The consulting legacy of the Alban Institute is carried forward by a network of trusted consultants.
You and your congregation can take advantage of the skills and experience of the Alban Institute's longtime former consultants and their chosen colleagues. If you are religious leader and want to talk with a consultant, you can contact one of us directly from the list, or write to us using our contact form, or call (508) 343-0301. We'll respond as promptly as we can.
Susan Beaumont Susan specializes in the unique leadership needs of large churches and synagogues. Areas of expertise include staff team health, board development, strategic planning, size transitions, pastoral transitions and adaptive leadership. email Susan
Dan Hotchkiss Dan is a valued partner to leaders seeking guidance with planning, visioning, and governance. Known for his extensive writing and entertaining presentations, Dan is flexible and wise in dealing with the human side of congregations and related institutions. email Dan
Alice Mann When it comes to helping congregations pursue their callings within their context, no one is better than Alice at transforming the conversation into a positive, fruitful experience. She is wonderfully wise, thorough, and down to earth. email Alice
Susan Nienaber With a background as a counselor and therapist, Susan combines compassion with independence when working with congregations on issues of conflict, dialogue, crisis, personnel, professional misconduct, leadership, and interpersonal dynamics. contact Susan
John Wimberly John consults with congregations on issues such as the creation and implementation of strategic plans, congregational growth and the empowering use of endowments. He served congregations for 38 years, thirty of them at Western Presbyterian Church in Washington, DC. His quest for continuing personal, spiritual and professional growth led John to complete a PhD in systematic theology and an Executive MBA program. email John
by John Wimberly
Regardless of their theological beliefs, churches struggle with some common issues. Of these, one of the most surprising to me has to do with the future of Sunday schools. No one lacks commitment to educate their children and youth in the faith. However, more and more congregations are questioning whether a traditional Sunday school is the way to do it.
by Dan Hotchkiss
When someone gets a new idea in your congregation, whom do they call? The clergy leader? A board member? The front-line office person—the executive director, secretary, or administrator—often manages the incoming stream of helpful hints, complaints, requests, suggestions, and reform proposals. The flow of bright ideas is a sign of life, part of the background hum of a healthy congregation.
by David Brubaker
In the last decade, hundreds of congregations and at least six Christian denominations in the U.S. have experienced significant conflict over acceptance of same-sex relationships. Many clergy feel caught in the crossfire. What is the most helpful way for leaders to respond?
by Susan Beaumont
The human brain favors binary thinking. We are naturally drawn to the two-sidedness of the world, the fact that everything has an opposite, a polar complement. Leaders of faith-based institutions tend the spiritual needs of our organization with the soft skills of care, prayer and discipleship. Then we turn the soft skills off and guide the organizational side of the church with the hard skills of supervision, governance, facilities and financial management. Two fundamentally different kinds of work. Two very different skill sets. Right? Wrong!
by Sarai Rice
First, apparently, by leaving it.
According to America’s Changing Religious Landscape, the latest report from the Pew Forum, the percentage of adults who describe themselves as Christians dropped from 78.4% in 2007 to 70.6% in 2014. In the same period, the percentage of Americans who are religiously unaffiliated—atheist, agnostic, or “nothing in particular”—jumped from 16.1% to 22.8%.
by Susan Beaumont
Leaders utter a predictable battle cry when faced with possible organizational changes. “Our polity won’t allow us to do that!” They may want to consider changes that will make their organization more nimble, flexible and efficient, but they suspect that polity (denominational governance systems) will stand in the way.