The Center for Congregational Leadership

About the Center for Congregational Leadership

The Center for Congregational Leadership is a ministry of the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches. The Center is committed to providing educational opportunities for church leaders to equip them to meet the distinct challenges of leading diverse Congregational churches 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. We work to provide support and encouragement to churches and their leaders through skill development and an educated understanding of emerging needs, trends, and challenges.

Lay Ministry Photo

Lay Ministry Training Program

The Lay Ministry Training Program (LMTP) provides training for people who desire to serve the church more fully, either as a lay minister or as a lay leader. Through this program, we assist in the spiritual development of individuals and provide resources to enhance understanding in areas of biblical knowledge, theology, worship, Congregational history and polity, mission work, and others. To apply, individuals must be a member in good standing of an NACCC member church.

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History & Polity Course

This online course will help to provide greater context to the general history, theology, spirituality, and practice of Congregationalism. Level I and II will acquaint you with and lead you deeper into the general history, theology, spirituality, and practice of Congregationalism and connect these principles to church leadership, the context of congregational polity, the significance of covenant, and articulate the major historical and theological development of American Congregationalism.

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The Pastoral Search

The Pastoral Search

One of the most important transitions in the life of any church is when one pastor leaves and the church embarks on a search for their next pastor.

The NACCC offers services to member churches to assist in this process. One service helps introduce churches that have pastoral vacancies to NACCC affiliated clergy who wish to be considered for open positions. This is done online securely, through the NACCC website.

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Workshops, Lectures, and Webinars

The Center sponsors or co-sponsors a wide array of church-related continuing education opportunities for clergy and laity. Past workshops, lectures and webinars are readily available to our NACCC members.

The Center’s webinars are offered for free to church members of the NACCC.

Workshops     View All

What’s Working Well at My Church?
Representatives from churches of varying sizes discuss the ways in which their fellowship are living out their Christian faith.  While each of these congregations are located in the Midwest, the successes they share are applicable anywhere!

Panelists:

Patty Smith
Berwick Congregational Church (Berwick, IA)
The Rev. Justin Nierer
Sandstone Congregational Church (Jackson, MI)
The Rev. Dr. Don Olsen
Plymouth Congregational Church (Wichita, KS)

Why the Congregational Story Matters

Peggy Bendroth suggests that the culture of Congregationalism continues to permeate the American way of life, but over time, Congregationalist has lost an understanding of their roots.  Bendroth says we have to understand our DNA – – “Who you were is how you are.”  In other words, it’s important to reclaim an understanding of the history of the Congregational Way to understand who we are today and who we are called to be tomorrow.

Presenter: 
Peggy Bendroth
Executive Director & Historian, Congregational Library, Boston, MA

The Promising Future of Small Churches

Hear how churches of any size, especially small churches, have a future when they become engaged with their communities. See how your church can take a fresh look at finding its place in your community.

Presenter: 
Rev. Dr. Chuck Warnock
Annual Meeting and Conference of the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches 2019

Lectures    View All

Bible Lecture Part 1, 2019

Focusing on the Gospel of Mark, Dr. Younger discusses how Jesus’ ministry informs our call to ministry today.  In Part 1, Dr. Younger offers an overview of Mark’s gospel, then focuses on Mark 1:14-20, challenging us to consider the way in which we share our faith, and our call to “get out of the boat.”  He asks, “What would it take for us to live like the church, instead of talk like the church?”

Presenter:
The Rev. Dr. Brett Younger
Plymouth Congregational Church, Brooklyn NY
Bible Lecture Part 2, 2019

Focusing on the Gospel of Mark, Dr. Younger discusses how Jesus’ ministry informs our call to ministry today.  In Part 2, Dr. Younger focuses on Mark 1:1-12, suggesting that the message of forgiveness can offer a fresh start for everyone who hears it.  He also draws meaning out of Mark 2:23-3:6, asking if we, at times, might be a bit more like the Pharisees than we are comfortable admitting.  He says, “This story doesn’t really bother us, because we think we know which side we’re on.”

Presenter: 
The Rev. Dr. Brett Younger
Plymouth Congregational Church, Brooklyn NY
Bible Lecture Part 3, 2019

Focusing on the Gospel of Mark, Dr. Younger discusses how Jesus’ ministry informs our call to ministry today.  In Part 3, Dr. Younger focuses on Mark 8:27-38 and Mark 16:1-8.  In speaking of the way Jesus challenges our deeply ingrained notions of who God is, he says those who want a peaceful life would do well to steer clear of Jesus.  “Jesus disturbs our selfishness, challenges our prejudices, reorders our priorities,” he said. “Jesus wants to change us.”  He suggests that Mark’s abrupt ending suggests that the Gospel is still being written through us.

Presenter:
The Rev. Dr. Brett Younger
Plymouth Congregational Church, Brooklyn NY
The Congregational Lecture

The Rev. Dr. John Tamilio III of the Congregational Church of Canton, MA, argues that our rich history is about much more than the way we govern ourselves. He suggests that our passion for outreach and ministry must also be proclaimed when we tell people who we are and what we believe.

Presenter:
Rev. Dr. John Tamilio III
Annual Meeting and Conference of the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches, 2019
What Does a Healthy Church Really Look Like

People sometimes wonder if “Healthy Church” is an oxymoron. Our conversation will focus upon the attitudes, actions, and habits that make for congregational health. Just as with our physical health, the health of faith communities is tied to the actions and underlying assumptions that its members exhibit and hold. Our goal is to leave with a renewed sense of hope for the health and vitality of NACCC churches, regardless of size or setting.

