Each year, the outgoing Nollau class hosts workshops at the CHHSM Annual Gathering.

Nineteen Nollau Institute graduates will be consecrated as Diakonal Ministers during CHHSM’s Annual Gathering, March 1-3 in in St. Louis.

The Nollau Institute is a year-long program of the Council for Health and Human Service Ministries that focuses on spiritual formation and preparation for servant leadership. During the year, class members discern their call as Diakonal Ministers. A special vocation for servant leaders within CHHSM and the United Church of Christ, Diakonal Ministers advance the healing and service ministry of Jesus Christ. Since 1996, more than 150 CHHSM leaders have been consecrated as Diakonal Ministers, part of the more than 250 consecrated from all denominations.

During the Annual Gathering, the current Nollau class will hold a number of workshops. Topics will include strategies on finding and retaining committed team members, how servant leaders and their organizations can be a faithful voice of action and advocacy, and how to create a change culture while improving service to communities. The Diakonal Ministers will be consecrated during the closing worship following the workshops.

“The Annual Gathering is an opportunity for CHHSM member ministries to experience and understand the benefits of being a Nollau Institute graduate,” says Michael J. Readinger, president and CEO of CHHSM. “The Institute’s curriculum and the connections made between like-minded classmates from a variety of CHHSM ministries help participants gain the insight and tools needed improve their servant leadership.”

Registration currently is open for the next Nollau Institute class. The new class begins in April 2018 and concludes in March 2019. In addition to holding Annual Gathering workshops at the end of their studies, each class also participates in three in-person retreats, an online learning platform, and regular conference calls between the 15-to-20 participants throughout the year.

A Long-Tradition of Leadership Training

Nollau Institute class participants discern their call to servant leadership.

The Institute builds upon CHHSM’s more than 20 years of formal leadership training that began with the Transformational Leadership program and, later, the ecumenical Faith-Based Leadership Institute. Created in 2011, the Institute is named after the Rev. Louis Edward Nollau, a 19th-century missionary, preacher, and founder of several CHHSM ministries. Nollau’s bold commitment to servant leadership continues to inspire participants today.

A unique aspect of the Nollau Institute is the interactive curriculum. Participants help design their program, assist in the facilitation of sessions, and mentor each other. As spiritual formation, the program invites participants into certain practices and disciplines in the context of a community of leaders who encourage and hold each other accountable. Led by a core team of faculty members, the Nollau Institute draws upon the best in adult education and leadership training, grounded in a fundamental appreciation of faith heritage and spiritual formation.

“The Nollau Institute gives participants greater clarity about their vocation as servant leaders,” says Readinger. “They come away from the year-long experience with practices and a support network that helps them integrate faith-based advocacy into effective servant leadership within their organizations.”

Retreat dates for the upcoming class are April 16-19, 2018; Sept. 17-20, 2018; and Jan. 28-31, 2019. The retreats will take place at the Retreat Center at Cedar Valley, part of CHHSM-member ministry Cedar Community in West Bend, Wis.

The Institute is open to leaders from CHHSM ministries and partnering organizations, such as colleges, seminaries, conferences and other institutions related to the United Church of Christ. Participants must be able to fully participate in all sessions, including the online forums, and are expected to stay overnight at the retreat center.

Registration will fill up rapidly, so apply now! For questions about registration or the Nollau Institute, contact CHHSM.

Learn more about CHHSM’s Annual Gathering.