Applications for Nollau Leadership Institute Class of 2022-2023 Now Open

The UCC’s Council for Health and Human Service Ministries has opened applications for the 2022-2023 class of its Nollau Leadership Institute.

“The Nollau Leadership Institute is CHHSM’s signature leadership development program,” says the Rev. Dr. Elyse Berry, CHHSM’s associate for advocacy and leadership development. “We look forward to welcoming the new class as they grow as faithful, serving leaders.”

The Institute’s year-long program helps participants discern their call as Diakonal Ministers. A special vocation for serving leaders within CHHSM members and the wider United Church of Christ, Diakonal Ministers advance the health and service ministry of Jesus Christ. Since 1996, some 200 CHHSM leaders have been consecrated as Diakonal Ministers, part of the more than 300 consecrated from all denominations.

Each year, Nollau faculty members guide class participants through retreats, online interactions, and peer mentoring as they explore how best to apply faith-based leadership concepts to their own lives and work environments. Course content is updated based on feedback from past participants, as well as with input from the current class, who help design their own program.

Additionally, this year’s class will benefit from the recommendations implemented as a result of CHHSM’s Race, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (RDEI) audit completed in 2021. They will examine leadership at the intersections of anti-oppression work, theology, social justice, and healing, all of which are part of restorative justice.

“There is a strong connection between advocacy and faith-based leadership,” Berry adds, “and the Nollau Leadership Institute helps to illuminate that concept.”

During the course, participants are invited to reflect deeply on who they are as leaders, as well as on their role — and the role of their community — in the larger society. The year is structured to include ritual, contemplative practices, and small-group sharing as part of the program, alongside interactive didactic sessions. 

The 2022-2023 course will consist of two in-person retreats at Cedar Valley Retreat Center in West Bend, Wis., online interactions between retreats, and an additional day of programming during CHHSM’s 85th Annual Gathering in March 2023. The Annual Gathering concludes with a closing worship service in which class members are consecrated and commissioned as Diakonal Ministers.

Named after Louis Edward Nollau — a 19th-century missionary, preacher and founder of several St. Louis-area CHHSM ministries — the Institute emphasizes the kind of integrated leadership that its namesake modeled: professional excellence rooted in faith-based purpose. Graduates of the Nollau Institute leave the program with a better understanding of how their faith calls them to lead.

“The Nollau Leadership Institute helps participants focus on spiritual formation and preparation for serving leadership,” says Michael J. Readinger, CHHSM president and CEO. “The Nollau Institute is now more than 20 years old. We are blessed to be able to offer it to our UCC colleagues, partners, and friends.”

Space is limited to 21 participants, and fills up quickly, so early applications are strongly encouraged. The application is available online.

Note: CHHSM will continue to follow all CDC guidelines for travel and social gatherings. 

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