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Leadership Academy

Leadership Academy


This interactive learning experience, presented by New Church Ministry, brings together Disciples from throughout North America to share leadership experiences, wisdom, and training.

It features two track sessions: the Start Track, which is designed to empower leaders whose church/projects have not yet launched, and the Sustain Track, which is geared to empower leaders whose projects have recently launched and leaders of congregations newly affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada.

Leadership Academy also features DOCTalks, joint sessions that address missional transformation inclusive of every stage of leadership and congregational vitality, and LEADLabs, interactive, practical trainings designed to help leaders imagine, ideate, innovate, and implement missional concepts. Workshop topics may include:

  • Team Development and Empowerment
  • Personal/Clergy Financial Practices
  • Inspiring Generosity and Fundraising
  • Congregational Budgeting and Bookkeeping
  • 20 Top Pre-Launch Steps
  • Understanding Your Leadership Style Using DiSC
  • Brand Building
  • Coaching
  • Church Law and Compliance
  • and more!

Past featured guest speakers have included:

  • Rev. Lorenzo Lebrija, Founding Director of TryTank, the experimental laboratory for church growth and innovation.

    Fr. Lorenzo is responsible for the entire process of development and implementation of experiments in innovation for the church and spoke on the 18 underway at TryTank and on how to improve ideation for faith-based initiatives. He frequently speaks to groups on the topics of development, community involvement, the arts, business strategy and marketing.

  • Tamara Plummer, Program Officer for Asset Recognition of the US Disaster Program at Episcopal Relief and Development.

    Tamara has worked on The Episcopal Asset Map for the past three years, supporting dioceses as they implement this transformative project for the Episcopal Church and church leaders as they prepare for, and respond to, disasters. Tamara trained in facilitation, program planning, and leadership development and spoke on asset-based community development.

  • Maria French, Executive Director of Hatchery LA, an initiative of the Pacific Southwest Region.

    Hatchery LA is committed to developing and nurturing spiritual entrepreneurs who reimagine the role of faith in a rapidly changing world. As its Executive Director, Maria is passionate about moving into the future with a contextual faith that matters. She holds MAs in Religion & Theology and Christian Thought and is currently engaged in Doctoral work on the intersection of faith, theology and culture. She spoke on spiritual entrepreneurship.

  • Rev. Teresa “Terri” Hord Owens, General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

    Rev. Hord Owens was elected as General Minister and President on July 9, 2017. A Disciple since young adulthood, she previously served as dean of students at the University of Chicago Divinity School and pastor of First Christian Church of Downers Grove, IL. Terri is widely sought after as a preacher, speaker and workshop facilitator. Her ministry and intellectual interests include a cultural intelligence, and developing inclusive and multicultural congregations. She conducted Leadership Academy’s closing commissioning service.