July 21-26, 2024 in Midland, MI

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.

Key components of the program include:

  • Looking at our current reality (Who are we? What are we? Where are we?)
  • Discerning our future (What is God inviting us to do and to be at this time and in this place?)
  • Working on strategies, goals, and actions (How do we get there?)

What is “congregational development?”
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.

With questions, please contact the Rev. BJ Heyboer, coordinator of our bi-diocesan CCD program, at or


Northwood University
4000 Whiting Drive
Midland, MI 48640


St. John’s Episcopal Church
405 N. Saginaw Rd.
Midland, MI, 48640


What will participants learn?
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.

Who should we invite to join our team?
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.

What are the components of the training that team members will be expected to complete?
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).

Where will we sleep? Where will we meet?
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.

What are the expectations around COVID-19 health and safety?
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 member 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 deadline to register your team is June 1, 2024.