Transformational Leadership in a
Transformed Leadership Fellows Experience
We kept everything our alums have loved about the program since 2011—engaging curriculum, transformational coaching, and a community that nurtures relationships—and packaged it into an experience that prioritizes our spiritual well-being as leaders, condenses the time commitment for ministry professionals/laity, and maximizes engagement to build community.
This new model features three two-night retreats from October 2023 to May 2024. Between these retreats, Fellows will gather on Zoom for short sessions focused on practical church strategies led by ministry professionals around the country and within our conference.
Every Fellow is matched with a coach.
New Fellows have an initial coach matching call with the Center’s coaching coordinator. After prayerful discernment, clergy and lay Fellows are connected with an individual coach who will offer regular coaching calls throughout the year.
Coaching is relational.
Recognizing that the wholeness of leadership includes wellness of soul and attending to personal connection, coaches have a check in with the Fellows to start their conversation. The coaching relationship then offers opportunity for Fellows to talk through the content from the previous session and contextualize it for their churches.
Coaching is contextual.
Key to the coaching relationship is helping Fellows strategize a process and steps to implement changes. Coaches use appreciative inquiry to encourage Fellows along their journey.
Hear their story.
Deepened relationships between pastors and laity strengthen our connection and create built-in support for clergy, both in their congregation and in the wider conference. Hear about one pair’s experience both in building their relationship and nurturing their gifts for ministry.
The Three Pillars of Leadership Fellows
The launching point for discussion and dialog, the curriculum is crafted for self-understanding and practical engagement of church leadership concepts.
three 2-night retreats
short virtual sessions
a mix of content and experiential learning
Helping key concepts to take root, coaches encourage personal accountability to design and implement real solutions in the church.
monthly collaborations with trained coaches
one-on-one conversations to talk through strategy
each Fellow paired with a qualified coach
The heart of any Methodist experience, the deep sense of community and togetherness is what past Fellows say they miss the most.
deepened relationships through time in retreats
How is the program funded?
The NC Conference covers 70% of the cost of the Leadership Fellows program. Tuition of $1000/team (or $500/person) covers the remaining 30% of program costs.
While some Fellows use personal funds, we strongly encourage congregations to cover the full cost of tuition. Fellows make a significant investment of time in order to learn new leadership skills and strategies to benefit the local congregation. Covering the cost of tuition is an important way a church can support their Fellows and acknowledge the significant gifts they will be bringing back to the church as a result of their participation in the program.
What does tuition cover?
Tuition, when combined with Conference support, covers the three two-night retreats (shared accommodations), meals during the retreats, faculty who facilitate each session, inventories and books utilized by faculty, monthly coaching calls, and program supplies. Fellows are responsible for their own travel and may choose to contribute toward a single room if they prefer not to share during the retreats.
What if my church cannot afford tuition?
Churches have raised money to support their Fellows through a number of creative means. Consider hosting a BBQ or a church dinner where the Fellows share about the program with church members and a special collection is taken.
Are scholarships available?
Clergy are encouraged to request continuing education funds from Ministerial Relations to be used toward their portion of tuition. In addition, the Conference can support one or two 75% scholarships per year. If you are interested in requesting one of these scholarships, please reach out and let us know.
How to Apply
We admit new Fellows classes each summer. If you are interested in applying, here is a basic timeline and plan:
- Tell us you want to apply!
If you want to apply to the Leadership Fellows program, send us an email and let us know! We like to hear from all interested applicants by early June.
- Identify a Partner
The Fellows program begins in partnership with one clergy person and one lay person from the same ministry setting. Start praying about who that partner might be, and reach out to us if you need guidance.
- Apply Online
Complete the online application. Both partners (clergy and laity) fill out a separate application. We are accepting applications through September 19, 2023.
- Request Recommendations
Request an online recommendation from two people. Clergy need recommendations from their DS and S/PPRC chair. Laity should identify any two people who can speak to their leadership in the church context.
Annual tuition is $1000 per team (or $500/person). If you anticipate tuition being a challenge for your church, we can discuss strategies to cover the cost, including whether scholarships might be available. The Center is able to offer one or two 75% scholarships each year.