The Trinity Leadership Fellows program is for individuals seeking to deepen their faith-inspired and values-driven mindsets and skills needed to effectively lead organizations and serve communities in contemporary society, while also building lifelong, supportive peer and mentoring relationships. After a weeklong, in-person seminar at Trinity Church Wall Street in NYC, fellows engage in live online learning sessions with leading scholars and experts on core competencies for effective leadership throughout the year. These include courses on adaptive leadership, conflict transformation, change management, church and non-profit management, and social entrepreneurship, all taught from a faith perspective and informed by individual fellows’ discernment exercises and formation goals.
Trinity’s Mission Real Estate Development online course design and production is also underway on a parallel track.
Design for People was engaged to help design and produce the series of online courses on the Trinity partner learning platform Junction Education.
This is the first blended learning program of this size at Trinity Church Wall Street and, as with any new project, it’s best to learn and adapt during the project’s life cycle. The combination of instructor-led workshops, personal reflections, online courses, and live seminars created an immersive experience for learners. As designers and producers, it was our job to help it feel coherent and seamless so learners can focus on the learning, peer collaboration, and mentoring.
Project Approach and Results
The project began with meeting the program leaders at Trinity Church Wall Street to understand their vision and mission for the Church and for their new Leadership Development program. We met with Trinity marketing leaders to ensure the new brand for the Leadership Fellows Program and the overarching Trinity brand are upheld in the courseware.
Trinity brought in several diverse and exceptional experts in various fields, including instructors from NYC, many other cities throughout the United States, and Barcelona, Spain, for a comprehensive program covering the most important topics in leadership development. It was important to Trinity that the courses be designed to highlight each instructor’s unique personality and voice.
With several courses to design for multiple instructors, our team adjusted to the varying approaches and styles to help each course shine with the personality and learning concepts of each individual instructor. Instructors met online with fellows once per week for the duration of their courses (four to six weeks). Each online course features videos of the instructor, activities, case studies, personal reflections, discussions with peers, independent readings, and Scripture.
The Leadership Fellows Program consists of the following courses:
Adaptive Leadership and Systems Thinking
by Víctor Pérez García and Inmaculada Macias-Alonso
Structured in six sessions, this course provides an overview of the building blocks of adaptive leadership and systems thinking. Participants will acquire diagnostic tools, intervention strategies, and resilience skills, enhancing their capacity to lead change and manage conflict in their organizations and broader contexts. Week after week, participants will analyze in depth a personal leadership case of their choice, putting into practice the lessons acquired throughout the course, overcoming personal obstacles, and reflecting about the values that guide their leadership practice. The materials of the course include short videos, slides, readings, and personal reflection exercises.
Change Management and Organizational Development
By Rev. Dr. J. Elise Brown
Effective leaders understand the importance of being able to manage change in the organizations they lead. Doing so requires a high level of self-awareness, the ability to manage oneself amid anxiety and sometimes conflict, and emotional intelligence. But there is a distinction between change management, which tends to focus on techniques and the skills of a leader, and organizational development, which focuses instead on culture change and identifying root causes of institutional dysfunction, considering how systemic shifts can take place that truly leads to institutional health and change.
This class looks at this topic through the specific lens of faith leaders in religious organizations. Through readings, examination of case studies, self-examination and assessment, open conversation and practical application, this course will help faith leaders become better equipped to effectively lead through change, with confidence and integrity.
Narrative Approaches to Conflict Transformation
By David Anderson Hooker
This course provides a systematic approach to conflict transformation utilizing narrative theories and practices. The course offers simple working frameworks for conflict, distinguishes between conflict management, resolution, and transformation, and introduces narrative theory. It presents several practices that support conflict transformation that employ narrative theory which can be applied in congregational and community contexts. The course is presented on three levels: theoretical, personal, and communal.
By Rob English
This course focuses on the essentials of time-tested methods for developing leaders to organize their communities by understanding power and how to build relational power through deep listening to achieve real change. Participants will learn strategies and techniques for effective community organizing. These methods are used every day by the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF) to help faith and lay leaders organize for long-lasting change in their communities.
Non-Profit and Church Administration
By Jacqueline F. Ballou
This course broadly examines the essential elements of management in ministry and non-profit organizations with an emphasis on church administration. Participants will explore the unique nature of leading and shepherding in the collaborative, interdependent body known as the church. Being in charge of a church calls a person to many of the tasks and responsibilities similar to that of a Chief Executive Officer (CEO). One of the central themes of this course is that money, stewardship, human resources, technology, and organization are all critical aspects of the ministry of the church and non-profit organizations. Participants will examine those aspects of ministry that go beyond preaching and teaching to administration (management) and finance in religious and non-profit organizations.
Faith and Finance
By Steven Tomlinson
This course teaches skills and strategies for reading and preparing financial statements and reports for a congregation. Participants will learn how to lead discussions that include the community in the congregation’s financial decision-making. This allows the church’s practice of shared possessions and authority to become an opportunity for Christian witness and formation, equipping disciples to carry out the mission of the church.
By Kevin Jones and De’Amon Harges
This course welcomes participants to explore the world of social enterprises, focusing on practices of social entrepreneurs living their faith while cultivating community, economy, joy and abundance for the common good.
More information about the Trinity Leadership Fellows Program, including a special message from Most Rev. Bishop Michael Bruce Curry, as well as instructor bios, can be found here:
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