The Coaching Institute Comes to Columbia Theological Seminary

The Coaching Institute Comes to Columbia Theological Seminary

June 7, 2018—The Center for Lifelong Learning (CLL) at Columbia Theological Seminary announces the launch of a new certificate program, The Coaching Institute at Columbia Theological Seminary (TCI@CTS).  This certificate program and its instructors are accredited by the International Coach Federation (ICF).

“The Coaching Institute, under the direction of Dr. Sarah Erickson, Director of Lifelong Learning, is a significant addition to our leadership development programs,” said Israel Galindo, Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning. “The leadership team brings with it over ten years of experience delivering high-quality, effective coach training.”

Participants interested in TCI@CTS should complete an online application prior to October 15, 2018.  A résumé or CV and letter of recommendation from a supervisor or peer are required at the time of application. Upon acceptance, a non-refundable deposit of $500 will secure a place in the cohort. For 2019, the residential program tuition is $4,995. This includes all coursework and the residential program (room and board). A commuter registration option includes all coursework and eight meals during the January gathering for $4470.

“With this coaching program we expand our offerings in helping clergy and other church leaders gain and refine their skills for leadership in various contexts of ministry,” said Erickson. “We are starting with a strong core team of trainers and will continue to add depth and diversity to the team— hopefully from those who complete our program—as we to grow.”

A team of four coach-trainers, including Coach Coordinator Laurie J. Ferguson, will offer classes on campus and via teleconference. Ferguson, a Presbyterian minister who previously coordinated the program at Auburn Seminary, is a licensed clinical psychologist and ICF-certified coach. Reflecting on the practice of coaching, Ferguson commented, “After eighteen years of coaching, I remain excited about how these skills support and expand ministry. We are in a time when the gospel faces deep challenges, and leaders also see great opportunity. Coaching is uniquely poised to help leaders focus on their particular visions and create new ways to live out God’s mission.” The other three current team members are Phillip C. Bergey, who holds several coaching and other certifications in addition to a PhD in Human and Organizational Systems; Chris Holmes, a founding member of the Maryland Chapter of the International Coach Federation, former pastor and District Superintendent in the United Methodist Church and developer of the UMC coaching team; and Youngsook Charlene Kang, serving currently as Superintendent of Leadership Development and Director of Connectional Ministries of the Mountain Sky Conference, UMC, where she also coordinates their coaching program.

The group will convene on the seminary campus January 14-18, 2019 for a week of residential course work with Bergey, Ferguson and Holmes. 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. The balance of this ICF-accredited curriculum will be completed by the end of June 2019 via thirteen additional courses delivered via teleconferenced classes facilitated by all four team members. At the conclusion of the program, participants will have all the training hours necessary to apply to the ICF to become a credentialed coach.

Complete details about TCI@CTS, including application instructions, FAQs and instructor bios, visit

For more information about the Center for Lifelong Learning and their other courses and certificate programs, visit or email the CLL at

Columbia Theological Seminary is “cultivating faithful leaders for God’s changing world.” As an educational institution of the Presbyterian Church (USA), Columbia Seminary is a community of theological inquiry, leadership development, and formation for ministry in the service of the Church of Jesus Christ. Columbia offers six graduate degree programs and up to 60 courses and events each year as a resource for church professionals and lay people through The Center for Lifelong Learning (CLL). The Center for Lifelong Learning offers three other certificate programs including training spiritual directors, two scholars programs, and a post-graduate Pastoral Excellence Program that is focused on clergy leadership development. Over 800 persons attended CLL’s programs last year. For more information, please visit

Program Contacts:

Sarah Erickson
Director, Lifelong Learning

Israel Galindo
Associate Dean, Lifelong Learning

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