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 Susan Beaumont
“What are you seeing out there that is working?” the pastor asked when we met for lunch. The assumption behind the question was that someone, somewhere had discovered a way forward, one that we might all benefit from knowing. This era of congregational life calls for innovation and learning. We praise reinvention, yet our congregations aren’t doing much risk taking. We stay in maintenance mode and wait for someone else to discover a magic bullet that we can replicate. Why aren’t we practicing what we preach? Why aren’t congregations everywhere taking more risks, experimenting and learning new pathways forward?
by Sarai Rice
“Why aren’t you a pony?” This was a question asked out of the blue one day by Lynne Truss of her then-boyfriend, in what must have been a moment of either great bewilderment or great clarity. (Truss is the best-selling author of Eats, Shoots & Leaves.) I couldn’t help but identify with Truss’s confusion as I watched yet another distressingly awful Presbytery meeting this past week in which minister members begged to continue funding positions that may never have been effective and could no longer be afforded, on the ground that Christians are supposed to be “nice.” Is it just me, or must God, too (assuming that there is a God and that God has thoughts) occasionally look at the church and ask the bewildered divine equivalent of, “Why aren’t you a pony?”
by Dan Hotchkiss
"Fundraising is the board's main job." I was stunned by this blunt advice from the executive director of a respected arts nonprofit. "I tell every new board member," she continued, "give, get—or get out." We expect each member to produce at least $5,000, either out of their own pockets or by asking others."
by David Brubaker We live in an increasingly polarized age. Political polarization among the American electorate (and thus among those we elect) has risen dramatically. As I observed in my recent…
For most of my consulting practice, I “held certain truths to be self-evident.” I used to believe, for instance, that many congregations had declined so far they could not possibly revitalize—but I have changed my mind.
by Sarai Rice
I’ve just started serving on the Finance Committee for a local faith-based group, and I’ve realized that years of external audits have taught me some things that other ministers don’t necessarily know. So, below are the answers to a few recent questions about audits.