skills That Fuel a Missional Church

Wednesday, November 9 & 16, 2022

12:00 - 1:30 PM EST

Ministry used to be straightforward—teaching, leading worship, and pastoral care. Now it is anything but… With so much change infiltrating our “normal,” a new set of entrepreneurial skills is required to be adaptive and responsive in this new environment.

This MasterClass will explore four areas of practice: 1) See, 2) Build, 3) Be You, 4) Change.

“Seeing” is about noticing a possibility, an idea, or a way things could be better or new of different. “Building” is making something happen out of what you see. And Building goes best when it’s fueled by the gift of who God has made you to be, all the while navigating Change. Expect a mix of stories, inspiration, and practical tools drawing on the experience of working with and enabling “Ministry Pioneers” in the UK over the last 20 years.

Tamara Murphy

How to Embed Spiritual-Direction Practices In Your Church

Thursdays, November 10 & 17, 2022

12:00 - 1:30 PM EST

So much of our ministry life is formed in a “doing” model—gathering for worship and fellowship, giving service and resources, counseling, equipping, and teaching fill our calendars and our time together. In these normal activities of church life, we most often follow a pre-determined curriculum for continued life and growth in Jesus. Spiritual direction is a practice that flips the perspective from doing to being, from spoken communication to active listening, and from creating agendas to creating space for silence and honest questions. At its core, spiritual direction is growing in our capacity to be with God and to bear witness to God’s movement in our lives. The gifts that come from spiritual direction might be the simplest and most needed for parishioners of every age and season of life, particularly as we emerge from the collective suffering of global pandemic and upheaval. In this class, I’ll offer practical and pastoral guidance needed to not only embed spiritual direction in our church ministries but to also experience, firsthand, simple but meaningful practices of silence and listening to Jesus, each other, and our own hearts.
Denise Utter

Engage Every Family! Integrating Faith Formation Into Congregational Life

Wednesday, November 30, 2022 | Wednesday, December 7, 2022

12:00 - 1:30 PM EST

We experience the best ministry moments, like the best moments in our best relationships, like unplanned miracles. The transformation we long to see in others’ lives often happensin spite of our best-laid plans and programs. But what if you could plan for these unplanned moments of transformation? And what if your impact as a ministry leader expanded exponentially because you learned how to follow where Jesus is leading in the moment, not simply follow your notes? And what if you discovered the skills that improv comedians have learned to maximize every interaction in your ministry? When we learn to lead others into “miracle moments,” the fruit is more powerful than a well-delivered message or lesson. This course is an immersive experience that delivers a hands-on experience in transformational ministry leadership. I’ll show you how to maximize the planned and predictable elements of your program with an infusion of improvisational leadership skills—this combination naturally leads to transformation in others’ lives and intimacy in their relationship with Jesus. Through innovative and highly engaging activities, hands-on experiences and feedback, and interactive learning, you’ll not only learn how to invite more of “improv” moments in your ministry, but grow in your ability to respond with impact in others’ lives.
Danica Olsen

Vocational Parenting: Expecting More, Harvesting More With Parents

Thursdays, December 1 & 8, 2022

12:00 - 1:30 PM EST

Vocational parenting is an approach to faith formation that is about moving beyond education to formation that leads to transformation. In order to accomplish this, we need to move beyond faith formation as a set of programs to create and nurture a whole culture — an “ecosystem” of faith formation that begins in children’s and youth’s primary and foundational relationships, their parents. We believe that heart and hands must accompany head in one’s faith journey, so in addition to the classroom learning, this model of ministry seeks to create opportunities for faith mentoring, faith socializing, and even faith surfing by tapping into the life experiences of multiple generations. We operate under the conviction that the content of faith has no traction outside of faith-based relationships. In this course you’ll learn some of the ways our church leaders have partnered with parents to jump into vocational ministry models, and some of the on-the-ground practices that are a part of it. Raising the bar rather than lowering it invites our families to dig deep, and integrate what they’re learning into their daily family rhythms. 

Select Course Series - $199

Choose a short series in your specialty.
Faith Formation covers children and youth, and related topics.
Vibrant Congregations covers topics related to Leadership and Organizational Development.

  • Access for you and up to 7 team members to all classes in the series
  • A private Course Page for each course
  • Access to all recordings in the series, and resources from each class in the series for a year.
Vibrant Congrigations
Faith Formation

SEASON PASS - $299​

Enjoy all 10 Classes for the current Season.
  • Access for you and up to 14 team members to all classes in the season
  • A private Course Page for each course
  • Access to all recordings and resources from each course in the Summer/Fall 2022 season for a year.

