Congregational Development

The Eastern PA Conference is deeply committed to fostering the healthy development of new faith communities and congregations, along with revitalization and redevelopment of existing congregations, all to expand our faithful witness for Christ through evangelism, worship, fellowship and ministry. We are always seeking, sharing and strategizing around creative ideas and energetic efforts to expand the definition of church and the experience of congregational life. We strive to reach new people in new ways and to find, support and develop new leaders with new abilities, all in the vibrant spirit of living out Christ’s Great Commission.

Congregational Development, guided by the conference Congregational Development Team (CDT), provides many cutting-edge training and leadership opportunities, resources, and clergy and church assessment and development tools. Our goal is to help the conference and its congregations grow as they become more effective at winning souls for Christ and “making disciples for the transformation of the world.”

CDT Book Club—Wednesday Mornings

The Congregational Development Team (CDT), has designated Wednesdays as “CDT Book Club Day” and announces a new Wednesday morning book club. Through these book clubs the CDT offers interested clergy and laity ideas about how to seek to revitalize their congregations and further develop their ministries.

Starting Wednesday, October 21, the CDT is kicking-off their new Wednesday Morning Book Club with The Post Quarantine Church by Thom Rainer. Facilitated by the Rev. Lloyd Speer, this book six session  will meet weekly via Zoom from 11am to noon. Learn more…

CDT Book Club to explore Rendle’s new book in January 2021

Quietly Courageous, by the Rev. Gil Rendle, is the Congregational Development Team’s (CDT) third book to recommend and discuss in its new weekly Book Club, beginning Jan. 13, 2021. The new clergy and laity study group will gather each Wednesday morning on Zoom, from 11 AM to 12 PM, for six weeks.

Rendle, the author of Quietly Courageous and a former Eastern PA Conference pastor, will facilitate the weekly discussions. The highly regarded consultant and former Texas Methodist Foundation top executive helps denominational organizations address systemic issues and strategies for fostering values-based change and leadership development. Learn more…

Staff Contacts

For information about grants, contact the Rev. Kevin Babcock, Coordinator of Church Support Services,

Congregational Development Team
  • Chairperson: The Rev. Michael S. Netznik

New Local Pastor Licensing School in 2021

The Eastern PA Conference is ready to launch its new Local Pastor Licensing School in January 2021. Registration is open now for classes that will gather online over four weeks, from Jan. 15 to Feb. 28. The school’s new design allows for faster completion in classes that meet on Friday evenings and Saturdays. Persons from other conferences are welcome to attend. Due to the  COVID-19 pandemic, all 2021 classes will meet via Zoom video-conferencing.

The classes will cover UMC Tradition, Leadership and Administration; Spiritual Direction; Preaching; Public Worship and Liturgy; Educational Ministries; Mission and Evangelism; Pastoral Care; and another class related to a Conference emphasis to be determined.

The cost is $1,100, with a $300 non-refundable deposit and the remaining balance due by March 31. The Rev. Dan Lebo is the school’s new Dean.

See the brochure for more details, including requirements. The Rev.  Kevin Babcock, who chairs the Board of Ordained Ministry Committee on Local Pastor Licensing, is the registrar.

MissionInSite LogoThe Eastern Pennsylvania Conference has ended its subscription license to MissionInsite that paid for its usage by all conference churches. However, the conference Congregational Development Team continues to recommend this valuable demographic resource to churches that wish to invest in it.
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