Spiritual Academy for Leading Transformation
The UMC Call to Action report noted that effective lay leadership is one of the four key drivers of vitality in local congregations. More specifically, the researchers found that healthy churches tend to have “effective and spiritually engaged lay leaders, rotating lay leadership, and pastors who work at developing and mentoring lay leaders.” Consequently, this program is designed to identify, inspire, train, and support a new cohort of spiritually-mature lay people able to partner with clergy to lead effective change in congregations and communities.
SALT is an eight-month program consisting of experiential learning sessions, a leadership project, collaboration with clergy, and small groups.
- Learning Sessions: Clergy facilitators work alongside participants to inspire excitement and commitment while exposing participants to excellent training around leadership principles and practices. Each meeting will include worship, teaching, and reflection and will explore topics like leading in the kingdom of God, leading self, leading others, leading change, etc. (Sessions are Saturdays and/or Thursday evenings depending on site.)
- Small Groups: Through small group interaction, participants will build relationships while interacting around new learning. These groups will also participate in spiritual formation and gracious accountability. SALT provides the opportunity to establish a community of peers who can help each other translate leadership principles into their particular contexts.
- Leadership Challenge Participants will covenant to discern a leadership challenge, or pathway for impact, around which they are being called to make a difference. This could be the launching of a brand new ministry or the further development of something already in place. Throughout the SALT process, projects are presented as Case Studies for group input and shared learning.
- Clergy Collaboration: Each participant will engage and collaborate with his/her local church pastor or another clergy mentor (if/when the project is not church specific). Clergy will be invited to attend specific sessions, and outside-of-class collaboration will be encouraged.
SALT Calendar 2019-2020