Meet Our Instructors

Shannon Hopkins is the co-founder and the Lead Cultivator of RootedGood, a nonprofit based in the U.S. that empowers institutions, social enterprises and entrepreneurs to create systemic change. A Texas native, in 2004 Shannon moved to London and founded the nonprofit Matryoshka Haus. In 2020, Matryoshka Haus became three organizations, including the U.S.-based RootedGood. Hopkins has launched or influenced the formation of 15 campaigns, projects, and organizations and trained over 200 social entrepreneurs. In 2008, Shannon was awarded the Women of the UN and the UK’s Annual Woman of Peace Award for “The Truth isn’t Sexy,” a campaign that addressed the demand side of human trafficking.

Charity Starchenko
With 10 years of experience in marketing, specializing in local businesses and church, Charity’s specialty lies in helping ministry leaders and churches develop and maintain sustainable, life-giving digital presences and communication strategies. She loves working with churches to think through vision and mission statements and using them create cultures of welcome and hope that invite newcomers to walk fully in the way of Jesus. Charity holds degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, and California State University. She is currently the Marketing Manager at Vibrant Faith and writes about marketing and theology on the web at charityanne.co. In her free time, Charity enjoys walking, hiking, reading, TV, great conversation, and lunch with friends. She splits her time between Cary, NC, and Winter Harbor, Maine, where she lives with her husband, two children, and a grumpy dog.
Follow: charityanne.co, IG: Charitystarchenko, Twitter (retweets only) @charityanneco

Adam Young is a therapist who focuses on trauma and abuse. He’s the host of The Place We Find Ourselves podcast. He lives in Fort Collins, Colorado, with his wife Caroline and two children, a daughter (14) and a son (11). Adam is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) with a Master’s degree in Social Work (Virginia Commonwealth University) and Divinity (Emory University). He is also certified in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). Adam is an Allender Center Fellow, and enjoys mountain biking, skiing, soccer, and windsurfing.
Jim LaDoux lives in Burnsville, MN and is on the Vibrant Faith leadership team since 2003. He currently oversees our coaching program. Jim has been a coach since 1992. He has a Master of Management Arts specializing in organizational development and is a certified PCC (Professional Certified Coach) in Training. Jim has been part of church staff for Lutheran, Methodist and Presbyterian congregations. In his spare time, Jim likes to travel, go hiking, and biking. Jim is author of Surface To Soul: Coaching Spiritual Vitality in Congregations, and he created the Vibrant Faith Coaching School Manual.
Nathan-Swenson-Reinhold-vibrant-faith-coach
Rev. Dr. Nathan Swenson-Reinhold, D.Min, lives in Fairfax, Virginia. He is the lead pastor of a multi-site congregation in Northern Virginia. A coach for nearly two decades, he holds an International Coach Federation credential as a Professional Certified Coach (PCC). He has a Doctor of Ministry in leadership, culture, and change. Nathan is a coach/trainer for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Coach Coordinator for the Metropolitan Washington, D.C. Synod, and the owner of Summit Coaching and Behavioral Consulting LLC. Nathan is also a Certified Behavioral Consultant (DISC), and enjoys pen-turning, car-detailing, reading science fiction, and playing acoustic guitar.

Dr. Amy Jacober is a fierce advocate of under-served populations. She earned a PhD in theology while always asking “so what”? This led to a lifetime of teaching and learning in practical theology. She has spent decades serving bi-vocationally as a professor and pastor, serving youth in churches big and small, and advocating for the belonging of those with disabilities. She has an MSW as well, which informs how she lives out her faith individually and collectively. She gets to serve alongside her husband in a small church while having their own small tribe of three children and an overactive dog at home. She recognizes the need for sustainability and long-term self-care by making time to hike, travel, play board games, and cook from scratch.

