hero default image

Along the Journey  |  

Loaves and Fishes: A Coaching Partnership

In 2019, Sarah Erickson’s visionary leadership brought The Coaching Institute (TCI) to Columbia’s Center for LifeLong Learning. TCI was founded to train faith community leaders and non-profit organizations in coaching competencies. In addition, the program is also a pathway for accreditation by the International Coaching Federation.

When Sarah’s retirement date was approaching, she sought a partner who would lead the coach training, mindful of Columbia Seminary’s values and commitments, and could continue the program as it was initially designed. I was part of the lead faculty for the original TCI program at CTS. After considering several training groups, Sarah chose my program, Loaves and Fishes Coach Training to continue the coaching certification at Columbia.

I am delighted to bring the training group to the CLL program and foresee a seamless transition. Loaves and Fishes was founded to deliver coach training virtually during the pandemic. With my co-leader, Chip Low, we brought together a diverse faculty with broad experience in coaching and levels of leadership.

Using the text Coaching for Transformation: Pathways to Ignite Personal and Social Change, by M. Lasley, V. Kellogg, R. Michaels and S. Brown, the Loaves and Fishes faculty bring their conviction that coaching skills are the best tools for leaders in these uncertain and demanding times. Social change, personal transformation, and organizational development all benefit from a “coaching mindset” and the application of key coaching practices. During the training, participants have the opportunity to coach each other and begin using their new skills from day one. The training is light on lectures and concentrates on the practice of coaching.

“We were encouraged to stay in the coaching lane,” one participant reported, “and to stay out of the counseling or consulting posture. It took a lot of work to get that right! But the difference when I stay curious and listen is amazing.”

Another participant said, “I really appreciated the whole day of team coaching. I began to use that immediately in my work and can see what a difference it made.”

Loaves and Fishes is named after the biblical story where Jesus multiplies the little bit the disciples bring to feed everyone present (Matthew 14:13-21). In the same way, our faculty believe and practice that coaching can multiply results beyond what we dream or imagine with the Spirit’s aid.

Besides myself and Rev. Chip Low, the faculty includes Rev. Shelley Smith, Rev. Princeton Abaraoha, Rev. Jiyhun Oh and Rev. Janice Fitzgerald, and adjunct faculty Rev. Grace Kim and Rev. Pablo Rivera. You can read more about them here.

The Coaching Institute is open for registration and consists of a three-day virtual retreat in January, followed by ten two-hour sessions once a week. It concludes in June with a final retreat over three days. Once completed, participants will have fifty hours of training plus the preparation needed to take the next step in obtaining ICF accreditation.

To register for TCI@CTS click here or contact info@loavesandfishescoachtraining.com to learn more about the program.

-Laurie Ferguson

Along the Journey