Spiritual Leadership Today

Spiritual Leadership Today

Plumb the depths of leadership in ministry in the diverse and intellectually challenging community at Drew Theological School. Interactive workshops help lay or clergy leaders of faith communities develop tools and practices to meet contemporary challenges in ministry. Whether you are seeking to deepen your knowledge, broaden your skills, or achieve CEU credit, Drew Theological School Center for Lifelong Learning is ready to equip you for success.

Topics for the 2015-2016 academic year range from leveraging your personality type for leadership to facilitating small group ministries, from grief counseling to cultivating joy.

  • Time: 9:00am – noon
  • Cost: $25 per workshop (fees include refreshments). Enter coupon code DREWTHEO for a 20% discount if you register by August 14th. Seminarians are eligible at no cost, but prior registration is required.
  • CEU: One continuing Education Unit is available with the completion of any three workshops for an additional cost of $35; two units are available upon completion of all six workshops for an additional cost of $70.

Register for Workshops


Fall 2015 Workshop Details

Saturday, September 12 – “Retirement – a Life-Stage Ripe for Pastoral Care”

The Rev. Dr. Dan Bottorff, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Fellow of American Association of Pastoral Counselors

How will my life matter in retirement?   Are my primary relationships sufficiently resilient to survive the changes my retirement will bring? What are the inner/personal and the interactive/relational “surprises” of retirement?

Retirement poses serious questions for persons nearing, entering, or coping with this time of profound transition. These questions are avoided in the retirement marketplace of financial, housing, recreational, and other “opportunities.”   Where can these essential questions: “Who am I now?” and “How will I be valued?” be raised, discussed and processed?

For clergy whose congregations are comprised of many persons in this age range (55 – 75), these questions are the grist for many meaningful pastoral conversations. How may a pastor help explore shifts in one’s identity? How do we reflect on the changes bound to occur in a marriage, with friends and colleagues?

Together in this workshop, we will raise the issues, explore the questions, and suggest approaches, which can bring pastoral care to those in the process of “retiring.”

DBottorff photoDan Bottorff is a retired clergy member of the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference. His ministerial career has included being pastor or associate pastor for over 25 years, serving churches in Lake Hopatcong, Linden, and Westfield. Dan maintains a private psychotherapy practice in Westfield, NJ, and serves on the staff of the Community Counseling Service of Pascack Valley in Bergen County.

Since 1982 Dan has been a Fellow in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors and from 1988 a Clinical Member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy. He is licensed by the Sate of New Jersey as a Marriage and Family Therapist.

Dan grew up on a family farm in Iowa.   He was granted the following degrees: a B.A. from Morningside College; an M.Div. from the Theological School of Drew University and a D.Min from Andover Newton Theological Seminary.

His avocational interests include yoga, gardening, reading and discussing books and movies, travel, and genealogy.

Dan and his wife Susan, who is a clinical social worker, live in Westfield, NJ, and are parents of Anna and Adam. They are grandparents of Reese and Otto.

Friday, September 25 – “Growing Holy Relationships through Small Group Ministry”

Rev. Beth Caulfield, Director of Small Groups and Spiritual Visioning, Greater NJ Conference, UMC

Aiming to aid Christian leaders in starting and jump-starting successful small group ministries, this workshop will offer both lecture and small group participation experience in two phases:

Phase I will draw from Anne Streaty Wimberly’s “Story-Linking Model for Engaged Pedagogy” to:

  • ​Identify contextual issues/concerns for creating fruitful Small Group Ministry
  • Explore Jesus’ leadership in Small Group Ministry
  • Remember Wesleyan roots for Small Group Ministry
  • Engage in spiritually alert decision-making process for creating/enhancing Small Group Ministry within your own context

Phase II will focus on the nuts and bolts of small group leader role objectives and facilitation skills training.

BethThe Rev. Beth Caulfield is the Director of Small Groups and Spiritual Visioning for the UMC’s Greater New Jersey Annual Conference. In that capacity she is charged with developing turn-around spiritual leaders and growing church vitality in the pursuit of making disciples of Jesus Christ. She holds a B.A. in Communications from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.Div. from the Theological School of Drew University. Before joining UMC Conference staff she served as a UMC pastor and as a Teaching Director for Community Bible Study International, a parachurch and small groups ministry. Beth served with CBSI in New Jersey, internationally as well as in the U.S. prisons system.