Dr. Nancy Going is Vibrant Faith’s Director of Research and Resource Development—she was the organization’s Executive Director for six years. She’s one of the directors of Vibrant Faith’s Thriving Congregations Initiative, funded and guided by the Lilly Foundation. She has spent her career in ministry leadership with youth, and she still loves working with kids as a volunteer any chance she gets. Nancy came on board the Vibrant Faith team in 2014 after teaching and providing leadership at Luther Seminary in the Children Youth and Family Ministry Masters Degree Distributed Learning Program. She has authored articles, curriculum, and contributed to books. Nancy lives in Nashville with her husband Art, an Anglican priest. They have launched two new families from their children. You can connect with Nancy at ngoing@vibrantfaith.org
Jonny Baker has spent his life innovating, training, and enabling others to build entrepreneurial ministries out of what they see and imagine. He set up the Pioneer Training at Church Mission Society (CMS) in England, which has catalyzed all sorts of wonderful pioneering mission initiatives. He is Director of Mission at CMS in Britain. During the pandemic lockdown he wrote the full-color book Pioneer Practice and is looking forward to sharing some of the ideas and stories from that. The book is available from getsidetracked.co

Tamara Murphy
Tamara Murphy delights in helping those who are weary or burdened by the unexamined practices of their faith listen for the fresh invitations of Jesus to watch, walk, and work with him in unforced rhythms of grace. In addition to practicing Spiritual Direction in one-on-one and group settings, Tamara is a freelance writer, mother, and grandmother. She lives with her husband Brian, an Anglican priest, in Bridgeport, CT. Tamara is a Selah fellow with Leadership Transformations, Inc. and a lay leader within the Anglican Church of North America. She’s been a guest on several podcasts, including The Intersection Podcast and Englewood Review of Books. Tamara’s writing has appeared in Plough, Think Christian, and The Englewood Review of Books. Her book The Spacious Path: Practicing Rhythms of Rest in a Fragmented World will be published by Herald Press in Spring 2023. You can find Tamara at her website (tamarahillmurphy.com) and on Instagram (@a_sacramental_life).

Dannica Olsen
With more than 18 years of ministry experience, Dannica Olsen loves to meet ministry challenges with creativity and is always looking for new ways for families to authentically experience the presence and nearness of God in their daily lives. She graduated from Luther Seminary (’09) with a Masters in Children, Youth and Family Ministry and has been in the same congregation, innovating and reimagining ministry with youth and their families for the past 13 years. Dannica is a member of the ELCA Youth Ministry Network’s Podcast team, Third Tuesday Conversation, and serves as a Director for Synod Gathering Champions for the ELCA Youth Gathering. She lives with her husband, Patrick and their two young children, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Denise Utter is a speaker, coach, writer, and the author of Engage Every Family! A Parish Guide to Integrated Faith Formation (from Twenty Third Publications available late summer 2022). She works with church leaders at the diocesan and parish level, exploring new approaches to faith formation that promise to encourage, empower and equip parents, and invigorate faith communities. Her other publications include articles for Catechetical Leader, Catechist Magazine, Take Out: Our Faith on the Go! (OSV) and Vibrant Faith’s online Catalyst. She has written online curriculum for Our Sunday Visitor, Center for Ministry Development, and the Archdiocese of Chicago. She has over 30 years of experience in field of education and ministry, having a B.S. in Education and a Master of Arts degree in Pastoral Studies from the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. Denise lives in Chicago with her husband, Rob. They have three adult children and one grandson.

Course Catalog- Fall 2022

Shannon Hopkins

5 Keys to ‘Measurement’ In Ministry

Wednesday, September 7 & 14 2022

12:00 - 1:30 PM EST

This course is an interactive learning workshop that will help you understand WHY real change is hard to measure, and explore the difference between financial and social change in a ministry context. I’ll help you name the type of change you’re seeking to make, describe that change, then use four simple and innovative measurement tools to help leverage that desired change in partnership with your community and with God. You’ll learn how to communicate impact to your congregation, and dive into the principles and practices you need to start your measurement journey. This is a quick-but-deep dive into a way of thinking that will launch you in the right direction.
Charity Starchenko

Crafting a Sustainable Digital Strategy In Your Church

Wednesday, September 21 & 28, 2022

12:00 - 1:30 PM EST

What could you accomplish as a church if you had a digital presence that “spoke hope” over your community instead of billboarding transactional events? Relative to church “marketing,” most conventional strategies are based on getting… Getting better attendance, getting more financial benefit from attendance, getting more attention, and so on. But these strategies require a lot of work, feel gimmicky, and are often inauthentic. The truth is that God builds and sustains churches from a place of giving… Giving his life, so we can fully live into ours as we walk in his way. Our digital strategies must find their source in the act of giving—hope, community, and personal transformation. But how do we even begin to do that? In this course, we’ll look at it takes to build a digital presence that comes from a place of giving, and not getting.
Adam Young

