Executive Skills for Church Leaders

Executive Skills for Church Leaders

Executive Skills for Church Leaders

Executive Skills for Church Leaders

JANUARY 9-13, 2023

This popular week-long continuing education event for pastors and church leaders explores how concepts from an MBA program can be applied to the arena of congregational life.

Back after a three-year Covid hiatus, this very popular program from California Lutheran University offers a week of continuing education in which faculty from the School of Management explore and discuss how concepts from management and finance can be applied to the complex environment of congregational life and ministry.

In the complex environment of congregational management, we all can use new tools for ministry.  Each day, we explore a different theme.

Topics covered:

  • Legacy and Planned Giving Concepts
  • Human Resources
  • Brave Fundraising in Uncertain Times
  • Contemporary Leadership Challenges

Day 1: Laying a Foundation for Stronger Ministry Funding

Lisa Higginbotham, facilitator

Session Overview: Starting from the ground up, we will learn how to improve gift policy and endowment process supporting stronger ministry funding. You will leave with a clear understanding of policy structure and implementation that decrease conflict, build trust, and drive gifts written to your congregation. Best practices and obstacle navigation will be shared that improve financial stability and allow your congregation members to give cheerfully.

Day 2: Human Resources: Hire to Retire

Hari Date, facilitator

Session Overview: The world of HR has changed and is no longer just about hiring people and paying people. It’s about finding the right people, growing and nurturing their talents, recognizing/rewarding and shaping them to be the best version of themselves so through them, your congregation can deliver the best service to their members. We understand that it’s hard to be the leader in a church while hiring, firing and giving feedback. It’s about technology, it’s about processes, policies, pay, benefits, job fit and job growth. it’s about competition both internal and external. It’s possibly the most important organization in a company or congregation. Come and join a conversation about HR today. What’s taking place in the workplace? What do you need to know to be successful? What are your “human” “resources” expecting and how can you meet them where they are?

Day 3: Brave Fundraising in Uncertain Times

Regina Biddings-Muro, facilitator

Session Overview: Course participants will learn how to better understand donors and accomplish fundraising goals. This session will pay particular attention to the topic that plagued (nearly) every professional fundraiser for the past 10 months: meeting fundraising needs during a global pandemic. Workshop participants will receive insight on types of innovation that is possible in fundraising where in-person activities are significantly restricted. Among other key takeaways from the session will be the critical role of stewardship in fundraising.

Day 4: Contemporary Leadership Challenges

Christopher Njunge, facilitator

Session Overview: This course focuses on the development of the core competencies and skills needed for effective managerial leadership at all levels of your congregation or context. Church Leaders will reflect on and participate in activities covering the following themes: The meaning of leadership and the leadership potential ourselves and others; the differences between leading and managing; the basic elements of applied leadership; learning from crisis management and developing situational awareness; and how personality influences leadership and relationships within organizations and congregations.

Who should attend?

Join us for a week of continuing education as professionals from the world of management provide guidance and insight relevant to church leaders. This event is open to leaders from all denominations.

  • Pastors
  • Deacons
  • Bishops
  • Synod Staff
  • Professional Leaders
  • Faith Leaders

This executive skills for church leaders retreat is co-sponsored by California Lutheran University.


Monday – Friday, January 9-13, 2023


Price per person:

  • One person, private room : $1,350 per person
  • Two people, two in a room : $1,150 per person
  • Three people, three in a room : $1,000 per person
  • Four people, four in a room : $950 per person
  • Commuter, incl. program, lunches, dinners, snacks : $775 per person

Price includes: Five days of programming, five nights lodging and 13 meals (5 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners). Includes overnight stay on Sunday and breakfast Monday prior to the workshop ~ participants are on their own for dinner Sunday evening.


Click red button above, call 480.488.5218 or email info@spiritinthedesert.org to register.

All are welcome to this executive skills retreat at Spirit in the Desert Retreat Center in Carefree, Arizona!

Executive Skills Retreat Leaders

Lisa Higginbotham
Lisa Higginbotham
Executive Skills for Church Leaders
Hari Date
Executive Skills for Church Leaders
Regina Biddings-Muro
Executive Skills for Church Leaders
Chris Njunge