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 Sarai Rice
No question is more vexing to me than this one, because I see so many small congregations struggling with the tendency of a body at rest to stay at rest. It’s a relevant question, too, for students of congregational life, given that the median size of a congregation in this country is currently 75, only 11% of Christians worship in such congregations, and most are experiencing decline. Lots of seminars and workshops have been spawned on the subject, with the same implicit subtext–can small churches change in order to grow? read more...
by Susan Beaumont
We have great leaders. They just don’t work together collaboratively. What we accomplish together is sometimes less impactful than the sum of our individual parts, because we spend precious time and energy protecting individual or departmental turf. This is silo mentality. read more ...
by John Wimberly
When a congregational board sits down to make decisions, what if we think a bit differently about the participants? Let’s forget their names for a moment and view them as individuals who view the world from the perspective of the sub-cultures in which they work and live. Instead of recognizing Jane to speak, we would think to ourselves, “Let’s hear a word from the lawyer.” As the discussion progressed, we would hear from the plumber, academic, farmer, medical doctor and school teacher. read more ...
by Dan Hotchkiss
Boards often criticize themselves for “getting too far into the weeds” of daily management detail. They know they should be spending more time envisioning the future and deciding big, strategic issues, but. But concepts like discernment, strategy, and vision seem rather soft and blurry. After trying to focus on them for a while, boards slip back to problem-solving with relief. (read more)
by David Brubaker
Think about some of the major decisions you’ve made in your life—whom to marry … or not; whether to have children … or not; where to attend university … or not; what congregation to attend … or not; what profession to pursue; and where to retire. From the day we can think independently until the day we stop doing so we constantly make choices and decisions. “Life is the sum of all your choices,” said the French philosopher Albert Camus. (read more)
by Susan Nienaber
I confess that I’m not much of a professional sports fan. However, I do watch the Super Bowl mainly to socialize with friends and to watch the commercials and the halftime show. Did you notice how different the commercials were this year? Many of them featured cute animals, positive self-esteem, values, relationships and sensitive dads. Given all of the scandals in the NFL this past year I wondered if we were seeing the softer side of the NFL. It was astonishing. Of course, I began to wonder about congregations. (read more)