How Trauma & Attachment Theory Impact Faith Formation

Wednesdays, October 5 & 12, 2022

12:00 - 1:00 PM EST

In this two-part MasterClass, trauma therapist Adam Young, host of the podcast The Place We Find Ourselves (in the top 20 of most-listened-to religious podcasts in America), will explain how trauma and attachment science can inform church ministry. We will begin by defining developmental trauma and explaining the “Big Six”—six things every child needs from his or her parents. From there Adam will provide an overview of attachment, including both avoidant and ambivalent attachment styles. In Part 2, we will look at how our attachment style profoundly influences our relationship with God and how the church can incorporate trauma and attachment science into approaches to ministry. (NOTE: This MasterClass will be made up of two 60-minute sessions instead of two 90-minute sessions.)

Jim LaDoux
Nathan-Swenson-Reinhold-vibrant-faith-coach
Rev. Dr. Nathan
Swenson-Reinhold

Coaching Paid & Volunteer Leadership Teams

Thursday, October 6 & 13, 2022

12:00 - 1:30 PM EST

Coaching strategies, practices, and tools can transform how pastors and church leaders empower their leaders and teams to discern God’s intentions, draw out people’s wisdom, clarify roles and goals, and create a culture of creativity and accountability. This class will help leaders reframe conversations in ways that celebrate strengths, rethink norms, and reimagine ministry in new ways. Specifically, this class will equip participants to…
  • Ask better questions
  • Listen actively
  • Evoke new awareness, and
  • Facilitate ongoing growth of their leaders and teams.
This course is led by the Rev. Dr. Nathan Swenson-Reinhold, one of Vibrant Faith’s trainers and coaches, and Jim LaDoux, who oversees Vibrant Faith’s Coaching Services. The course will be seasoned with illustrations, live demonstrations, case studies, and practical tips that participants can learn from and replicate in their own ministry settings.
Dr. Nancy Going

What’s Really Happening with Faith Formation at Home

Wednesdays, October 19 & 26, 2022

12:00 - 1:30 PM EST

We experience the best ministry moments, like the best moments in our best relationships, like unplanned miracles. The transformation we long to see in others’ lives often happensin spite of our best-laid plans and programs. But what if you could plan for these unplanned moments of transformation? And what if your impact as a ministry leader expanded exponentially because you learned how to follow where Jesus is leading in the moment, not simply follow your notes? And what if you discovered the skills that improv comedians have learned to maximize every interaction in your ministry? When we learn to lead others into “miracle moments,” the fruit is more powerful than a well-delivered message or lesson. This course is an immersive experience that delivers a hands-on experience in transformational ministry leadership. I’ll show you how to maximize the planned and predictable elements of your program with an infusion of improvisational leadership skills—this combination naturally leads to transformation in others’ lives and intimacy in their relationship with Jesus. Through innovative and highly engaging activities, hands-on experiences and feedback, and interactive learning, you’ll not only learn how to invite more of “improv” moments in your ministry, but grow in your ability to respond with impact in others’ lives.
Dr. Amy Jacober

Intentionally Small: Learning From the Advantages of Smaller Churches

Thursday, October 20 & 27, 2022

12:00 - 1:30 PM EST

The history of the church is small. A small church is typically defined as fewer than 200 actively participating in the congregation, but often looks more like 30 to 65 members. Despite our increasingly networked world, research shows that we are more disconnected than previous generations, except within a small church. Everyone notices when you walk in AND when you are not there. This is connection. This is belonging. This is part of the beauty of a small church. Smaller churches face their own challenges, of course, but those challenges scale with church size. This MasterClass does NOT pit one size church against another. Rather, it affirms small church as an historic expression of Christian community and as particularly apt for the 21st century. In this course we’ll explore best practices for those who lead intentionally small churches. And we’ll explore how small church can be a powerful response to modern and post-modern society. It is nimble. It is creative. It is collaborative. It is powerful and a force for hope. Small church has survived for centuries and isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Jonny Baker

Releasing Your Inner Entrepreneur: Skills That Fuel a Missional Church

Wednesday, November 9 & 16, 2022

12:00 - 1:30 PM EST

Ministry used to be straightforward—teaching, leading worship, and pastoral care. Now it is anything but… With so much change infiltrating our “normal,” a new set of entrepreneurial skills is required to be adaptive and responsive in this new environment.

