Join a Preaching Peer-Group

Because our program requires participants to help train preaching coaches, we are in a situation where we can provide an excellent, well-supervised group experience to many preachers. This experience also includes the possibility of time on campus with Vanderbilt faculty and our training team – a unique experience beyond what most peer-groups would otherwise experience.

Who should join a Preaching Peer-Group?

Peer-groups are designed to develop ministry-sustaining relationships and to assist in professional and vocational formation in ministry. If you join one of our groups, you should not expect the kind of highly directive coaching that is designed to offer advice, judgment, or “fixing” your preaching. Our approach to peer coaching is very inductive and focuses on starting with your concerns and working with you to locate together the best way forward for you. Our focus is on asking good questions, listening to peers reflect on their experience of your preaching, and then allowing you to determine what is most relevant or significant for your preaching.

Our January cohorts of peer-groups have an added dimension – they include “parallel-learning,” a powerful form of second-order learning that occurs when peer-groups share in the training of their coach. Because of this, participants sometimes learn about their preaching indirectly through listening to experts reflect on how best to coach their preaching to excellence. We assume that you will want to participate in a peer-group if you are:

  • a feedback-hungry learner – you are not satisfied to go it alone, or to attend preaching conferences for inspiration and a few new tricks, but consider well-considered feedback by coaches and peers crucial to your development as a preacher.
  • a patient, inductive learner – you are able to be a part of a group that foregoes advice-giving in favor of more inductive and experiential forms of learning that involve careful listening and feedback.
  • passionate about preaching – you believe in the transformative power of preaching in the lives of people of faith and for the larger world, and are highly motivated to improve the effectiveness of your preaching.
  • committed to continuing education – you are a voracious learner, and are committed to furthering the continuing education efforts of others, including other preachers, and those who are learning to becoming preaching coaches.

What types of Peer-Group experiences are available?

There are three types of experiences available in this program:

  1. The “January cohort.” A single intensive three-day experience on the Vanderbilt Campus January 10-12, 2018. In this experience you will be involved not only in a peer group focused on the preaching of group members, but also in the formation of coach-trainees. There are no fees for this learning experience, and the program will pay for your room at Scarritt Bennett Retreat Center, as needed. You only need to pay for your own food and travel expenses.
  2. An 8-session regional peer-group led by one of our coach-trainees and supervised by a member of our training team. These groups will form around the country in January 2018. Locations and coach-trainees contact information to be announced. Cost: to be decided by peer coaches but probably between 30 – 60 dollars per session (minimum 240.00).
  3. We currently have certified coaches in the Chicago area, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, New Hampshire, Louisville, Nashville, and Roskilde, Denmark. To view upcoming opportunities go to this link. To contact one of our certified coaches and schedule a coaching group in your area, go to this link.