The Seattle School is partnering with the Parish Collective to facilitate a practitioner think-tank to equip leaders in reimagining missional innovation and church revitalization. Leadership in the New Parish is an imaginative, collaborative, and transformative program where leaders join together to passionately engage the intersections of God’s story, their personal story, and the story of their particular neighborhood.

The terrain of the 21st century requires a new way of practicing and developing leaders. We have seen the failures of leadership styles that seek to apply one way of doing church across all neighborhoods, cultures, and contexts. At The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology, we are reclaiming the parish model as the hope for the future of the church. Leaders of the new parish recognize that their pastoral work is not confined to a church building or to the people that walk through its doors. New parish leaders see themselves as pastors of the neighborhood working for community revitalization, knowing that their local parish is the context in which God’s kingdom flourishes.

Thousands of churches and faith communities are moving toward a more locally embodied way of being the church in everyday life. This journey is complex, the transition is challenging, and the experienced guides are few. Training rarely equips leaders with the skills to investigate the uniqueness of God’s work within particular communities and within their own personal stories. Without like-minded practitioners to inspire and support them, these leaders often feel adrift and alone as their creative imagination for the kingdom of God fades.

The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology, in partnership with Parish Collective, is excited to offer Leadership in the New Parish – a missional certificate program designed to embolden pastors, ministry leaders, community developers, and neighborhood practitioners for the new parish. The Seattle School brings its model of relational hermeneutics grounded in personal narrative alongside the Parish Collective’s commitment to reimagine the church through place-based solutions. Together, we have developed a program equipping leaders to boldly follow God into their neighborhoods and listen well to God’s desire for shalom there. Committed to a holistic training experience, Leadership in the New Parish’s innovative think-tank model fosters collaborative dialogue, entrepreneurial imagination, and personal discernment that create space for deep formation – as a person and as a practitioner.

Developing Faithful Presence

Through The Leadership in the New Parish Certificate, practitioners will:

  • move deeply into their own desires, woundings, failures, and triumphs in order to know how their story influences their unique leadership style.
  • collaborate with a wide network of practitioners around the stories of God’s unique work in their neighborhoods.
  • develop skills of missional innovation by discerning and engaging their neighborhood’s stories, cultures, and desires in holistic ways.
  • enact processes of church revitalization that transition congregations and faith communities toward partnership with the neighborhood.
  • become attuned to the practice of relational presence with neighbors.
  • imagine ways to continually renew their responses to the dynamic, changing community and God’s unique calling in their neighborhood.
  • decipher place-based, holistic measurements for ministry effectiveness.
  • follow God boldly into their neighborhood.

Program Overview