College for Congregational Development

The College is a comprehensive training program that seeks to nurture and develop congregational development practitioners from within existing parish lay and clergy leadership. We will launch our bi-diocesan CCD in Summer 2024.

The College for Congregational Development (CCD) is a comprehensive training program, rooted in the tradition, ethos, and character of the Episcopal Church, that seeks to nurture and develop congregational development practitioners from within the local community.

Originally begun in the Diocese of Olympia, CCD has grown and expanded, now supporting congregational development in over a dozen dioceses. In July of 2023, thirty-five lay and ordained leaders from thirteen congregations/covenant groups helped launch CCD in Eastern and Western Michigan. We are excited to build on the success of our diocesan launch, and we are inviting you to be a part of the training for transformation in your congregation in 2024.

This two-year program gathers each year in a one-week session, focusing on the formation and transformation of congregational teams in recognition that teams are more likely to be able to create positive change.

Learn more about CCD from those who have experienced it across the Episcopal Church!

Members of the Eastern and Western Michigan scouting team for CCD engage in conversation during the week-long training.

CCD TRAINING WEEK – JUly 21-26, 2024

The College seeks to quip people with knowledge and skills at three levels: individual, team, and system. The program includes theory, application exercises and experiential learning, and planning, doing, and evaluating at-home projects.

The program works toward the development of a learning community throughout the dioceses, sharing common experience, skills, and language for working together.

Facilitation skills are a particularly central practical element of learning throughout the program. We also make extensive use of a set of core models to help us think about our congregations as systems.

Teams should be 3 or more people with a keen interest and capacity to learn, engage, and bring the content home to their congregation. Clergy staff should be part of their congregation’s team.

Teams are usually from a single congregation. We will also accept combined teams from congregations in collaboration with one another.

In order to graduate, all team members must participate in Year A and Year B sessions, complete a required reading list, conduct and participate in two team projects in your congregation, and complete a final core models exam (which can be retaken as needed until passed).

CCD participants in need of local accommodation will stay in on-campus apartments at Northwood University in Midland. While specific assignments will be made by our CCD organizers based on mobility needs and more, most participants will be assigned to single bedrooms within air-conditioned 2-4-bedroom apartments, each apartment with its own bathroom.

Our training sessions will all take place at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Midland, a short 6-minute drive from Northwood.

Specific COVID-19 expectations and policies will be set closer to the session in consideration of our status at that time. Regardless, up-to-date vaccinations and boosters are encouraged.

Through significant subsidy from the dioceses, congregational teams of up to three people are able to attend the week-long session for the flat fee of $900, including all materials, meals, accommodations, and more. Essentially, this offer is “buy one, get two free!”

Additional team members are, of course, welcome; each additional team of one to three people adds $900.

Due to the larger fee associated with this event, we will not be processing payments on the registration form. After you register, you will receive an invoice for your team from The Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Michigan (they’re handling the income/expenses for CCD), which will be payable by credit card or check.

The following FAQs may help clarify whether you feel called toward Thriving in Ministry, the College for Congregational Development, or both!

Can I participate in both CCD and TiM?
Yes! Both initiates are meant for leaders—lay and ordained—across our dioceses.

Are both CCD and TiM available to leaders in parishes who currently do not have clergy?
Yes! Whether or not your parish currently has clergy (full-time, part-time, supply, or not at all), you are welcome and encouraged to participate.

If I am seeking personal learning and growth as a leader, should I participate in TiM or CCD?
We recognize that our personal learning and the cultivation of gifts God has given us is intended not just for us, but for the love and sake of living more fully as disciples of Jesus wherever we grow. Both TiM and CCD provide resources and practical tools to individual and team/cohort growth and learning.

TiM includes cohort gatherings with mentor coaches and one-on-one coaching.

CCD focuses on training congregational teams (lay and clergy leaders) with the understanding that teams are more likely to be able to create positive change together.

Are CCD and TiM offered in-person or online?
CCD participants meet in-person for one-week in the summer; additional opportunities to gather online throughout the year for mutual support will be offered.

TiM cohorts will schedule online group meetings; additionally, nine months of the year the TiM participant meets one-on-one with a coach. In person meetings can be determined by the will of cohorts or individual participants.

Informational Session on TiM and CCD – May 16, 2024
Zoom Recording

The deadline to register your team is June 1, 2024.

Click here to register your team.


Congregational development is the development of congregations of all sizes and locations into more faithful, healthy, and effective communities that are:

  • Focused on and faithful to their unique reason for being/primary task as congregations which are full expressions of the Body of Christ
  • Connected to and expressive of their unique ecclesial tradition, ethos, and character
  • Self-renewing and responsive to the challenges and opportunities before them
  • Sustainable or working toward greater sustainability in terms of a fit between the elements of their organizational life: vision for ministry, leadership, culture, size, property, finances, etc.

Participating congregations send teams to CCD training who will complete both years by engaging in practical on-the-ground projects, required reading, and the completion of final certification and graduation. Teams should include any parish clergy. For congregations for whom gathering a team of 3 or more members may be difficult, the formation of regional collaborations is encouraged.

Coming soon!


The Rev. BJ Heyboer
Coordinator of the College for Congregational Development