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Certificate in Resilient Service: Online

Cultivate a good life that supports
your good work.

7 months

3 multi-day learning modules

5 circle groups

You care about people, your community, and the world. So you do good work, work that’s for the common good. The work is meaningful—but it’s also demanding of your time, energy, and your very self. It may feel like doing good work infringes on having a good life.

It’s not just that you deserve a good life. Your vocation and community rely on more than what you do. Who you are matters. Cultivating your own formation is a gift that you give not only to your own body and spirit, but to your work and those you serve. That kind of cultivation is what makes leaders and their communities resilient.

Resilience is not just the ability to get through challenges, but to actively become more healthy, whole, and holy because of those challenges.

We’ve designed a 7-month program that trains pastors, changemakers in non-profits, social entrepreneurs — leaders doing good work on behalf of their community — to restore their inner resilience and live into their purpose regeneratively.

Begin your Application

Learning Modules

People: Learning Module I

Identity is both gifted from God and formed through relationship. This module will invite you to a deeper understanding of how your life experiences have shaped you and your leadership, and to understand the story that God is writing in and through your life.

Practice: Learning Module II

What practices support or compromise our well-being? Why do we continue to engage practices that we know aren’t serving us well? Together, we are curious and compassionate about our formation and our choices. These sessions focus on the impact of stress; coping strategies and the addictive cycle; and why “self-care” ultimately fails. You’ll end this module with a personalized plan to develop your well-being holistically, regeneratively, and flexibly.

Purpose: Learning Module III

A strong sense of purpose that makes meaning of hardship is essential to long-term resilience. The People Module looked to the past formation of your leadership and what has brought you to this point in life. In the Purpose Module, you will discern how those themes guide you forward in relationship to God and neighbor. Sessions look at myths of call and better ways to think about vocation; redemptive narratives; differentiation in leadership; and the interplay between you, God, and your community in the creation of call.


Participation in the Certificate in Resilient Service will help you to:

  • Understand your leadership style and its formation
  • Narrate where your story and the divine narrative intersect
  • Grow in how you live into and lead from your identity as loved by God
  • Reflect on and grow your spiritual, physical, and psychological health in community
  • Explore practices that heal the negative impact of stress and increase capacity to manage stress effectively
  • Articulate your call and life’s purpose with flexibility to adapt to each new stage of life and ministry
  • Discern how to love God, neighbor, self, and world authentically
  • Examine how theology, care for yourself, and your cultural context interrelate
Download our Research Report

“Resilient leaders don’t just 'bounce back,' they grow stronger from their experiences, and their crises becomes a crucible of formation. They make meaning from hardship and suffering in ways that better equip them to face future difficulties. Resilient leaders are realistic, but hopeful; they hold deep beliefs, but they also are flexible and able to improvise. Resilience is an essential quality for leaders and their organizations if they are to succeed at their mission.”

Kate Davis, Director of Resilient Leaders Project Meet the resilient leaders team

Commitment: Time

The multi-month design allows you time and space to integrate each learning into your daily life. You will be asked to engage your full self—body, mind, soul—through engaging your past story, current practices, and future call.

2020-21 Program Schedule

You will begin receiving content starting September 14. You will have time to engage this material at your own pace before your first live gathering in October.

Live Gatherings:
Gatherings will take place online. They require stable internet connection with video and audio to engage content with staff and peers. Days start at approximately 8:30am Pacific Time and end no later than 2:30pm Pacific Time, with frequent breaks.

People Module: October 26-28 (M-W)
Practice Module: January 25-27 (M-W)
Purpose Module: April 26-28 (M-W)

Circles are small groups that meet online once a month for 90 minutes. Each Circle’s meeting time will be determined by the needs of the group. Expect to be available for day-times for people who predominantly reside in North America.

Commitment: Finances

The program spans two calendar years, which can be helpful in managing budgets and obtaining funds from external providers. Payment plans are available to make this program accessible to you and your unique financial needs.

The cost of the total program is $4,000. Tuition is not eligible for a charitable tax deduction.

We believe that the impact of this program on leaders and their organizations is worth the investment of your time, energy, and resources. However, we don’t want costs to be a barrier, so tuition is available at four tiers:

Employer-Supported Registration

$4,000, recommended or those receiving tuition support from a large or for-profit employer

Nonprofit-Supported Registration

$3,000, recommended for those receiving tuition support from a non-profit employer

Self-Supported Registration

$2,000, recommended for participants relying solely on personal funds

Clergy Registration

$1,000, for clergy and church staff relying on personal funds

Please note that there are a limited number of reduced-tuition seats available. If you need to enroll at a reduced rate, we recommend you apply early. If you have access to professional development funds, please pursue them to preserve reduced-tuition seats for those who do not have such access.


Connect with peers who understand the joys and challenges of Christ-centered leadership. In Circles, you reflect on Certificate teachings and your experiences, and as you integrate them into your daily life and practice.

Each Circle is comprised of four to six participants and facilitated by theological leaders trained by The Seattle School. Circles will meet during each learning module and between modules.

Participate in this Project

Participation in the Certificate in Resilient Service from Resilient Leaders Project provides you with opportunities to strengthen your resilience and develop in generative leadership for your community. At the same time, your participation contributes to the body of knowledge about the challenges of Christian leadership today. Your participation helps us to continuously improve resources for future leaders who are growing faith communities.

Ideal participants understand their work as a call to serve God and neighbor: clergy, nonprofit directors or managers, social entrepreneurs, not-just-for-profit business executives.

Participants should currently be serving in ministry, either professionally or as volunteer leaders.

Participants often describe themselves as tired, lonely, or burnt-out. You might be facing a personal transition or an organizational crisis. You might be disillusioned with the system. Perhaps you feel you lack fitness, purpose, and/or community. Perhaps your professional life appears successful, but you recognize your relationships or health suffer. You are welcome to join us in learning how to flourish in the midst of difficulties.

Admissions Deadlines & Review Process

The 2020-21 cohort is limited to 30 participants, so we recommend applying early.

Following each deadline, our Admissions Review Committee will review applications and you will be notified about your admission status.

Certificate in Resilient Service Admission Deadlines:

  • Summer Deadline: June 19, 2020
  • Late Summer Deadline: July 26, 2020
  • Final Deadline: August 30, 2020

“This project started from an idea that the church and it’s leadership needed support. It’s a reconnecting with the church for us. We are not just an institution that is criticizing or critiquing the church, but one that is engaged and loves the church”

Dr. J. Derek McNeil, Acting President of The Seattle School
Experience a New Take on Resilience

Ready for the next step?

Connect with us! Request more information or apply today, and we’ll send you everything you need to know to begin your journey.