Episcopal Diocese of Rochester
Joy in Christ, as a way of life

College for Congregational Development

Are you a lay or clergy leader who is…

  • praying for guidance where God is leading your parish to grow and thrive?
  • working to build up a healthy, faithful, and sustainable congregation?
  • looking to develop new skills and strategies to respond to today’s challenges and opportunities?
  • seeking to live into our diocesan mission to grow congregations spiritually, numerically, and in missional leadership?
  • yearning for a new vision and renewed energy for the work God has given us?

The College for Congregational Development is for you.

What is the College for Congregational Development?

The College is an intensive seven-day, six-night training program for lay and clergy leaders offered over two summers.  We seek to develop healthy, faithful, sustainable congregations able to fulfill their calling to be the body of Christ in a particular place, time, and community.  The College equips leaders to look at their current reality (Who are we? What are we? Where are we?), discern their future (What is God calling us to be at this time and in this place?), and work on strategies, goals, and actions to get to that future.  The training includes exploring theory, engaging in applied exercises and experiential learning, and planning, doing, and reflecting on projects in the parish.

St. Germain’s, Hoodsport, WA - a small church in a very small community of about 400 discusses the College

All Soul’s, Berkeley, CA - a large church in a college town of about 117,000 discusses the College

From Bishop Singh

I am thrilled to announce the good news that we have a substantive way to support the empowering and equipping of all the saints in our Diocese and the region! The Episcopal Church, more than ever before, is poised to practice its radical welcome and mindful relevance of living out the good news of Christ's love at a time when "outcastes" are named and threatened of their security in our culture. A single great commission compels us from above, to plan and work together that all may know Christ’s love is Randy Edward’s helpful clarity of our participation with God in spreading the good news of Christ in what is and can be a scary world. For many years now we have worked strategically to provide resources in support of developing spiritual and missional leaders to help congregations thrive in doing this work. We are in a moment of Kairos when we can bridge the gap between Christian Formation of leaders and Congregational Development by starting a College for Congregational Development to learn how to use relevant tools at such a time as this. The spirit behind every formation exercise will continue enlightening learning communities of future leaders with the knowledge and tools needed to navigate the great cultural sea changes of our time. This College will be modeled after the one in the Diocese of Olympia, with our adaptations, and will be led by experienced and dynamic trainers from Olympia and elsewhere. We are grateful for the leadership of Rev. Paul Frolick, the Rector of St. George's in Hilton, who will coordinate this new initiative with the support of others. Please find out more about it, consider it, pray and plan for it by discerning who you want to send on behalf of your congregation, and sign up over the coming years. Let's learn and grow together as a welcoming branch of the Jesus Movement!

— The Rt. Rev. Prince G. Singh

Who should attend?

The College is focused on training congregational teams of clergy and lay leaders (although individuals are also most welcome).  Many of the exercises of the College use your specific parish’s experience, and having a team present helps plumb that experience in a deeper way.  Additionally, teams are more likely to be able to create positive change in the parish.  

For help recruiting parish team members, please contact the Rev. Paul Frolick at 585-241-9317 or pfrolick@gmail.com.

When, where, and how much?

The first year of the College will be offered July 23-29, 2017 at Notre Dame Retreat House in Canandaigua, NY.  

The cost for the college, including room and board, presenter stipends, travel, and materials, is about $1,200 per participant.  The diocese is subsidizing the college this year so that we are able to offer a discounted tuition rate of $850 per participant.  Additionally, in this initial launch year of the College, the diocese is offering additional scholarship aid as incentive for parish teams from the Diocese of Rochester to attend (a parish team is defined as the clergy plus two lay leaders).  Parish teams must commit by February 15, 2017 in order to receive financial assistance. Some assistance is also available for individuals from the Diocese of Rochester who are not part of a parish team. We do not want the cost of the college to be a barrier to participation for parish teams or individuals.  We will work with you to find funds so you can join us. Please contact the Rev. Paul Frolick for more information. 

What are people saying?

I wish I had known the tools and skills taught by the College when I was a parish leader. These tools and skills provide innovative, yet sensible and effective suggestions to help you and your parish team do the ministry you dream about. Plus, the College will boost your spirit and give you hope for the work ahead. It’s a real shot in the arm. 

— The Rev. Winifred Collin

The College of Congregational Development is the most exceptional leadership/professional development conference I have ever attended and that is saying a great deal since I have attended many in my 34 years as a teacher and administrator.  During the week I learned and practiced many tools and techniques that I wish I had learned years ago to use in my classroom and in my role as an administrator facilitating groups.  Besides the interesting content, techniques and tools we learned, the second most powerful piece of the college was the motivating and talented presenters.  The content was presented in such a way that I could focus easily and was entertained at the same time.  Through the use of visuals, humor and excellent concrete examples, the material became understandable and multiple ways to use the models became evident.  This college is not only an excellent opportunity for congregational teams to grow in their understanding of their church dynamics, but it also teaches skills that can be used in all parts of one’s life on the job or at home.

— Sarah Peters


To register for the College, please call the Rev. Paul Frolick at 585-241-9317.  Space at the College is limited.  We encourage teams to register early to reserve their spot and take advantage of scholarship aid.  

For more information

For more information, please contact the Rev. Paul Frolick at pfrolick@gmail.com or 585-241-9317.  Questions may also be directed to three other people from our diocese who attended sessions of the College last summer: the Rev. Winifred Collin, Sarah Peters, and the Rev. Chris Streeter.