Certificate in Resilient Service

Cultivate a good life that supports
your good work.

7 months

3 multi-day learning modules

6 member small 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. Spending time on your own personal growth is not only a gift to your body and spirit, but a gift to your work and those you serve. You are not simply making a commitment for your formation, but also the formation of your community. That kind of cultivation is what makes Christian 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 hybrid program that focuses on three elements that build resilience: People, Practices, and Purpose. This certificate trains pastors, ministry volunteers, 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. In this hybrid program, content is delivered online each week, with three modules that are each three days: the first gathering is on-campus at The Seattle School, and the second and third are live, virtual gatherings via Zoom.

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. In this module, you will begin to build relationships with your Circle , who will grow with you and support your journey throughout the program, as well as be encouraged to deepen relationships in your home context. The three-day on-site component of the People Module will take place at The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology in downtown Seattle.

Practice: Learning Module II

What practices support our well-being? Which practices compromise resilience? Why do we continue to engage practices that we know aren’t serving us well? Practices are the day-to-day components of our lives—spiritual, physical, relational, emotional—that support or undermine our well-being. Together, we are curious and compassionate about our formation and our choices. Teaching sessions focus on the impact of stress, coping strategies and the addictive cycle, and how “self-care” is compromised by resistance and ultimately fails. You’ll complete this module with a personalized plan to develop your resilience practices holistically, regeneratively, and flexibly. All components of this module are online, including a three day live, virtual gathering.

Purpose: Learning Module III

A strong sense of purpose that makes meaning of hardship is essential to long-term resilience. Where the People Module looks at the past formation of your leadership and what has brought you to this point in life, the Purpose Module will equip you to discern where God might be taking you into the world now and next. Sessions look at myths of call and better ways to think about vocation; redemptive narratives; differentiation in leadership; and the interplay between God, an individual, and community in the creation of call. All components of this module are online, including a three day live, virtual gathering.


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

  • Grow in how you live into and lead from your identity as loved by God
  • Narrate how your story impacts your leadership style
  • Plan intentional changes to support your spiritual, physical, and psychological health
  • 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
  • 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 become 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 Center for Transforming Engagement Learn more about Center for Transforming Engagement

Commitment: Time

The multi-month design is intentional in order to allow 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.

We have designed this hybrid program to have two elements in each of the three modules: live days and asynchronous online content. For the live days, we will be together either onsite or live online. You can engage asynchronous online content on your own. We recommend budgeting 1-2 hours per week for this.

Commitment: Finances

If the cost of the certificate is a barrier, we encourage you to invite your community or employer to consider sponsoring you. Registration tiers and payment plans are available to make this program accessible to you and your unique financial needs.

We believe that the impact of this program on leaders and their organizations is worth the investment of your time, energy, and resources. Because we don’t want finances to be a barrier, we offer 4 rates and invite you to select the one that most closely matches your employment and abilities.

Clergy Registration

Thanks to a generous grant, we are able to offer this steeply discounted rate for staff of faith communities and parachurch ministries.

Non-Profit Employee Registration

We offer a discounted rate to those who work in non-profit settings and rely on personal funds. If your employer is contributing to your program cost, we ask that you consider paying the Employer-Subsidized Registration rate, below, so that we can continue offering discounted rates for those with limited financial resources.

For-Profit Employee or Employer-Subsidized Registration

This rate represents the true program cost. In addition to for-profit employees, we ask that non-profit employees with access to professional development funds consider this rate. Paying at this rate contributes to program sustainability.

Donor-Level Registration

Registration at this level allows us to offer program discounts for others in need. If you want to support leadership development for those in under-resourced communities and ministries, we invite you to opt in to this higher rate. One-time gifts are also welcome!

Certificate Format

The program utilizes a variety of teaching styles, recognizing that there are many ways to engage learning.

There are a variety of lectures, personal reflection times, live group discussions, online discussion boards, journal prompts, and regular meetings with your Circle group. Your Circle will include six learners and one Circle convener who understand the joys and challenges of leadership. Together you will have the opportunity to reflect on teachings and experiences as you integrate learning into your daily life.

Expectations for virtual live days and Circle Meetings:

  1. Have your video on throughout the meeting.
  2. Be present for all sessions (dates for circle group meetings will be scheduled with your group on the first live lays).
  3. Arrange for childcare so that you can be fully present with the group.

Recommendations for Live Days and Circle Meetings:

  1. Plan to be off work during these days, as you would if you were attending on-site.
  2. If you are able, consider planning to take off the rest of the week following live days to give yourself a chance to rest with the content.

“There was a need for us as an institution to care for pastors, something I think that really is necessary for the maturing of the school and in some ways for the sake of 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.