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Change Management in the Church Continuing Education course begins


April 5, 2021
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Concordia Seminary is partnering with Concordia University Wisconsin, Mequon (CUW) to offer this online Change Management in the Church course for pastoral continuing education. The course is taught by Dr. David Peter, professor of Practical Theology and dean of faculty at Concordia Seminary; Dr. Erik Hollander, assistant professor of Business and director of Strategic Growth and Business Development in the School of Business Administration at CUW; and Rev. Randy Raasch, senior pastor at First Immanuel Lutheran Church in Cedarburg, Wis.

Course format

This course features six modules over six weeks, with video lectures, optional readings, recommended assignments and peer discussion activities to enhance the learning experience. The first module includes a live video conference with students and the instructors; this session will be recorded so students can view it later if they are unable to attend. The next four modules each use 45–60 minutes of prerecorded videos that are divided into digestible segments. The final module includes a live wrap-up video conference that will be recorded.

The course is fully online and asynchronous, meaning it can be completed at any time after the April 5 launch date. The course is especially appropriate for ordained pastors, commissioned church workers and lay leaders. Pastors can earn six Continuing Education Unit (CEU) credits.

Course topics

Emotional intelligence and leading change: Moral purpose and relationship building are two components of effective leadership. Emotional intelligence (EI or EQ) is becoming the primary indicator of great leadership. During this module, students develop an understanding of how EQ plays a role in change management. Students also reflect on their own EQ and learn about biblical leadership qualities like faithfulness, courage, sensitivity and the fruit of the Spirit.

Overcoming fear of change: Individuals react to change in a variety of ways. Understanding the possible emotions that come along with change and learning to deploy strategies to overcome those reactions can aid leaders in the change process. This module enables students to describe why people resist change, to familiarize themselves with techniques for overcoming this resistance and to practice those techniques. Students also are challenged to consider what things cannot or should not change.

Teams, collaboration and evaluation: While some people view collaboration as a way to foster a greater sense of purpose when working toward shared goals, others view it as a burden. During this module, students explore collaboration and how they can respond to it, use it and evaluate it within their organizations’ cultures. The module also touches on a biblical model of collaboration.

Dealing with conflict in the church: Change elicits emotion, and sometimes that emotion causes conflict. This module prepares students to handle the anger, frustration and conflict that often accompany change, and to deploy strategies for repairing relationships and recovering unity in the midst of change. The module helps students work toward not only conflict resolution but also personal reconciliation.


To register, click the “Register” button below; this will take you to an application form on the CUW website. On the form, under the question “I am interested in ______,” choose “CUW/CSL Pastor Professional Development” from the dropdown menu.

Registration deadline: March 31, 2021