This MasterClass will explore four areas of practice: 1) See, 2) Build, 3) Be You, 4) Change.

“Seeing” is about noticing a possibility, an idea, or a way things could be better or new of different. “Building” is making something happen out of what you see. And Building goes best when it’s fueled by the gift of who God has made you to be, all the while navigating Change. Expect a mix of stories, inspiration, and practical tools drawing on the experience of working with and enabling “Ministry Pioneers” in the UK over the last 20 years.

Tamara Murphy

How to Embed Spiritual-Direction Practices In Your Church

Thursdays, November 10 & 17, 2022

12:00 - 1:30 PM EST

So much of our ministry life is formed in a “doing” model—gathering for worship and fellowship, giving service and resources, counseling, equipping, and teaching fill our calendars and our time together. In these normal activities of church life, we most often follow a pre-determined curriculum for continued life and growth in Jesus. Spiritual direction is a practice that flips the perspective from doing to being, from spoken communication to active listening, and from creating agendas to creating space for silence and honest questions. At its core, spiritual direction is growing in our capacity to be with God and to bear witness to God’s movement in our lives. The gifts that come from spiritual direction might be the simplest and most needed for parishioners of every age and season of life, particularly as we emerge from the collective suffering of global pandemic and upheaval. In this class, I’ll offer practical and pastoral guidance needed to not only embed spiritual direction in our church ministries but to also experience, firsthand, simple but meaningful practices of silence and listening to Jesus, each other, and our own hearts.
Denise Utter

Engage Every Family! Integrating Faith Formation Into Congregational Life

Wednesday, November 30, 2022 | Wednesday, December 7, 2022

12:00 - 1:30 PM EST

We experience the best ministry moments, like the best moments in our best relationships, like unplanned miracles. The transformation we long to see in others’ lives often happensin spite of our best-laid plans and programs. But what if you could plan for these unplanned moments of transformation? And what if your impact as a ministry leader expanded exponentially because you learned how to follow where Jesus is leading in the moment, not simply follow your notes? And what if you discovered the skills that improv comedians have learned to maximize every interaction in your ministry? When we learn to lead others into “miracle moments,” the fruit is more powerful than a well-delivered message or lesson. This course is an immersive experience that delivers a hands-on experience in transformational ministry leadership. I’ll show you how to maximize the planned and predictable elements of your program with an infusion of improvisational leadership skills—this combination naturally leads to transformation in others’ lives and intimacy in their relationship with Jesus. Through innovative and highly engaging activities, hands-on experiences and feedback, and interactive learning, you’ll not only learn how to invite more of “improv” moments in your ministry, but grow in your ability to respond with impact in others’ lives.
Danica Olsen

Vocational Parenting: Expecting More, Harvesting More With Parents

Thursdays, December 1 & 8, 2022

12:00 - 1:30 PM EST

Vocational parenting is an approach to faith formation that is about moving beyond education to formation that leads to transformation. In order to accomplish this, we need to move beyond faith formation as a set of programs to create and nurture a whole culture — an “ecosystem” of faith formation that begins in children’s and youth’s primary and foundational relationships, their parents. We believe that heart and hands must accompany head in one’s faith journey, so in addition to the classroom learning, this model of ministry seeks to create opportunities for faith mentoring, faith socializing, and even faith surfing by tapping into the life experiences of multiple generations. We operate under the conviction that the content of faith has no traction outside of faith-based relationships. In this course you’ll learn some of the ways our church leaders have partnered with parents to jump into vocational ministry models, and some of the on-the-ground practices that are a part of it. Raising the bar rather than lowering it invites our families to dig deep, and integrate what they’re learning into their daily family rhythms. 

SEASON PASS - $299​

Enjoy all 10 Classes for the current Season.
  • Access for you and up to 14 team members to all classes in the season
  • A private Course Page for each course
  • Access to all recordings and resources from each course in the Summer/Fall 2022 season for a year.

Select Course Series - $199

Choose a short series in your specialty.
Faith Formation covers children and youth, and related topics.
Vibrant Congregations covers topics related to Leadership and Organizational Development.

  • Access for you and up to 7 team members to all classes in the series
  • A private Course Page for each course
  • Access to all recordings in the series, and resources from each class in the series for a year.
Vibrant Congrigations
Faith Formation