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
As I write this, we are just hours away from the beginning of what I call “Happy-Thanks-Merry,” that period in the calendar year when secular and religious holidays align to create five golden weeks of charitable giving (and non-charitable spending). It was during this time last year that I heard the single most tantalizing statement I’ve ever heard in a council, session, or board meeting—an elderly woman’s announcement to the group that “the tree this year is monkeys.”
I was sitting with the council, waiting for my opportunity to explain why I hoped this small congregation would contribute to the capital campaign of the non-profit I direct, and even though it wasn’t my turn yet, I had to ask— read more
by John Wimberly
Building on my last post on teams, I want to talk a bit about the size of teams. As I researched my upcoming book on teams, I was surprised at the unanimity of opinion on this topic. Five to seven members is what research reveals to be the most effective number of people on a team. read more
by Susan Nienaber
One of the greatest joys of my new role as District Superintendent (and part-time congregational consultant) is that I am learning so many new and exciting things. In recent years my denomination has placed a strong emphasis on starting new churches. Clearly, congregations that are growing in vitality are the ones who best engage their immediate communities and this is the essence of what a new church start is all about. read more
by David Brubaker
I’ve consulted with about 100 congregations and other organizations in the last 27 years, and in the last five years I’ve noted a distinct trend. Congregational and other organizational leaders used to contact me with a vague request for mediation or consulting services because “we have a conflict and we need help to resolve it.” In recent years, however, leaders have been much more likely to specifically request strategic planning or structure review processes—and often both together. I’ve experienced this shift as an encouraging move towards proactive rather than reactive intervention processes in congregations and other organizations. read more
November 3 - 5, 2014 with Sarai Rice, Dan Hotchkiss, and John Wimberly in Decatur GA (near Atlanta)
Three former Alban Consultants will present material specially designed for small congregations. Each of the three learning modules will address a key aspect of small church vitality. The three presenters will lead a fourth module that will help teams of clergy and lay participants plan for their return home and the incorporation of their learning into the life of their congregation.
For registration and program information contact Columbia Theological Seminary.
November 14-15, 2014 with Dan Hotchkiss in Houston, Texas.
This is the best ten hours you will ever spend with pastors, staff, and council rethinking congregation governance for a vibrant future. Dan offers a practical and timely way to explore governance change for your congregation. Bring a team of staff and council members to learn and grow together. Register online with Gulf Coast Synod, ELCA.
January 6-8, 2015 with Susan Beaumont and Alice Mann in North Andover, Mass.
The Soul of a congregation is the source of its calling, character and destiny. It is the seat of wisdom, mystery and memory. Contemplative awareness is central to the discerning and working with the soul of congregation and place. This learning retreat blends attention to the personal presence of the leader and the leadership skill training needed to guide the congregation in discernment.
Register with Rolling Ridge Retreat and Conference Center.