THE CENTER FOR CONGREGATIONAL LEADERSHIP
The Center for Congregational Leadership is committed to training leaders who are uniquely knowledgeable in Congregationalism, respectful and upholding of the diversity in our congregations and are especially equipped to meet the challenges of the church in the 21st century. Drawing upon the strong Congregational values of "an educated clergy and a literate laity," the Center is committed to excellence in education, leadership and vision. It gives support and encouragement to churches and their leaders through skill development and educated understanding of emerging needs, trends and challenges.
The Center for Congregational Leadership administers the Congregational Foundation for Theological Studies, an educational program for seminarians, and the Lay Ministry Training Program for education of individuals who serve churches as lay ministers and lay leaders. Both established programs have long, successful histories of educating women and men for ministries and leadership positions in churches. In addition to these programs, the Center develops and offers a variety of seminars and continuing education opportunities for enhancing leadership skills of clergy and laity, increasing knowledge of the Congregational Way and exploration of personal spiritual gifts and calling. Many of these seminars are web-streamed, allowing people to participate in the seminar without the costly travel to attend on site.
Faculty of the Center
Educational events and seminars employ faculty with Congregational backgrounds who are especially equipped in and knowledgeable of their subject matter. Because of advancements in technology that make distance learning possible, faculty members are located across the country. The Center identifies those with special skills and talents who are passionate about Congregationalism and committed to sharing their expertise with others. The Center also trains advisors to aid churches in finding a minister, helping to celebrate ordinations, installations and anniversaries, creating a healthy culture for church vitality, creating a culture of generosity for year round stewardship, helping with strategic planning and congregational governance, reviewing personnel and managing conflict.
Partnership with Olivet College
The Center for Congregational Leadership is located on the campus of Olivet College in Olivet, Michigan. Olivet College was founded by Congregationalists in 1844 and retains its affiliation with both the United Church of Christ and the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches. This unique partnership between the Center and Olivet College allows enhanced sharing of resources, creation of new learning models and exchange of ideas.