Have you ever considered serving as a guide and encourager for a faith community in a role other than pastor or staff member? Have you looked for a different way to utilize your previous education, training and ministry experience to positively impact faith communities? Do you believe that you would find such work a meaningful ministry? If you can answer “Yes” to these questions, then you should consider training to become a consultant.

When, Where and How Much is the Training?


The dates for the Residential Lab are October 14-18, 2019. The lab will begin at 1:00 p.m. on Monday and conclude Friday before noon. This portion of the training will be held on the campus of the Baptist Children’s Home in Thomasville, North Carolina.

Specific dates and times for the fieldwork telephone conferences will be scheduled during the Residential Lab.


  • Standard: $1765
  • IMN members: $1665

The above costs include tuition, materials, single room, meals and breaks during the event.  The cost for commuters is $1535 (standard) or $1435 (for IMN).


What do Church Consultants do?

Faith communities are looking for assistance in meeting the increasingly complex challenges of mission, ministry and congregational life. The programmatic, cookie-cutter answers once offered by denominations and traditional consultants are now often inadequate to meet these challenges. The need is growing for consultants who can provide more personalized, context-specific help to faith communities. Consultants help with challenges like:

  • Identity clarification
  • Discerning vision and strategic planning
  • Leadership development and team building
  • Decision-making and discernment about leadership structures, buildings, worship style, mission and ministry priorities
  • Conflict management


Who Provides the Training?

To meet this growing need for qualified consultants, the Center for Congregational Health, in partnership with the Interim Ministry Network, is offering a process to train and develop consultants to work with faith communities.

The Center for Congregational Health is a ministry of the FaithHealth Division of Wake Forest Baptist Health, and has been serving faith communities since 1992. Utilizing their “radically congregational” approach, the Center trains consultants to elicit and utilize the resources, skills and gifts for ministry already present in faith communities. Their model for consultation is built upon the example of the Apostle Paul and early, itinerant teachers like James. The training seeks to integrate and utilize the best of biblical wisdom, spiritual insight, and healthy group dynamics in order to help faith communities and their leaders enhance their effectiveness in ministry.

What is the Training Design?

A team of experienced consultants has designed a two-tiered approach to consultant training. The residential lab is focused on developing and enhancing skills for working with congregations. The fieldwork experience provides an opportunity to practice and refine those skills.

The Residential Lab

The residential lab is a five-day training experience that focuses on the following:

  • Learning consulting models
  • Understanding and differentiating key roles in consultation
  • Proposing consulting work
  • Delivering consulting services
  • Assessing consulting skills
  • Understanding the impact of change, communication, community building, and conflict in the congregational setting
  • Assisting a congregation in developing a clear identity
  • Looking at various assessment tools for congregations
  • Facilitating strategic planning
  • Facilitating staff development
The Fieldwork Experience

Following the residential lab, participants will begin to practice the consulting skills presented and discussed during the residential lab. There will be a series of group sessions conducted by telephone and facilitated by a staff member. Each participant is responsible for presenting a case study at one of the sessions.

When the telephone sessions are complete, a certificate of completion will be issued to those persons who have successfully finished their work. These individuals also will be listed in the Center for Congregational Health’s and Interim Ministry Network’s consultancy databases as having completed the faith community consultant training.

Can I Get CEU Credits for the Training?

A certificate from The Northwest Area Health Education Center (NWAHEC) will be provided upon request, at an additional cost of $45. NWAHEC (of Wake Forest University School of Medicine and a part of the North Carolina AHEC Program) is recognized by the National Board of Certified Counselors as Provider # 5456.  NWAHEC abides by all NBCC Continuing Education Guidelines.  Participants must attend all sessions and complete all assigned work in order to receive full CEU credits.


  • Intentional Interim Pastors who would like to deepen their skills as a transition specialist and expand the scope of their work beyond interim ministry
  • Therapists who are committed to the ministry of local faith communities, and who want to expand their services beyond one-on-one and group counseling to consulting with other faith communities and organizations
  • Ministers who have a desire to expand their current ministry into consulting
  • Denominational (judicatory) executives and staff members who wish to sharpen their skills in assisting faith communities
  • Lay Christians committed to the local church who seek an opportunity to utilize their skills and gifts for ministry, but do not feel a call to ordination or to a professional, ministerial position


You can get more information about “The Art of Consulting With Faith Communities”, and about many other issues related to congregational health at:  http://www.healthychurch.org.

You are also encouraged to visit the Interim Ministry Network’s website, http://www.imnedu.org.



To receive an application, please contact: Robin Danner at the Center for Congregational Health  (congreg@wakehealth.edu ; 336-716-9722) OR Ellen Goudy at the Interim Ministry Network (ellen@IMNedu.org ; 800-235-8414) or click here for Application and Registration FormClick here to print information sheet.

Please Note:  A quality learning experience is dependent upon a minimum number ohttps://imnedu.org/wp-content/uploads/CT27-Application-and-Registration-Form.pdf active participants.  The minimum number of learners required for the residential lab experience is 10 participants. We reserve the right to cancel any training event that does not reach this minimum number of participants.  Please take this into consideration when making travel arrangements.

Rev. Beth Kennett has worked with the Center since 2004 and manages the coaching network at the Center. She is an ordained United Church of Christ minister with over 25 years of experience in ministry. Beth is a graduate of Gardner-Webb University (B.A.), Southeastern Theological Seminary (M.Div.), and is a professional certified coach (PCC) with the International Coach Federation.  She received certification as an Intentional Interim Minister through the Center for Congregational Health®.  Beth has served as a pastor, educator, denominational staff member, conflict management facilitator, and church consultant, as well as in the areas of Faith and Vocation and leadership development training.  She currently serves on the Board for the Office of General Ministries for the national setting of the United Church of Christ.


Center for Congregational Health staff photographed in Davis Chapel, Chris Gambill

Dr. Chris Gambill has been with the Center for Congregational Health® since its beginning in 1992 and currently directs the Center’s work. He is a graduate of Wake Forest University (B.A.), Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div.), and Capella University (Ph.D.). Chris received certification as an Intentional Interim Minister through the Center for Congregational Health®.  He has previously been Sr. Consultant at the Center, and is a Board Certified Coach. Chris is also an ordained Baptist minister and has served previously as a pastor, interim pastor and as a campus minister at UNC-Charlotte, NC State University, and Appalachian State University. He and his wife Joy also served as student workers in Taiwan, Republic of China. He has extensive experience helping individuals and groups in managing interpersonal and intergroup conflict; developing capacity and skill in utilizing emotional intelligence; creating participative processes for strategic planning; facilitating staff team development; improving job performance; developing effective communication and dialogue processes; and providing individual and team leadership coaching.



Forgot Password?

Join Us