Resilient Leaders Project has created a second training program, Resilient Congregations. This program is funded by Lilly Endowment Inc., through its Thriving Congregations Initiative. Resilient Congregations will continue building relationships with clergy and ministry leaders in the Greater Seattle Area and beyond.

The program comes at a time when congregational life looks radically different than in the past. How churches gather continues to shift not only due to COVID, but also from cultural and demographic shifts as well as changes in religious practices.

Resilient Congregations aims to further equip congregational teams to learn a process for adapting to their changing contexts. Church leaders with congregational teams will participate to equip their own congregations with a defined, replicable process through which they will align congregational identity and mission through and belonging. This process will build social resilience, helping congregations thrive in their particular contexts.

Fundamental components of the program are based on conversations with Christian ministry leaders conducted by Resilient Leaders Project who spoke to the challenges of innovation among shifting gathering structures and culture.

“In this program, we hope to cultivate social cohesion – congregational teams that work well together with honest communication and open hearts, who are able to set a culture of belonging for their congregations and communities. Our hopes are that this not only heals the fragmentation that congregations have experienced in going through recent crises, but that it equips them to face the next crisis with greater resilience,” says Kate Davis, Director of Resilient Leaders Project.

Resilient Congregations program staff include Forrest Inslee, Academic Consultant and Christ & Cascadia Editor, Melissa Skelton, Consultant, and Rose Madrid Swetman, Affiliate Faculty. Each has extensive experience in developing congregations: Forrest as a church planter and ethnographer, Melissa as a congregational developer and parish priest in Central Seattle before becoming Archbishop of Western Canada, and Rose as a pastor, nonprofit leader, and Regional Leader of Vineyard Churches.

The team will continue to build out the program this fall, with the goal of launching the program in early 2022.

For more information about Resilient Congregations please contact