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

College for Congregational Development

 Here are the 2019 Weeklong Participants!


 Congregational Development during the Pandemic Conversations

The 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?

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.

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.

When, where, and how much?

There are two options for attending the College: (We are planning that COVID restrictions will be lifted in time)

  1. A seven day, six night weeklong intensive, beginning Sunday afternoon at 3 pm and ending Saturday at noon. This year’s weeklong intensive is July 18-24, 2021.
  2. Four weekend sessions, beginning Friday at 5:30 pm and ending Saturday at 6 pm. This year’s weekends are September 24-25, 2021; November 19-20, 2021; February 25-26, 2022; April 1-2, 2022

Please note: The College is a two year curriculum, Year A and Year B. The years can be completed in either order. In 2021, the Weeklong will be Year B (which we planned to offer last summer in 2020) and the Weekends will be Year A (which we last offered for the Weeklong and Weekends in 2019).

Both the weeklong intensive and the weekends are held at Notre Dame Retreat House in Canandaigua, NY. The tuition/room & board is $900. Congregations in the Diocese of Rochester can send a team of three (typically clergy plus two lay people) for a single tuition.

How do we register our team?

Registration is easy! Please email The Rev. Paul Frolick at pfrolick@gmail.com with the following information:

  • Participant name, parish, and location
  • Preferred email
  • Weeklong Intensive or Weekends

Please note that we expect the Weekend format to fill up quickly, so if that is your preference, register today. Please contact The Rev. Paul Frolick at pfrolick@gmail.com or

585-241-9317 with questions or for more information.

2019 Diocese of Rochester Participants


2018 College Photos here


Click on this 10-Years video!


From Bishop Singh

Dear saints,

When it comes to leadership, I am sure you agree that healthy team leadership is most consequential! It’s the secret to healthy congregational growth and development. It is the longest-lasting investment we can make as a church. As followers of Jesus, the Good Shepherd, we are called to embody one of his significant teachings to discern and practice becoming a healthy community of shepherds.

Three years after launching the College for Congregational Development in this region, I am happy to say I am more than convinced that such a formation experience in spiritually developing lay and clergy leadership teams is working well. The core of this enterprise is developing the leadership of our lay leaders who are foundational to the health of any congregation! The college is not a technical switch that changes everything. However, it provides resources that are helping many of our leaders to work in teams to discern and figure out a wholesome way where there previously was no perceivable way forward! 

The Diocese of Rochester is happy to report that two years in a row (2016 and 2017) we have recorded an increase in the number of people worshiping in our churches. It is my belief that growth in Average Sunday Attendance is a lagging indicator of development in spiritual and missional leadership. While we have a small increase in numbers, I pray that it is indicating a trend. We are happy about this growth!

Please contact Rev. Paul Frolick, the Director of the College for Congregational Development! I am extremely happy to share that we have an emerging partnership with the Diocese of Central New York punctuated by the Blessing and solidarity of Rt. Rev. DeDe Duncan Probe! We pray that this will continue to grow and take new forms in the years ahead.

I hope you will consider taking advantage of this opportunity to help enhance your mission and ministry to follow Jesus into your neighborhood with competent and thoughtful leadership teams. I think this—healthy team leadership—is the proverbial nut that needs cracking in our contexts of ministry. Let us help you with relevant resources to sail into the deep waters of transition in your local church and our culture at large.

Your fellow servant in Christ,