Coaching Philosophy

In October 2012, the Pew Forum on Faith and Public Life published a poll showing two important shifts in American religious life:

  1. for the first time in American history, the majority of the population is not Protestant; and
  2. the number of people declaring themselves religiously unaffiliated (the “nones”) has risen dramatically to 20% of the population.

There are many who see this as another sign of the continual decline of American Protestant churches in their vitality, relevance, impact, and power.

We at CTS think differently.

We believe this report actually shows extraordinary opportunities for bold and resilient pastors to lead their congregations to minister in powerful and innovative ways. 21st century ministry will require significant vision, creativity, and stamina from both leaders and congregations.

That’s where coaching comes in.

{Review statement} The Columbia Coaching Institute has set the standard for excellence in coaching church leaders for almost a decade. The impact has been profound: pastors who work with our coaches say, “this revitalized my sense of call and helped me actually do the kind of ministry I’ve always wanted to do.”

We are convinced that coaching is one of the most powerful tools the ecumenical church has for building the resilience and innovative spirit our pastors need to thrive in the changing religious landscape of America.

Columbia’s approach to coaching involves three elements:

The vertical dimension appreciates that church leaders ground their identity and vitality in their sense of call from God. It also uses coaching to help the leader identify and access one’s sense of self and values as resources for ministry.

The horizontal dimension allows the leader, with his or her coach, to assess needs, set goals, and develop the stewardship of time and resources to meet or surpass their goals.

A third element that we emphasize is hardiness or resilience, which is a quality that can be nurtured in both persons and communities. Hardy leaders are committed, seek challenge, and take responsibility for their personal and professional lives.

The Columbia Coaching Institute supports leaders who learn, adapt, and grow and, in turn, lead others to do the same.