Book studies

Over a two-year period, a group of six to eight clergy works their way through a series of books on leadership and congregational development. They meet between seven to nine times a year. At each meeting, one person is responsible for an overview of the book and presenting a “critical incident”, in effect a case study that engages some of the insights from the book in question. Group members become a source of support to each other in their ministry as well as developing skills and knowledge in church leadership.

Centre for Rural Community Leadership and Ministry

The objective of this initiative is to equip clergy and lay leaders in rural and remote places to help their churches be catalysts for the development of healthy Canadian communities. A resource centre for rural ministry, it includes offering a Doctor of Ministry in Rural Ministry and Community Development by distance with short courses on site. Also offers certificates for lay leaders in faith and rural life and in rural stress intervention. Includes Clinical Pastoral Education in rural settings. Also hosts conferences every two years, with approximately 60 people attending. Includes a focus on reconciliation and friendship building with First Nations.

Christian Foundations

The Christian Foundations course is an introduction to the good news of the gospel and an overview of the Bible, church history, key Christian beliefs, and core practices of the faith.

Congregation Assessment Tool (CAT)

Collects detailed and reliable data about the parish, to help with strategic planning, finding a new rector, or stewardship campaigns. Surveys all members over 16 years old who have been active in the last year. Breaks down priorities according to different sub-groups (infrequent attenders, frequent attenders, attends more often than 3 years ago, attends less often than 3 years ago).

Diocesan School for Parish Development

This initiative trains parish teams to become congregational developers. The focus is on a variety of models and approaches that help parish leaders work effectively with small groups and the whole parish system.

Education for Ministry (Canada)

Program that provides theological education by extension for lay people with weekly seminar groups led by a trained mentor.

Forming Mission Shaped Ministries

This initiative supports experimental activities that explore what it means to participate in God’s mission in the world today. It aims to promote a different way of being church at the individual, congregational and synodical levels, emphasizing reciprocal relationships with neighbours.

Fresh Start

Designed for clergy starting in new placements/incumbencies. Clergy meet monthly to discuss transition issues. Builds collegiality while sharpening skills. Content includes congregational development theory, role clarity, parish size model, goal setting strategies, mutual ministry, conflict management, among others.

Healthy Churches Handbook / Revitalization Process

Helps parish leaders assess their parish using seven marks of healthy congregations. Working with a diocesan facilitator, parish leaders carry out a self-assessment. Following this, parish leaders receive support from a diocesan facilitator in developing plans to become healthier.

Kootenay School for Ministry

Accessible seminary-level training for locally trained priests and deacons. Over a three-year cycle, participants take nine 21-hour courses. Most participants have completed Education for Ministry prior to taking this program, so courses are focussed on practical ministry concerns, assuming that participants already have a grounding in theology and bible. Courses are hosted by parishes around the diocese, which builds community and support for the program. A separate shorter course is offered for licensed lay ministers.

Natural Church Development

The objective of Natural Church Development (NCD) is to provide space and reliable statistical data for measuring church health and capacity. The concept is to grow health by focussing on those key elements that are most challenged in a parish. Identify strengths and challenges; draw on strengths to develop weaker elements.

Rural Ministry Symposium

A series of workshops over three days for clergy and lay leaders in rural pastoral charges and parishes who are actively seeking information and guidance to help them in providing leadership in current rapid transition. Also for theological students needing training in these areas.

Vital Church Planting Conference

Provide an opportunity for those interested in mission and church planting to learn from each other. An annual 3-day conference in Toronto focussed on mission and church planting, with a different theme each year.