Six Basic Rules for Planning Church Education Programs

Six Basic Rules for Planning Church Education Programs

Here are six basic rules for planning a church education program:


The persons who show up at an event are the ones who need to be there.

I’m continually puzzled at the over-focus on numbers in congregations.

If 100…

Education by Israel Galindo

The Times They Keep a Changing: Bivocational Ministry as the New Norm?

Most of the pastors in the world are bivocational.

That has always been true, asserts Karl Vaters, author of The Grasshopper Myth and Small Church Essentials.

Most people attend larger churches, so a larger multi-staff congregation is perceived to be…

Taken By Surprise, A Common Story

Jack Sanders was a dedicated senior pastor of a congregation in a major denomination.

He worked hard for his faith and the churches to which he had been called as pastor.

He and his wife, Melissa, were called…

Toxic Leadership

The measure of successful leadership is how well a group performs, over time, in terms of valued outcomes, or the realization of its mission.

Benjamin J. Inyang considers leadership as a process which “involves the use of non-coercive influence to…

What Clergy Need to Thrive: Our response

Since 2017 the Center for Lifelong Learning has participated in the Thriving in Ministry initiative of the Lilly Endowment. Columbia seminar is one of 129 organizations across the country participating in this initiative.


The Thriving in Ministry…

The Wounded Clergy Retreat for Ministers and Spouses

The Center for Lifelong Learning will offer two Wounded Clergy Retreats for ministers and their spouses in 2022.

The retreat provides a relaxed atmosphere and confidential setting for healing and encouragement to ministers and their families who have experienced termination,…

Learning: Three Foundations

A consistent challenge when leading seminars and consultations for teachers and faculty is helping them shift from a teaching-oriented stance to a learning-centered perspective. 

While those are two sides of the same coin, focusing on learning and the learner, in…

Education by Israel Galindo

What are your assumptions about leadership?

Effective teachers always check students’ assumptions and help them uncover their prejudices. 


Assumptions and prejudices cause students to “pre-judge” ideas, concepts, and truths. When unchecked, these assumptions can block learning. Learning requires the accommodation of the new to the…

The Dialogue of St. Catherine of Siena

The Dialogue of St. Catherine of Siena was dictated to her secretaries as conversations she had with God, the Supreme and Eternal heavenly father, with whom she conversed in moments of ecstacy.

Catherine believed that through humility and constant prayer,…

Moving On: Surviving the Grief of Forced Termination

As I began reading Moving On by Deanna Harrison, it only took reading the first page of the preface to see the connection between forced termination and grief was significant. It could be a beneficial resource for those who have forced…

Is your triangle “bad”?

The Leadership in Ministry workshops at The Center for Lifelong Learning use Bowen Theory (or Bowen Family Systems Theory—BFST) as a framework for interpreting the dynamics of congregational and organizational life, and, to help participants work on their…

The Fundamentals of Learning

I remember attending a panel on continuing education. One of the questions at the center of the conversation had to do with effective models for continuing education programs. Some sound ideas were shared, but many missed the mark, educationally speaking.

Students always ask these questions

After eighteen years of formal teaching in theological education, at the graduate level, it is becoming apparent that students will always be students—and despite references to “students these days,” teachers will gripe about the same things. 

Here are the seven…

For the Bookshelf: Jeremy Taylor, Rule and Exercises of Holy Living

Jeremy Taylor experienced an ordinary upbringing in the family of his father who was a barber.

His life was extraordinary in his service to the Church of England because of the religious turmoil in 17th century England.


He was…

How long can you maintain excellence in ministry?

The power of peer-group learning is explored in the book by Brenda Harwood, D. Bruce Roberts, and others, So Much Better: How Thousands of Pastors Help Each Other Thrive.”

The book presents findings from the Sustaining Pastoral Excellence Peer Learning…