Presenter:
Dr. Bill Wilson, President of The Center for Healthy Churches, Nashville, TN

The Congregational Lecture 2018

Congregationalism Comes to California: The First 25 Years

Presenter:
Rev. Dr. Lowell W. Linden, Minister Emeritus of First Congregational Church of Redlands, California.

Bible Lecture Part 1, 2018

Presenter:
Rev. Dr. Terrence (Terry) Lindvall, C.S. Lewis Chair of Communication and Christian Thought at Virginia Wesleyan College, former President of Regent University, author of numerous books, and contributor to hundreds of articles on religion, film, and Christian communication.

Bible Lecture Part 2, 2018

Presenter:
Rev. Dr. Terrence (Terry) Lindvall, C.S. Lewis Chair of Communication and Christian Thought at Virginia Wesleyan College, former President of Regent University, author of numerous books, and contributor to hundreds of articles on religion, film, and Christian communication.

Bible Lecture Part 3, 2018

Presenter:
Rev. Dr. Terrence (Terry) Lindvall, C.S. Lewis Chair of Communication and Christian Thought at Virginia Wesleyan College, former President of Regent University, author of numerous books, and contributor to hundreds of articles on religion, film, and Christian communication.

Webinars    View All

Racial Justice: Chronicles, Conversations, and our Christian Faith, Part 1

The Racial Justice Task Team of the NACCC, in partnership with the Center for Congregational Leadership, is sponsoring a three-part webinar series that will explore the topic of racial justice in America and its implications for our Christian faith walk. Brothers and sisters from within the NACCC discuss their experiences being marginalized and worse, solely because of the color of their skin.

Presenters: 
Rev. Lezlie Austin-Kennedy
Rev. Victor Hardy
Rev. Dr. Patrick Hunt
Rev. Dr. Lottie Jones-Hood

Racial Justice: Chronicles, Conversations, and our Christian Faith, Part 2

The Racial Justice Task Team of the NACCC, in partnership with the Center for Congregational Leadership, is sponsoring a three-part webinar series that will explore the topic of racial justice in America and its implications for our Christian faith walk. Linda Logan, Chief Inclusion Officer at Olivet College, and Matthew Teutsch, Director of the Lillian E. Smith Center at Piedmont College, will lead a discussion on how to hold conversations about racial issues within congregations that are predominantly Caucasian and not often directly affected by such issues. The Olivet College Gospel Choir will also perform.

Presenters: 
Linda Logan, PhD
Matthew Teutsch, PhD
Olivet College Gospel Choir

Racial Justice: Chronicles, Conversations, and our Christian Faith, Part 3

The Racial Justice Task Team of the NACCC, in partnership with the Center for Congregational Leadership, is sponsoring a three-part webinar series that will explore the topic of racial justice in America and its implications for our Christian faith walk. This Town-Hall-style webinar will feature members of the Racial Justice Task Team in a free-flowing discussion focusing on how racial justice issues connect with the Christian Gospel and the exercising of Christian faith in 21st century America.

Presenters: 
Rev. Lezlie Austin-Kennedy
Rev. Dr. Cynthia Bacon Hammer
Rev. Michael Fales
Rev. Victor Hardy
Rev. Dr. Patrick Hunt
Rev. Dr. Lottie Jones-Hood

Lay Ministry Training Program Informational Session

As we prepare to launch our newly revamped, virtual Lay Ministry Training Program in September of 2021, this webinar will answer questions and give you an idea of what the online classes will look like.

Presenters: 
Polly Bodjanac
Rev. Doug Gray
Rev. Dr. Charles Packer
Rev. Curtis Peek

Trauma-Informed Ministry Webinar Resources

This 120-minute webinar featured experts from medical, caregiving, and ministry realms to discuss the nature of trauma and how to minister to people who have undergone trauma, defined broadly as a “deeply distressing or disturbing experience.”

Please Note: due to issues with the recording, we are unable to share the original webinar as it was presented. Please use the resources below to help guide your own conversations around trauma-informed ministry.

Click to download the following webinar resources:

Presenter: 
Scott Webb
Trauma-informed care coordinator with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services
Kelvin Foster
Trauma-trained chaplain with the Red Cross
Brenda Kocher
Facility dog program coordinator with the Guardian ad Litem Program in Florida’s 13th Judicial Circuit
Kathrin Gabriel-Jones
Podcast host with the Ministering to Ministers Foundation and Encouragement Coach

Resources for churches and leaders

The Center offers important contributions to the resources we are able to share with our member churches. From leadership guidance and conflict management to strategic planning and ethics information the Center for Congregational Leadership works to help the NACCC provide comprehensive resources to help our member churches and their congregations to thrive and flourish.

Contact Information

If you are interested in learning more about the Center, please contact the Executive Director:

Rev. Dr. Michael Chittum
Executive Director
Center for Congregational Leadership NACCC

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Rev. Dr. Shawn Stapleton 
Workshop Coordinator
Center for Congregational Leadership NACCC

Email

Laura Wright 
Executive Assistant & Pastoral Services Coordinator
Center for Congregational Leadership NACCC

Email

Or if you would like to speak to someone directly, contact us by phone:

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Connect with the NACCC Team

If you have any questions or would like to know more about the NACCC, please send us a message. We look forward to hearing from you!

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