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
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.
Many people flinch at the mention of evaluation, and with reason. Research shows that in many workplaces, the main effect of employee reviews is to hurt productivity by annually lowering morale. In…
Almost everyone dreads the annual performance review that remains a ritual in most congregations. The employee wonders if it will be fair. If it is the pastor who performs reviews of staff, she or he wonders if the results will be toxic for the relationship with the staff member. Pastors tell me about problems finding members qualified to perform an annual performance review of the pastor. After all, most members are not closely enough involved in the work of their pastor to perform an informed review. So the thought of annual reviews is not something that warms our hearts!
by David Brubaker
All of us who worship in or work with congregations know that each congregation develops a unique rhythm in its corporate life. These rhythms are organized both around seasons of the year (e.g., “summer is our slow time”) and around significant holy days and sacred texts (e.g., the celebration of Passover, or the lectionary cycle). Such rhythms not only provide a sense of order and meaning, they also create a cycle of creativity and rest that alternatively stimulates new energies and restores tired bodies and souls.
by Sarai Rice Mature congregations (the ones with parlors, pipe organs, and portrait galleries of past pastors) usually want to grow, and they program for growth by doing some version of the…
by Susan Beaumont
The problem with meetings in congregation is that they focus on building and sharing knowledge. What if we focused on cultivating collective wisdom instead?
Think about the agenda in your typical church meeting. Staff meetings, board meetings, and committee meetings all incorporate the same elements. I tell you what I know, you tell me what you know, we consult with outside sources that know, and then based on our shared knowledge we wrestle our way toward decision making. If we can’t all agree, then majority rules. And most of this happens in the form of sharing and receiving reports, making motions, and approving actions. Boring, not very creative, and certainly not soulful!