Saturday, October 10, 2015 – “Energy Conservation Training for Faith Communities”


In an age of tight congregational budgets and global warming, energy management represents a unique combination of good financial and environmental stewardship.  And while there are a number of well-proven, zero and low-cost opportunities for faith communities to tighten their energy use belts without sacrificing comfort, very few congregations put these into practice.  The result?  Faith communities waste hundreds of millions of dollars annually that could be invested in mission and serving the community, and fail to model the kind of environmental stewardship that’s fast becoming a new mark of faithful and attractive discipleship.

In this three-hour training, participants will learn basic energy management strategies and techniques from skilled, experienced leaders who have decades of experience working with faith communities on these issues.  You’ll learn now to motivate faith communities to become committed to good energy management practices, three no-cost steps that reduce most congregations’ energy bills by at least 10%, how to benchmark your energy usage and carbon footprint and to measure the improvements you make, and a host of other strategies and practices.

There are no other opportunities that can deliver this combination of mission-related and financial rewards.

GreenFaithColor logoAbout GreenFaith:

GreenFaith is an interfaith coalition for the environment that was founded in 1992.  They work with houses of worship, religious schools and people of all faiths to help them become better environmental stewards. GreenFaith believes in addressing environmental issues holistically, and are committed to being a one-stop shop for the resources and tools religious institutions need to engage environmental issues and become religious-environmental leaders.

Friday, October 30 – “Reinvent Advent”

Mark Miller & Tanya Linn Bennett

In an ancient season, how do we hear, feel, taste, and see the coming of the Jesus child in new and different ways?  Can we build our anticipation through song, ritual, liturgy and aesthetic that invites and invigorates our senses and opens our heart to the coming again of God’s love?  In this session, we’ll explore the best of our tradition and perhaps bless new ways of designing worship for the Advent season.

bennetAn ordained elder in the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference, The Rev. Dr. Tanya Linn Bennett serves as University Chaplain/Director of the Chapel & Religious Life at Drew University.  Tanya is also Associate Professor of Christian Practice at Drew Theological School, and teaches in the areas of emerging worship, educational ministries, and church and society, with particular interest in youth and urban ministries. Her Ph.D. from Drew is in Sociology of Religion; her research work focused on the Millennial Generation and Christian Church. Tanya served on the worship team for the UM General Conference 2008, and was a delegate in 2012. She has designed worship for the NEJ 2011 Jurisdictional Conference, the Reconciling Ministry Network 2012 Convocation, the Love Your Neighbor General Conference gathering 2012, and the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference.  She leads worship and workshops for various national and global United Methodist events, and has led retreats and seminars throughout the Northeast Jurisdiction.

millsMark Miller believes passionately that music can change the world. He also believes in Cornell West’s quote that “Justice is what love looks like in public.” His dream is that the music he composes, performs, teaches, and leads will inspire and empower people to create the beloved community.

Mark serves as Assistant Professor of Church Music at Drew Theological School and is a Lecturer in the Practice of Sacred Music at Yale University. He also is the Minister of Music of Christ Church in Summit, New Jersey.  Since 1999 Mark has led music for United Methodists around the country, including directing music for the 2008 General Conference. His choral anthems are best sellers for Abingdon Press and his hymns are published in “Worship & Song”, “Sing! Prayer and Praise”, “Zion Still Sings”, “Amazing Abundance”, “The Faith We Sing”, and others.

Mark received his Bachelor of Arts in Music from Yale University and his Master of Music in Organ Performance from Juilliard.

Saturday, November 14 – “The Book of Revelation: Empire, Sex, Ecology”

Dr. Stephen Moore, Edmund S. Janes Professor of New Testament Studies, Drew Theological School

How would the first-century audiences to which Revelation was originally addressed have understood it? Very differently from how most contemporary audiences understand it. Revelation’s original target was the Roman Empire, and Revelation was—and is—anti-imperial resistance literature of the first order. Revelation’s critique of ancient empire may be extended to modern manifestations of empire. But Revelation’s anti-imperial rhetoric has several troubling features. The face of evil is female in Revelation. It represents Rome as a depraved woman and subjects her to sexual violence. Revelation also seems to celebrate the destruction of the natural world and to expound a theology that is anti-ecological. We will ponder Revelation’s negative features along with its positive features. Paradoxically, no other New Testament book contains such an expansive vision of liberation from oppressive violence, and no other New Testament book is so saturated with fantasies of violence.

mooreA native of Ireland, Stephen D. Moore received a Ph.D. in New Testament from the University of Dublin (Trinity College) in 1986. He subsequently taught at Trinity, and also at Yale Divinity School, Wichita State University, and the University of Sheffield, U.K., before coming to Drew in 1999. His research centers on the interface of biblical studies and other contiguous fields, especially literary studies, cultural studies, gender studies, queer studies, postcolonial studies, and ecological studies.

