Exploring mental health and the church, helping clergy overcome loneliness, empowering leaders, and preventing childhood sexual abuse are among the leadership development workshops being offered during 2023 by the Synod of the Covenant.
The Synod’s overarching theme is “In our Synod, we’ll try anything to equip leaders who attend to God’s creative, emerging future.”
Working toward that goal, the Synod is offering the following programs. Unless noted, there is no direct cost for participants to attend a program. The costs are covered through a partnership between the Synod and its member presbyteries.
Science, The Church and Mental Health
A three-part series offered in partnership with Science for the Church to consider how the church might better understand and address the current mental health crisis. The series includes:
- Thursday, March 9, 2023 at 1 p.m. – Science for the Church’s co-director, Drew Rick Miller, will evaluate research to answer the question – Does Our Faith Make Us Well? – as he considers the ways church, religious practice, and our Christian faith promote (or not) mental and physical health.
- Thursday, March 16, 2023 at 1 p.m. – Psychologist David Wang, Fuller Seminary’s Cliff and Joyce Penner Chair for the Formation of Emotionally Health Leaders, will address mental health and the wellbeing of Christian leaders.
- Thursday, March 23, 2023 at 1 p.m. – Churches and mental health providers that have effectively offered services to their congregations and communities will share models, insights and best practices on how partnership between mental health professionals and the church can better confront this crisis.
Click here to register for the series. After registering, participants will receive a confirmation email with information about how to join the meetings.
Pathways to Belonging: Overcoming Clergy Loneliness
Mary Kay DuChene and Mark Sundby, who published A Path to Belonging: Overcoming Clergy Loneliness in July 2022, will share what they have learned about loneliness for people in ministry and specific strategies which individual clergy and denominations can pursue to counter the epidemic.
Sessions will be held online Thursday, April 20; Thursday, April 27, and Thursday, May 4, 2023 from 10 to 11:30 a.m.
Click here to register for the series. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with information about how to join the meetings.
The Leader’s Table
This four-part series is meant to empower pastors and other church leaders to think differently about Christian ministry in our rapidly and constantly changing world. To understand how to lead now, participants will dig into how God’s story for the work works itself out in time of huge disruption. More importantly, this must be done together in Christian community, to discern God’s call.
An introductory webinar will be held from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 10, 2023. Click here to register for the introductory webinar. After registering, participants will receive a confirmation email with link details.
Cohorts of 12 participants will meet online September 13 and 27 and October 11 and 25 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Registration for these four programs will be available soon. (Participants can register for the cohort program even if they do not attend the introductory webinar.) Cohort participants are asked to pay $50.
Childhood Sexual Abuse Prevention Training
Participants in this training, offered through a partnership with LeaderWise, will learn healthy ways to talk about abuse in the communities they serve, tools to assess current environmental risk factors, and ways to respond in faithful and ethical ways in the event that abuse is discovered in their context. The training is for both teaching and ruling elders and satisfies the requirement for Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Training discussed at the 225th General Assembly (2022).
Online sessions will be held from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Monday, September 11 and Thursday, September 14, 2023. Click here to register for the course. After registering, participants will receive a confirmation email with link details.