News and Announcements

Academy Launches Leadership Fellows Program

The Academy for Leadership Excellence has announced the January 2011 launching of its new Leadership Fellows program. The purpose of the program is to develop effective, Christ-centered servant leaders dedicated to the ministry and mission of Jesus Christ in the world today.

This intensive leadership development program will annually bring together 15 clergy and 15 lay church leaders to form a community of leadership learning. The program follows a two-year format with participants typically meeting for two successive days each month for sessions held at the Academy located at Edenton Street United Methodist Church, Raleigh. Participants will receive continuing education credits through Methodist University.


The curriculum modules will focus on the development of a variety of practical leadership skills. For example, the first module will address core leadership competencies such as fundamentals of leadership, self-awareness, personal values and vision clarification, balance and self-discipline, building strong relationships, adaptive leadership, communication skills, and strategic thinking and vision casting.


The second module, “Understanding Church Fundamentals,” will cover “A Systems Approach To Understanding How Churches Work;” “Understanding Church Finances;” “Creative Management of Church Conflict;” “Guiding your Church Through Size Transitions;” “Staffing Your Church For Excellence;” “Unlocking the Power of Teams;” “Doing Smart Evangelism;” “Small Group Ministry;” “Bringing Renewal to Tired Ministries;” and “Making Your Church More Inviting and Inclusive.”

For those who want to continue their leadership development studies, there are additional, optional modules on new church leadership, transformational church leadership, and effective lay leadership. The completion of the first two core leadership modules is a pre-requisite to enrolling in the optional modules.

The faculty of the Academy Fellows program is a group of carefully selected, highly skilled resource leaders drawn from universities and professional leadership development organizations. Each fellow will be assigned a pastoral and congregational coach to provide feedback and support during the course of learning.

The vision of clergy and laity learning together is intentional. A clergy applicant must partner with a member of the lay leadership of his or her local congregation and a lay applicant must be partnered with the clergy serving his or her congregation. Both clergy and laity must be willing to meet the rigorous expectations and requirements of the program.

Applicants can personally apply or be nominated by their District Superintendents, The Board of the Ordained Ministry, the Conference Connectional Table, the Board of the Laity, other boards and agencies, or by the leadership of his or her local church. Those being nominated must show evidences of possessing the temperament, character, spiritual gifts, passion, and heart required for Christ-Centered spiritual leadership.

Applications must first be approved by one of the designated nominating bodies, including the Pastor Parish Relations ministry team of the local congregation. This procedure is required even of those personally applying. Applications must be accompanied by three recommendations and a non-refundable application fee of $100. The application fee does not apply toward the annual tuition fee.

Because the tuition fees of fellows will not underwrite the total cost of the program, those interested in investing in this vision of developing highly effective clergy and lay servant leaders in the service of Christ are invited to sponsor a Fellow. The Academy Board welcomes such support through a "naming" Fellowship gift of $10,000 annually per Fellow.

Applications for the January 2011 class must be received by the Director of the Academy Fellows program by October 15, 2010. The January 2011 class will be limited to 15 clergy and 15 laity. Applications forms can be obtained online through the Academy for Leadership Excellence website at or by e-mail at

The Academy for Leadership Excellence Board of Directors.