Friday, December 4 – “Leveraging Personality Type for Dynamic Religious Leadership”

Cedric Ashley, Myers-Briggs Certified Practitioner

Imagine a church where the lay and ministerial leadership operate in power by being aware of and using their natural personality preferences? Conversely imagine a church team tasked with building a nativity scene, but they must complete the task by using their non-dominate hand? How much longer would it take? How stressful would the task become? The same principle applies when it comes to understanding our preferred methods of taking in information, of making decisions, how we plug-in for energy, and how we interact with the external world around us.

When understood and deployed properly, the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator assessment can be a powerful tool for religious leadership to gain greater self-awareness leading to more effective ministry teams and more impactful churches. Even more significant, once there is an understanding of personality type, learners will readily see the benefit of diversity of “types” within organizations.

CedricImage2510Cedric Ashley holds B.A. and J.D. degrees from Rutgers University and a M. Div. degree from The Theological School of Drew University. Cedric is a Myers-Briggs Certified Practitioner and provides coaching, consulting, and training services to individuals and organizations in the areas of career development, team development, professional development, and personal development. He is a member of the Association For Psychological Type International and the International Coach Federation. Cedric enjoys zip-lining in the rainforests of Puerto Rico and Costa Rico, serving as a State Certified Firefighter with the Princeton Junction Volunteer Fire Company No. 1; and making culinary creations as home chef for his lovely wife and family. Cedric is a member of First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in Somerset, New Jersey, where he teaches the new members class (ages 6-13), and teaches in the Institute for Christian Discipleship.


Spring 2016 Workshop Details

Friday, February 26 – “Good Mourning’ Congregations: A Journey Through Loss Together”

Connie Palmer, Licensed Clinical Social Worker

The losses we experience in life can disconnect, isolate and divide us from life giving connections to God and to one another. This program will be an opportunity to:

  • define loss, grief, mourning and resilience
  • deepen your understanding of the impact of loss
  • dispel misconceptions about grief
  • explore the importance of ritual after a loss
  • learn the companioning model of grief support
  • consider how gender, developmental stage, and culture impact the experience of grief
  • understand what the Bible says about grief and supporting those who are grieving
  • discover what prevents healthy mourning
  • learn how to create a “good mourning” congregations

CPalmerConnie Palmer is a licensed clinical social worker who is an experienced teacher, therapist and school counselor with more than thirty years of experience working with youth and their families. She is currently the Director of Training for Imagine, A Center for Coping with Loss in Westfield, NJ. She presents seminars on various topics such as: grief and loss, resilience, shame, parenting, anti-bullying, depression and anxiety. She is an active member and a certified lay servant at the First United Methodist Church in Westfield, NJ.

Saturday, March 5 – “Some Antidotes for Nonproductive Guilt, Shame, and Self-Blame”

Rev. Dr. Charlie McNeil, Licensed Marriage and Family therapist

We’ve all experienced these subjective states and know their discomfort, both within our own heads and in our relationships with others. In this class, a positive approach, which integrates psychological principles and theological understandings will be offered to deal with this unholy trinity. The experience of any one or all three of these can range from an uncomfortable life-energy depleting episodic annoyance to confining a person in a paralyzing prison of low self-esteem, skewed perceptions, and dis-empowering doubt. Whether for personal growth or to assist others, treat yourself to an opportunity to see with new eyes and perhaps even feel a sense of relief and say, “Wow, I never thought of it that way!” God’s grace is a given and, to rephrase an old hymn, a goal for each of us is to learn and be able to love and accept myself,  “just as I am.”

Friday, March 18 – “Future Perfect, of Older Adult Ministry: Or How Baby Boomers Will Change the World as We Know it!”

