DWU to offer Nonprofit Church Leadership (NPCL) graduate program

Dakota Wesleyan University has established an ecumenical partnership with the South Dakota Synod, ELCA to offer its Nonprofit Church Leadership (NPCL) graduate program to rostered ministers. The focus of DWU’s NPCL program is to strengthen the ability of pastors to lead mission-focused, financially healthy, and congregationally-engaged churches.

The year-long program is currently in its second year and participating pastors from the Dakotas are seeing immediate impacts from participation. There have been significant increases in giving and attendance, in addition to substantial improvements in human resource management, communications, and governance. The program is a one-year, 21-graduate credit-hour program, that can be applied toward a M.B.A. upon completion. The program is primarily online with three face-to-face gatherings, allowing for flexibility with busy church schedules. Content is tailored to church practice. Scott McKirdy, a current participant who has been a clergy for more than 30 years says, “I like to refer to this program as ‘The Pastor’s Masters.’ It is making an increasingly tangible difference in our church. It is something I wish I had years ago and am learning so much from now.”

Pastors and deacons are also paired with a professional coach who helps with applied project implementation for the duration of the program.

“The coaching is really all about helping people grow in their faith and finding a way to connect with people who are trying to get better at what they’re being called to do,” said NPCL coach, John Foley of the Church of St. Anne in Hamel, Minnesota, during the NPCL retreat at Lake Poinsett in January 2020.

Financial assistance is available to cover costs of the $7,000 program through the Synod office.

Those interested in the program should contact Renee Splichal-Larson at rsplichallarson@sdsynod.org or 605-274-4022.

Interested members are encouraged to apply by April 1, 2020. The next program start date is July 6, 2020.

For more information visit: www.dwu.edu/churchleadership.

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