School of Congregational Development Set to Equip Leaders

Date Posted: 6/28/2011

Registration is now open for the School of Congregational Development, which will take place July 27-31 in Dallas. Sponsored by the General Board of Discipleship, Path 1 and the General Board of Global Ministries, the school is designed to strengthen new and existing congregations by equipping their leaders.


What began in the 1980s as a GBOD and GBGM training experience for new church start pastors, has now blossomed to include training for bishops, district superintendents,  conference staff, pastors and church teams  from existing congregations who desire to learn how to create and develop disciple-growing congregations. The event is a spiritual experience that renews faith in Jesus Christ and sends people into their communities in mission and ministry. Plenary sessions and worship experiences unite all participants as a faith community.


Plenary sessions include: From Attraction to Invitation; From Maintenance to Movement; From Ourselves to Others; From Giving Up to Going Out. Bishop Earl Bledsoe of the North Texas Annual Conference will preach the opening worship service, which is themed, From Crises to Christ Centered.” Rev. Tyrone Gordon, senior pastor of St. Luke “Community” UMC Dallas and author of F.O.C.U.S.: Living the Lord’s Prayer, will preach the closing worship.


Additionally, the SCD intensives, ministry tracks, workshops and experiences at teaching congregations all allow individuals to explore their specific ministry areas. Intensives are 3½ hour experiences focused on key principles and ideas that can be applied to most ministries. Participants choose one intensive. The four-part ministry track is tailored for conference leaders, new church leaders, racial ethnic ministries and leaders of existing churches.


Participants choose one ministry track. Participants also choose two Saturday workshops, which offer nuts-and-bolts information on critical ministries in the local church. Then, on Sunday, attendees worship with and learn from one of the 12 teaching congregations in the Dallas area. Participants experience firsthand the ministry of a dynamic congregation and learn from the leaders how the ministry has developed.


Registration includes a continental breakfast each day, dinner on Thursday and lunch at the Teaching Church. Transportation, lodging and all other meals are the responsibility of the participants. The cost of registration is $425 by July 1, and $475 after July 1. A bus pass to a Teaching Church is $15 All plenary sessions and workshops will be held at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel, 400 North Olive Street, Dallas, Texas, 75201. Reservations: 214-922-8000 or 888-627-8191. Group Rate: $125 per night plus 15% tax. Please refer to the School of Congregational Development when making your reservation.


Visit for more information and to register.


A highlight of the School of Congregational Development is the opportunity to worship and learn in congregations that whose fruitfulness can be traced to their Spirit-led pursuit of passionate worship, faith forming relationships, risk-taking mission and service, radical hospitality and more.


Although we walk by faith and not by sight, seeing often is believing. Seeing how God used others to change the world, can often be the witness and inspiration one needs to activate their own faith.


The SCD teaching congregations include:


Korean Central UMC

(website in Korean)

Sung Chul Lee and Nakhoon Cho

One of the largest UM churches in the Dallas area, this fast growing congregation emphasizes prayer, evangelism, and world missions. With services in both Korean and English, they are planting their first church in nearby Frisco.


Highland Park UMC

Mark Craig and Paul Rasmussen

Among the largest congregations in America, this church next to the SMU campus excels in providing a multitude of worship styles and faith communities all within one campus: from high church to traditional to contemporary to gospel and more. In addition, they have embarked upon a mult-site strategy, planting campuses throughout the Dallas metroplex.


Munger Place UMC

Andrew Forrest

The first satellite campus of Highland Park, Munger Place was for years one of the premier churches in Dallas. Over the last few decades it had declined to the point of closing, when Highland Park took over the church and completely resurrected it into a fast-growing, culturally-relevant contemporary worship venue bursting with energy and new life.


Casa Linda UMC

James Minor

An Anglo congregation with an African-American pastor, who developed within it one of the most effective Hispanic ministries in Dallas, Casa Linda UMC is truly a multi-ethnic church that serves its neighborhood in mission, service and worship.


Faith UMC Corinth

John McLarty

Faith UMC launched public worship in September 2003 and continues to meet in a high school, while its first building is completed. Faith UMC is known for its outstanding hospitality, excellent music and creative worship style, in addition to its perseverance.


Grace Avenue UMC

Billy Echols Richter

For 12 years, Grace Avenue UMC has been making disciples and making a difference through Jesus Christ in the dynamic, growing community of Frisco and its surrounding areas. In that period,

Grace Avenue has grown to over 1,700 members, with a weekly worship attendance of 800 in four different worship experiences. Grace Avenue is currently planting a new congregation in a mission field northwest of Frisco.


First UMC Dallas

John Fiedler

The anchor UM church of Dallas, a venerable old church, has shown how traditional worship and ministry with excellence can create vibrant growth and new life. In the hub of a major city, this congregation has more than survived, it has thrived!


St. Luke “Community” UMC

Tyrone Gordon

The largest African-American UMC in Dallas, St. Luke “Community” is nationally known for its music, worship, community involvement and leadership development.


Christ Foundry UMC

Owen Ross

This fast-growing Hispanic congregation ministers to the immigrant community in the Bachman Lake area of Dallas. Currently constructing its first building, Christ Foundry serves the area in a variety of cutting edge ministries.


Oak Cliff UMC

Edgar Bazan

In its declining years this congregation made the strategic decision to attract a multi-ethnic population, then turn their beautiful facility in a ministry led by a bilingual Hispanic pastor.


Lovers Lane UMC

Stan Copeland

In a sprawling campus, with continual new construction, this growing church specializes in ministry with targeted audiences, such as those dealing with addictions, the deaf and immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa.


South Campus of Saint Luke

“Community” UMC

Derek Jacobs

The satellite campus of nationally known St. Luke “Community” UMC, this new worshipping community is now one of the fastest growing African-American churches in Dallas.