Guiding Scripture: Luke 24:13-35

Just submit the Contact Form (with as much detail as possible) on any webpage on this site. Our Coaching Coordinator will reach out to you regarding next steps.

The cost can be free, or costs can run from the price of a cup of coffee or lunch up to $150 per session. The difference in the cost is related to the amount of experience of the coach. If you are a pastor or congregational leader and your congregation is going to benefit from the coaching relationship, we highly recommend that the church bear whatever cost there is associated with the relationship. If you need help to offset some of the cost of coaching, please contact to inquire.

We believe that anyone who has goals they want to accomplish and learning they want to master can benefit from a coaching relationship. The core requirements are a posture of openness, teachability, an openness to reflection, and a desire to work on the part of the client.

Coaching can be used for a myriad of opportunities, including but not limited to:

  • Personal leadership growth

  • Growing as a head of staff

  • Leading as an associate pastor, council president, or stewardship chair

  • Skillful handling of staff or congregational conflict

  • Council development

  • Empowering evangelism

  • Congregational transformation

  • Worship, Mission, or Stewardship development

  • Strategic planning

  • Multiplying leaders

  • Building ministry teams

The initial relationship will usually be six sessions over a space of three to six months. At that time, our coaches are trained to reflect with you on the progress you are making and the effectiveness of the relationship. At that point, some clients prefer to take a break from coaching, while others prefer to continue the coaching relationship.

Counseling: In counseling, the therapist works with the client on places of mental or emotional stuckness, often working through past hurts and relational difficulties, with the goal of reaching emotional or mental freedom and higher relational functioning.

Consulting: In consulting, the consultant acts as material expert, does the majority of the talking, presenting, and the telling. The posture of the client is one of receptivity and much more passivity.

Mentoring: Mentoring is a longer term relationship that leverages the knowledge, experience, and wisdom of the mentor for the growth and empowerment of the mentee. The relationship is mutual, and the dynamic of interaction is 50/50.

Coaching: Coaching is a relational alliance that leverages the technology and art of powerful questions and intentional exploration to produce awareness, change, and transformation for the client. In coaching, the client does 80% of the talking.

WHATE IS ELCA LEVEL ONE COACH TRAINING? This course will give individuals 20 hours of coach-specific training (continuing education hours recognized by the International Coaching Federation and usable toward a professional credential with the ICF) and a beginning set of skills to use in coaching others in the work of ministry, leadership development, and life transformation.

WHAT YOU'LL GET FROM THE ELCA COACHING COMMUNITY: As a participant in Level One Coach Training, you can expect to take away lots of new knowledge that will help you empower those you journey with in ministry and change the way you think about approaching work and conversations.

Our belief is that each individual is:

  • Beloved of God,
  • Gifted by God and is
  • Invited by God into God’s work of loving and healing the world.

Coaching will help individuals figure out what this looks like in their unique contexts with their unique gifts and experiences.

Following completion of Level 1 Basic Skills Coach Training you will also:

Have acess to continued coach-specific education: which includes the specialty areas of:

  • Stewardship Coaching
  • Discipleship Coaching
  • Mission Development/Congregational Vitality Coaching
  • Care for Creation Coaching
  • Grief/Loss Coaching
  • Team/Group Coaching
  • International Coaching Federation (ICF) credentialing pathways
  • And more …all designed specifically for this learning community.

Meet new people and find pathways of engagement of coaching with others who are also interested in learning about this skill of accompaniment and how it can help us live more fully into their God-given potential. (This includes innovation in ministry, discerning transitions, and leaning into growing edges.)

Gain empowerment through:

  • Cultural/ethnic/identity awareness
  • Embraced diversity and intentional dismantling of institutional racism
  • Growing network of support for people of color and LBGTQIA+ communities

WHAT WE EXPECT FROM YOU: As with any course, you'll learn more if you stay engaged with the material and actively participate in the community. Here are a few things that you can contribute to our learning environment, and get the most bang for your buck:

Be active in the community. One of the best parts about this training is that you become part of a community. Share your thoughts and ideas, and let us know what you're learning as you work through the material. We encourage you to connect you’re your synod and engage the culture of coaching and pathways of engagement that have been built.  Likewise, we hope you will join our private Facebook page (, visit our website often (, and consider joining our partner entity – Faith+Lead Coaching with Luther Seminary (

Engage with your peers. We're all in this together, and we'll learn a whole lot more (AND have more fun) if we help each other out. Consider attending one of our monthly Coach Connect calls to receive free continuing education and opportunities to practice coaching in triads/diads. This happens on the first Monday and third Thursday of every month. Sign up to join here:

Ask and answer questions. Feeling stuck or confused? We're here for you. Share your questions, and we'll help you work through them:

Using Course Materials: Please note that the course Zoom link is unique to you; please don’t share the link with others. Recordings and other course materials are for your own personal use as a participant and not to be shared outside of the course, unless otherwise noted.

Don't forget, Level One Coach Training is part of the larger community of ELCA’s Coaching Ministry. We encourage you to add specific information, ideas, and questions about this course or start a discussion on a larger topic on our Facebook Page. We've prepared some awesome material for you, and we're so excited for you to get started. Happy learning!

If you are wondering what coaching is – look at some of the videos here:

Check with your Synod Coaching Coordinator. If you're not sure who that is, email us at You may also check the Events & Trainings page for opportunities.

Coaching is open to both clergy and lay leaders. Please connect with your Synod Coach Coordinator. They will work with you on next steps.

If you are not sure who your coordinator is, email us at

All of our coaches have been trained by an International Coaching Federation (ICF) Associate Certified Coach (ACC) or Professional Certified Coach (PCC) who has been developed as a Coach Trainer for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Each of our coaches has passed a development process called ELCA Coach Training Launch or ELCA Level 1 Basic Skills Coach Training and are, at least what we call in the ELCA, a Level 1 Coach. Level 2 Coaches have additional training in specialty areas such as stewardship, discipleship, mission development / congregational vitality, and care for creation. Some of our coaches are working on professional credentialing through the ICF, and some are already certified.

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