The Coaching Institute at Columbia Theological Seminary (TCI@CTS) will equip leaders like you with the skills to effectively address the challenges encountered in today’s ecumenical Church and thrive in the midst of them.”
– Rev. Dr. Laurie Ferguson
TCI@CTS will continue the traditions established in the past decade at Auburn Seminary as it seeks to expand opportunities to coach and support clergy and other church leaders, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to navigate their own way forward or guide others in a process of discernment and accountability. As a participant in TCI@CTS, you will:
♦ Learn a curriculum that combines practical coaching skills with theological substance to empower you to coach through a range of traditions.
♦ Acquire the training necessary to seek credentials to be an Associate Certified Coach by the International Coach Federation (ICF).
♦ Have the opportunity to work with your own clients and maximize their personal and professional goals.
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.
In a 2014 update, the Pew Research Center’s Religious Landscape Survey presented consistent evidence that the “nones” are becoming even less religious and the percentage had increased to 23%.
While many see this as evidence of the continued decline of American Protestant churches in their vitality, relevance, impact, and power, we believe these reports and others like them point toward extraordinary opportunities for imaginative and resilient leaders to guide their congregations to minister in powerful and innovative ways.
Faith communities in the 21st Century will benefit from the vision, creativity, and innovate approached shared among leaders and congregations. That’s where coaching comes in.
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.
Pastors who work with coaches say, “this revitalized my sense of call and helped me actually do the kind of ministry I’ve always wanted to do.”
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 Coaching Institute at Columbia Theological Seminary is another means by which the Center for Lifelong Learning supports leaders who learn, adapt, and grow and, in turn, lead others to do the same.
The residential portion of the 2019 Cohort of TCI@CTS is scheduled for Sunday, January 14 through Friday, January 18, 2019. The program starts at noon on Monday and concludes by noon on Friday. Participants are strongly encouraged to come on Sunday night (at no extra charge) to avoid any travel delays on the day the program begins.
Tele-classes will run approximately twice a month from February through July. Each class session is scheduled from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm ET on Thursdays (usually the first and third Thursdays of the month). Specific dates will be shared during the January residential courses.
Applicants will need to have a copy of a current resume or CV, and a letter of recommendation available at the time of the application. These documents must be submitted with the application.
A nonrefundable $500 deposit is required to secure your place. This will be credited toward the costs of the residential program.
What does it cost?
For 2019, the residential program tuition is $4,995. This includes all coursework and the residential program (room and board) on the campus of Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, GA.
A commuter option includes coursework, tele-classes, and eight meals during the January gathering for $4,470.
Participants will be responsible for the costs of their transportation to and from the residential program. Full payment is due by December 15, 2018.
Upon acceptance, you will receive instructions to complete the registration process and submit your deposit. Financial assistance for clergy applicants may be available. In the event of financial hardship, a payment plan can be arranged.
If you elected to add the “Mentor Coaching” option (10 contact hours with a Mentor Coach to fulfill an additional ICF certification requirement), this cost an additional $1,500. Information about registering for Mentor Coaching will be circulated in 2019.
What happens if I need to withdraw from the course after registering?
Withdrawal by January 12, 2019: full refund of all payment, minus the non-refundable deposit. Withdrawal before April 1, 2019: 50% refund of tuition only (no refund of residential costs). Withdrawal after April 1, 2019: no refund.
What does being a “coach” really involve? Can I do it full-time? Part-time?
A coach is someone who helps a client get to a goal, or achieve significant change. Being a trained coach means that you have taken some of your natural gifts and skills for listening, encouraging and motivating, and developed them to a more effective level. TCI@CTS is designed to train you to be that kind of coach – someone who is knowledgeable and practiced in helping clients create change.
We emphasize two aspects – the coaching mindset, and the specific skills that coaching uses. The coaching mindset involves thinking about the client and their situation from the perspective of where they are and where they can go. It includes having a sense of possibility and a deep curiosity. It is the foundation of the process. The skills are the practices you use to coach.
When you complete the program, you will be able to use this training in ways that complement your work and sense of call. Some participants enroll with the intention to become full-time coaches. Others simply want to learn the process so they can use it in the setting where they already are. As you work through the program, the faculty will help you sort out your next steps.
What is the curriculum like?
The training curriculum consists of four days of in-person training and eight months of classes delivered through distance learning. Each of the distance classes meets monthly, utilizing the web, telephone and course site for two hours per class, not counting preparation and reading. Every class, whether in person or distance, will include live coaching, with practice sessions between classes.
The curriculum is designed to address the specifics of church and ministry coaching. It will include theological reflections on coaching, the role of coaching in ministry settings, and how coaching as catalyst for transformation and adaptive growth in faith leaders and congregations.
What courses will I take?
In-person courses (for residential week): Introduction to Coaching, Creating the Coaching Relationship, Active Listening, Asking Powerful Questions, Intuition and Testing, Getting to Goals and Actions, Expanding Possibilities, Change Theory, Keeping the Client Moving Forward, Creating Your Coaching Practice, Coaching Relationship II. Webinar courses: Resilience and Hardiness through coaching, Coaching for Adaptive Change, Coaching in a Cross-Cultural Setting, Organizational Change and Coaching, Coaching a Team +supervision, Artful Coaching, Appreciative Coaching, Poetry of Coaching, Spirituality of Coaching.
Will I have opportunities to actually practice coaching?
Coaching practice, feedback, and supervision are the heart of the training. There are presentations of material, discussions and observations of coaching, but the emphasis in each class is for the participants to develop coaching skills and mindset through actual live coaching.
Participants who want to move towards certification will also need to accrue coaching hours beyond the training classes. TCI@CTS faculty can help students identify potential clients.
Who could I coach after I complete the program?
You will be able to coach anyone who wants to work with you! While much of the training emphasis is on coaching pastors and other leaders in congregations and judicatories, you are receiving standard coach training in this program. As you develop your own style and identify your best clients, you will be prepared to coach in a variety of settings.
Can I get certified as a coach through this program?
This program meets all the educational requirements for the credential of Associate Certified Coach through the International Coaching Federation (ICF), the most widely-recognized provider of coaching credentials. The ICF has recognized TCI@CTS as an Approved Coach Specific Training Hours (ACSTH) program.
What about mentor coaching?
The Mentor Coaching Program offers a ten-hour training to deepen your coaching skills, and prepare for the ICF accreditation process. The training occurs in groups no larger than six members. Mentor coaching consists of three, 2-hour group sessions where you will practice coaching and receive feedback, and four individual hour-long coaching sessions.
In the individual session the emphasis is on helping the coach get clear about goals, evaluating where they are in the process, where they feel they need to grow as a coach, and other issues that specific to each coach. After successful completion of the training, participants receive a Certificate of Mentor Coaching, and one of the written letters of recommendation needed for the ICF process.
Have further questions?
About the program or credentialing: contact Coaching Coordinator Laurie J. Ferguson at LaurieJFerguson@gmail.com.
For more information about registration, contact LifelongLearning@ctsnet.edu.