St. John the Divine Episcopal Church
Church Development Institute
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Church Development Institute is the program for clergy and lay leaders who desire to make their congregations stronger, healthier, more deeply rooted in our tradition, more responsive to God, and more effective in their communities.

Church Development Institute (CDI)

Do you ever wonder…
How can my church grow?
What are my personal strengths and how do I use them?
How do other parishes make this work?
How do we make decisions that everyone can support?
How do I develop new ministries?
How do we build community within our parish and our civic neighbors?

If you are looking for a fresh perspective, peer learning and meaningful discussions about how to work in the parish you love, please join us. Each CDI session adds something to your personal toolbox, which helps you practice healthy strategies in your parish. And while this is designed to build congregational leaders, what is learned and practiced comes from the corporate world which means it is easy to use it in the rest of your life outside the church.

Sponsored by the Episcopal Diocese of Milwaukee, CDI Milwaukee is a congregational development program focused on the ministry of developing the spiritual, community and organizational life of congregations. We equip participants with methods, skills, theories and self-awareness that teach how to intervene in faithfulness and health.

Participants in this course attend 8 interactive sessions over the course of two years.  Sessions are held on Saturday/Sunday in Madison area with 4 weekends each year.

It is essential we send people each year as it is one of the requirements for receiving financial support from the diocese.

Cost of tuition, lodging and meals is provided by our diocese and books are shared by those participating.

Questions? Interested? Speak with any of our recent participants:

David Bemus, Gail Armstrong, Pat Hoffman


Church Development Institute is a leadership training program focused on the ministry of developing the spiritual community and organizational life of a congregation.

Our aim is to equip leaders to facilitate a process of transformation, and to build up the capacities and skills of leaders through self awareness of one’s personal impact on others and the organization. To increase knowledge of theories, methods and processes as a way to assess and understand the behavior and development of the congregation, and to give a safe learning environment where one can practice skills in facilitation, feedback, listening and presenting.

Church Development Institute’s content and training methodology are shaped by an approach that is:

  • Practical -- Designed to provide skills and methods, grounded in successful congregational development efforts
  • Grounded in Anglican Spirituality and Identity -- Focuses on the spirituality of the community, its character and culture; on the spirituality of leaders and its effect on the church community; and on models for development rooted in Anglican tradition.                                                                                                                    
  • Innovative -- Draws on the emerging methods used in non-profit, corporate, and church organizations.
  • Competency Oriented -- Equips leaders of congregations of all sizes with the resources they need. Our desired outcome is competent leadership on the part of parish and diocesan staff and consultants that is rooted in the experience, research, and methods of congregational and organization development.
  • Community Centered -- We come together as a learning community. We share responsibility for our learning and community life. We strive for an open, non-defensive climate in which there is an ability to give and receive supportive and challenging feedback.