Beyond the SFF: Opportunities and Resources Coming Up

Buckle up, folks — this great big list of events, courses, and resources offered by partners and friends of the School for Formation will jump-start your plans for continuing education this year! As always, see previously posted opportunities here.

Learn Online

What is Christian Mission? with Ian Douglas | Grow more confident in your ability to share the Gospel of Christ by establishing a better foundation of faith. Bishop and theologian Ian Douglas inspires us to own the mission that God has planted in our hearts.

Certificate in Vestry Leadership | Students and vestries can earn a certificate by completing all four, 45-minute courses, which will take an average learner a total of 3 hours. The courses are also available in a For Groups format, making them ideal for small group learning in vestry retreats or regular vestry meetings.

Introduction to Appreciative Inquiry Webinar |The Appreciative Way. Learn the fundamentals of the Appreciative Way, Conduct an Appreciative Inquiry into your life and work, Discover and articulate your core purpose for being, and more.

Feminary Cohort 2016-17 | The Bartimaeus Institute. A “hybrid” course that engages the theology and ethics of Elaine Enns and Ched Myers.  It consists of two in-person Institutes (Oct 2016 in Saskatoon, SK and Feb 2017 in Oak View, CA), five online classes (BIO-A01 thru A04 and BIO-B01), and monthly online conversations. Particpation is for female identifying persons aged 40 years and younger.

Members of the Association of Episcopal Deacons get a discount on online courses offered through the Center for Anglican Learning and Leadership (one of the SFF’s partners!). Check out their upcoming courses here.

Events and Courses

August 23-24, 2016 : Stepping Up to Staffing and Supervision of Church Staff | Luther Seminary, St. Paul. Are you stepping into unfamiliar territory where you must supervise others, or have you been supervising others for some time without a clear understanding of what you are doing? Supervision, especially in a faith-based environment, requires learning new skills—probably skills you did not learn during your professional formation. This event provides you with practical skills and tools for supervising the work of others, and aligning the work of the team with the overall goals of the congregation.

September 2016 and beyond: Deepening Roots | St. Paul, MN. Join the Rev. Mary Ellen Ashcroft to read scripture as narrative and canon–processing questions of how we read and how the Bible can be our book.  Deepening Roots aims for all participants to become astute Bible readers and informed theologians, who can think and speak meaningfully about God. The course will be offered at a central Twin Cities location on a Thursday late afternoon/early evening.  Cost of $250 per person includes 8 sessions and a three day retreat in May or June. If you are interested, please contact Mary Ellen Ashcroft,

September 27, 2016: Building Resilience: Restoring our Human Capacity to Heal | St. Paul. Building Resilience will provide tools and techniques for uncovering culturally meaningful integrative practices that may help both individuals and communities recover and rise above historic, secondary and other types of trauma.

September 29-October 1, 2016: Music that makes Community | Des Moines, IA. Join a dynamic gathering of musicians, clergy and lay people at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church inDes Moines, IA to recharge and renew your congregational song leading. Presenters Ben AllawayConie Borchardt, Cricket Cooper, and Paul Vasile will lead worship, workshops, and conversation to help you add the valuable tool of paperless song leading to your community’s singing practice. Learn practical skills and diverse repertoire, and explore how paperless music can enrich and expand your congregation’s repertoire of sung prayer and praise.

Friday, September 23 – Saturday, September 24, 2016: Peer Ministry Training |Trinity Church, Excelsior.  Open to senior high youth and adult youth leaders in ECMN and ecumenical partners in Excelsior/Minnetonka area.  Trinity’s Mental Health Initiative is underwriting the event.  Participant fee (for food and course materials) is $25.

October 16-18, 2016: Making the Irrelevant Church Relevant: Attracting and Retaining Parishioners by Deepening Every Relationship | Prairiewoods Franciscan Spirituality Center – Hiawatha, Iowa. Our society sees church as irrelevant but pastors know that church can be the foundation that nurtures, inspires, and transforms. Empowering Communication is key to developing healthy relationships and healthy churches. This workshop will give progressive pastors a roadmap for moving Jesus’ life and teaching out of the Bible and into the Church. In this retreat you will gain skills that deepen connection with yourself, the divine, and others. To Register: (Programs, Calendar). For inquiries contact Leslie Ritter-Jenkins,

Friday, November 18, 2016 – Saturday, November 19, 2016: Evangelism Matters Conference | Dallas, TX. For anyone who would like to learn more about evangelism and available resources to share our faith. This innovative churchwide event is co-sponsored by Forward Movement and the Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop’s Office, and is hosted by the Diocese of Dallas and Church of the Transfiguration, Dallas, where the activities will be held.

April 2017 – October 2017: Academy for Leaders with the Center for Courage and Renewal | Oak Ridge, Chaska. Sustainable, courageous leadership hinges on your ability to know your own values and act on them. When you’re true to yourself, and true with others, thatauthenticity translates into trust. And trustworthy relationships translate into more effective, wholehearted leaders, teams and results.


Examen: a prayer app from Loyola Press

By the Rivers PodcastCheck out this episode with ECMN’s own John Bellaimy.

The Road Back to You: Looking at Life Through the Lens of the Enneagram by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile. Check out the podcast!

Faith Formation 4.0 by Julie Lytle, Ph.D

E-Formation 2016: Webinar Videos

Facing Decline, Finding Hope: New Possibilities for Faithful Churches by Jeffrey D. Jones