Rev. William Randolph, Director of Aging and Older Adult Ministries, Discipleship Ministries, UMC

Baby Boomers through every stage of life have changed the world around them, through the sheer force of numbers and influence. At the same time, technology has offered unprecedented possibilities plus an expanded lifespan. This poses the question which is the focus of this workshop: What ways will Boomers change Aging as we now know it and in what ways will Aging change the Boomer Generation? A corollary question for the church is how to develop new forms of ministry which address this cohort when our track record has been one of missing prior opportunities. This workshop focuses upon answering these questions, offering practical resources and direction for future church leaders, and giving a broad view of the issues involved in adults living into the last quarter of life.

willDr. William (Will) Randolph is the director of the Office on Aging and Older Adult Ministries for Discipleship Ministries Agency of The United Methodist Church in Nashville, Tennessee. His ministry involves providing resources and training support for church leaders of older adult ministries, worldwide. In this position, Will also develops materials to help all persons with their lifelong process of aging, particularly the Baby Boom generation. Through ongoing research, program modeling, and best practices surveying for local churches, Dr. Randolph seeks to empower church volunteers and staff with the nuts and bolts to build community, expand disciple making opportunities, and enable faith formation. It encompasses a large number of constituents since over half of the approximately 8 million members of The United Methodist Church in the United States are 50 years of age and older.

Prior to joining the staff at the General Board of Discipleship, Dr. Randolph served as a Chaplain of a 3 Campus Continuing Retirement Community near Pittsburgh, PA, named Redstone Highlands. He has also served as a pastor of United Methodist congregations in South Carolina, Western North Carolina, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania and as a student intern in Maryland. Will received his BA/BS from Duke University, studied at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC before completing his Master of Divinity at Candler School of Theology of Emory University. He received his Doctor of Ministry in Aging and Spirituality from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, OH.

Saturday, April 9 – “Reading the Bible Orally”

The Rev. Dr. Althea Spencer Miller, Assistant Professor of New Testament, Drew Theological School

What does it mean when we say that the historical culture of biblical literature was oral? What are our assumptions when we assert that biblical literature was first circulated in oral forms? In this workshop we will explore orality in several ways. We will explore it as performance through drama and movement. Technological experiences of biblical literature through the internet, facebook, Twitter and other platforms will further our thinking on orality. Most importantly, we will explore what it means to live with an oral approach to life. Finally, we will gather these together in acts of biblical interpretation that prioritize orality as an interpretative modality.

millerRev. Dr. Althea Spencer-Miller is Assistant Professor of New Testament at Drew Theological School, Drew University. Dr. Spencer Miller’s current research advances an anti-colonial posture as she explores orality as an alternative epistemology lived and expressed in oral-literate cultures such as the Caribbean’s. Her teaching interests include early Christian literature both canonical and extra-canonical, Africana Studies and Africana hermeneutics, supplemented by feminist, womanist, and queer theories. Her publications include: Feminist New Testament Studies: Global and Future Perspectives, co-edited with Kathleen O’Brien Wicker and Musa Dube. Recent publications include “Women and Christianity in the Caribbean: Living Past the Colonial Legacy” an essay in Women and Christianity, co-edited by Cheryl A. Kirk-Duggan and Karen Jo Torjesen, and “Rethinking Orality for Biblical Studies,” in Postcolonialism and the Hebrew Bible: The Next Step, edited by Roland Boer. Prof. Spencer Miller co-chairs the “Islands, Islanders, and the Bible” SBL Unit, and is on the Editorial Board of Sapienta Logos Journal (Nigeria). She is a Minister in Residence at Church of the Village in Manhattan.

Friday, April 22 – “The Spirituality of Joy”

Dr. Angella Son, Associate Professor of Psychology and Religion, Drew Theological School

This seminar presents a spirituality of joy by examining the Beatitudes and exploring psychological analysis of joy.  It suggests a new reading of the Beatitudes that joy is the ultimate expression of our relationship to God as Christians.  It also investigates the psychological conception of joy by Heinz Kohut.  The seminar will begin and end with ten-minute meditations.

sonAngella Son is an Associate Professor of Psychology and Religion at Drew University. She received her doctor of philosophy (Ph.D) degree from Princeton Theological Seminary and was an adjunct professor in New Brunswick Theological Seminary and New York Theological Seminary before she joined the Drew University faculty in 2001. She is an ordained Presbyterian minister and a fellow of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors. She has two books, Spirituality of Joy: Moving Beyond Dread and Duty, published in 2013, 기쁨의 영성, published in 2015, and has published many book chapters and articles including “Agents of Joy: A New Image of Pastoral Care,” and “Relationality in Kohut’s Psychology of the Self.” She served as the president on the steering committee and the chair of the Nominating Committee of the Society for Pastoral Theology. She currently serves on the executive committee of the AAPC Eastern Region and on the Status of Racial & Ethnic Minorities in the Profession Committee of AAR. She also serves on the editorial boards for several scholarly juried journals. She is the Director of Korean Pastoral Care and Counseling Program at Blanton Peal Institute and active in training both laity and ministers to promote awareness about mental health issues among and improve mental health in the Korean American.