How much time will I invest in the course?
Our program is designed as 110 hours of instruction, delivered over eight weekends. Over the course of two years as a learning community, participants delve into the interplay between systems and culture. In the first year, the four weekends are primarily devoted to the study and experience of healthy and missional shaped congregational systems. In the second year, the four weekends are primarily devoted to the study and experience of healthy and missional shaped congregational cultures. Outside of class, participants read from the required reading list. Each participant applies DCDI skills and methods to projects they are currently working on at their home parish, and writes a brief reflection on the project and its outcomes. Two projects are completed over two years. Each diocese sets its own schedule of class time and project deadlines.
Who attends DCDI?
Active church members are invited to attend DCDI. Many wardens choose to enroll, and committee leaders, social leaders, education leaders, worship leaders, clergy and other church staff choose to attend. Several churches identify and invite future leaders to participate, in preparation for future leadership roles. The DCDI experience is richer and more productive when participants enroll as part of a parish team. It is strongly recommended that you enroll with a group of 3-5 people from your own parish. The people who attend are curious about how to exercise their unique, God-given gifts to support a healthy and vibrant parish.
What does a typical weekend look like?
Each weekend's schedule includes a variety of activity. Engaging presentations address our four core competencies: Skills, Methods, Theories and Self-Awareness. Small group discussions invite participants to explore the topic more deeply and practice facilitation skills. Parish teams talk about how to apply the material to their own parish reality. Individual reflection is a time to discern your role in your Christian community. Shared mealtimes and an evening social time is a relaxing way to create and foster relationships. We worship together as an Episcopal community, saying the Daily Office throughout the day and celebrating Eucharist. Personal quiet time can be used for connecting with loved ones back home, prayer and meditation, or walking the retreat center grounds.
How much does it cost?
Each diocese determines the cost for participants. Some dioceses subsidize part or all of the tuition, or offer scholarships. Room and board is determined by the location. Travel expenses, books and materials are usually covered by the participants.
Why should I consider this?
The Diocesan Church Development Institute encourages congregations of any size to be fruitful and exercise their gifts generously. Sometimes, we feel a desire to act, but don't know what to do. Sometimes, we don't know how. We struggle to articulate why it really matters. DCDI teaches you a faith-filled process for defining these issues and generates lots of ideas. It creates a space and place for you to reflect, with your parish team, on how your parish lives into the mission of the Church, which is to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ. (Book of Common Prayer, p. 855.) DCDI gives you an opportunity to reflect on your personal strengths, your weaknesses, your biases, and your gifts. DCDI provides a place to explore, practice and grow in faith and love.
You are welcome to join us!