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What is the Discipling Cohorts Initiative?

The ELCA Youth Ministry Network is excited for the 3rd year of the Discipling Cohorts Initiative, with the goal of training 500-600 children, youth, and family ministry leaders committed to growing and deepening in ministry leadership, personal faith, and vocational confidence. The initiative was created in response to the Network’s strategic goal for every member to create and live into a personal development plan.

Throughout the year, cohorts will meet each month to accompany each other, walking through a process of spiritual and vocational growth. Participants will support each other as each cohort member creates a three-year personal development plan. Some ideas for plans may include:

  • Naming the professional growth areas you want to work on, such as event planning, budgeting, conflict management, etc.
  • Considering your short- and long-term vocational call
  • Developing a plan to deepen your spiritual life and practices

This plan will be shared within your cohort.  Accountability for participants and their plans will come from the cohort group and the cohort peer coach.

Your group may meet online or in person. We try to group cohort members geographically, but sometimes cohort groups may be spread across many miles or synods, and in those cases, it may not be practical to meet in person. Being a part of a group may mean learning how to meet online with each other. Once you've done it, you'll be amazed at how personal and intimate these calls can be.

Participation is open to Network members, including paid staff and volunteers, newcomers and veterans, and leaders from churches of all sizes and contexts. Attention will be paid to ensure cohort groups are comprised of a wide and diverse variety of congregations. 

The project, led by the ELCA Youth Ministry Network, is being generously supported by the ELCA Domestic Mission Unit.

For more information:

More links:

Discipling Cohorts Leadership Team:

  • Paul Amlin
  • Priscilla Austin
  • Andrew Buck
  • Todd Buegler
  • Peggy Hahn
  • Barbara Harner; Team Leader
  • Heather Hansen
  • Mark Jackson
  • Lisa Kramme
  • Julie Wilson

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