The Congregational Development Commission helps local congregations build resilience and thrive.

What do we do?

  1. Help parishes envision the future development of their congregational life
  2. Identify local and Diocesan support and resources
  3. Envision and design effective congregational support modules
  4. Provide leadership and organizational development training

How do we do this?

  1. Build studies and cultural profiles of participating churches, towards developing customized support modules
  2. Explore creative ways to promote parish learning sessions and support opportunities
  3. Use and share research on organizational development, particularly in the area of New Sciences
  4. Pray and read scripture together towards renewing trust in the many good works of God in the world

What is our working philosophy?

We seek to distinguish older styles of leadership, which tend to emphasize top-down control, and focus instead on what may be called self-organizing systems.

We work with local congregations to help build the container that will empower them to “do the work” of their own church. We help churches identify a framework – a container – that fits their own local efforts, environment, and community. But, we do not impose the content to be placed in that container. The content itself – the work of your church – arises from the bottom up, from your own local congregation.

We focus on relationships of love, among individuals and with the whole local community, as expressions of the living Body of Christ. When we choose to focus on the challenge and depth of our human relationships, we come to see God working in our lives, and inviting us towards places to grow spiritually, and as a community.

What are some examples of how the CDC works in our Diocese?

  • Diocesan Resilience Survey: Gathering data to understand the impact of Covid on Montana’s congregations and clergy.
  • Small Rural Church Study: Researching how church closures have affected Episcopalians and their communities in rural Montana.
  • Culture Profile Development: Designing and sharing a survey instrument to help local congregations measure and understand their organizational health.
  • Direct Support to Vestries and Clergy: Meeting with Vestries to help them identify strengths and challenges, and develop leaders who can deal with the changes necessary to build on strengths, and to meet challenges.
  • Diocesan and Provincial Strategic Planning: Supporting the Diocesan Council planning process, and coordinating with Province VI on issues and concerns relating to small rural churches.

How can the CDC help my church?

  • Strategic Planning
  • Spiritual Discovery and Leadership
  • Exploration of your gifts and self- organizing systems
  • Training on Leading Change

For more information on how the CDC can help your congregation, please contact  the Rev. Dr. Janis Hansen.

What does the Culture Profile Survey assess?

The Culture Profile is a survey designed to be printed, shared, and completed as part of a weekly worship service. This document assesses 18 dimensions of a congregation’s culture, on a 6 point scale, as part of assessing its health. Why is “culture” important? Because it is fundamental to understanding and creating change, which in turn is fundamental to moving a congregation forward!

A participating congregation would request the survey document (available in MS Word format), print it, share it, collect the completed forms, and send them to the CDC. The CDC will tabulate  the results, and generate a report to share with the congregation.

The Culture Profile is one of the tools available to help your congregation learn more about itself, and learn how it can best thrive within its own environment.

To have your congregation participate in the Culture Profile Survey, please contact Jim Wiley.


Presentation to Clergy Conference

Presentation to Diocesan Council – April 17, 2021

The Rev. Steve DeHart

The Rev. Dr. Janis Hansen

The Rev. Theresa Kelley-Bergmann

The Rev. Canon Chris Roberts

Mr. James (Jim) Wiley