Coaching Programme

In 2007, the Ministries Council of The Church of Scotland set out to develop a Coaching Programme for ministers working in Scotland’s most deprived communities. These communities were in and around Glasgow, on the West Coast of Scotland, or on the outskirts of Edinburgh.

Fourteen ministers enrolled and in January 2008 attended a two-day residential programme focused on Resilience in Ministry. Over the two days, models, theories, and concepts relating to ministry were presented covering topics such as work-life balance, leadership, conflict in organizations, time management, ongoing development, and taking on new challenges. Participants were encouraged to set goals for the six months of coaching that was to follow.

At the end of six months of coaching, the group returned for a closing two-day residential. The focus was on naming and assimilating what was learned through the coaching process and sustaining achievements going forward. Participants gave high marks to the programme on evaluations, many saying it had been an extremely valuable resource to them both personally and professionally.

The Coaching Programme is now in its tenth year. Well over 125 individuals have gone through the programme. The programme has grown to include deacons, youth workers, community musicians, children and family workers, administrative staff, and others in leadership positions. It includes people of all faiths and is now offered widely, well beyond the original identified communities.

In the fall of 2009, a small number of participants began training to be coaches. The Coaching Team is now twelve in number. Some of the Coaches have partaken in well over 100 hours of training, supervision, and mentoring. Currently almost all the coaches have other full-time work; however, several are considering coaching full-time once they reach retirement.

In 2015, it was decided to have the Training Accredited through the International Coach Federation and so the Coach Training Programme as presented embarked on that goal. The Coaching Team participated fully even though many had already had years of coach training and supervision; four of five will have met the requirements to apply for certification by the end of 2017.

We are pleased to offer coaching as a recommended developmental resource within Ascend. The coaching team will need to continue to expand in order to meet any increase in demand. The current programme is in partnership with Gayle Irvin PCC, principal of DeepRiver Consulting who has developed and coordinated the programme from the start.  We will also soon be starting a consultation process with Edinburgh Coaching  Academy to look at how we can offer coach training to more individuals interested in order to increase our capacity.

2017 /2018 Coaching Cohort Opportunity

Each year the Ministries Council runs a Coaching Programme. It is an opportunity for Ministers to reflect upon their current practice of ministry and consider their development for the future. The programme runs from September to April and comprises two main elements: two 24 hour residential events and 12 hours of individual coaching with an experienced coach.

The programme is usually offered to a specific group, such as those in Priority Area charges or those completing their first five years in ministry. However, this year we would like to offer the programme to anyone who feels that their ministry might benefit from coaching. Perhaps you are at a point of transition, or have been in your charge for a number of years and intend to stay but want a fresh perspective. You might have many years of ministry experience or be within your first five years. You might work in a remote rural village or an urban context. At any stage in your ministry, coaching can provide an opportunity to reflect, plan and perhaps re-imagine your role with the guidance of an experienced coach.

The residential events will take place on 14 – 15 September 2017 and 19 – 20 April 2018 at The Bield near Perth. The individual coaching sessions will run between the two residentials. To take part in the programme you need to be able to commit to both of the residential events and the individual coaching. All costs for the programme are met by the Ministries Council.

If you have any questions, please email Isobel Armstrong-Frost.

Please click here to register your interest as soon as possible; there are only 10 places available. Isobel will reply to you to confirm whether a place has been allocated.

Interested in receiving coaching or becoming a coach?

Please contact us via email for further details.


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