Adaptive Church Leadership Cohort

ACLC is an 18-month cohort training for impactful ministry in a radically changed world.

What if your church could have a more impactful ministry for the 21st century?

It probably won’t come through another expert, another conference, or another mission statement. Instead, it’s time to experiment your way into a new future.

Through a process of prototyping and iterating, you can take on the adaptive challenges your congregation faces AND connect more deeply with the community around you.

The Adaptive Church Leadership Cohort offers your church team the guides and the fellow travelers for this adventure.

What to Expect

Is ACLC for you?

Team Approach

Implementation is easier when you learn together.

Accessible Pricing

More affordable than bringing a consultant to your church

Level Up Your Skills

Grow your congregation’s adaptive capacity to continue negotiate the challenges of the future

Do you find yourself overwhelmed by the challenges before you want to learn to lead real adaptive change?

The Adaptive Church Leadership Cohort offers the resourcing, the team approach, a community of fellow travelers, and the coaching that can help you take the important steps towards more impactful ministry in a radically changed world.

Training Content

Leading Through Change

Learn skills for leading through change

Learn how to craft effective missional experiments

Learn to navigate a congregation through change

Through an 18-month process, a team of up to 6 participants from your congregation will discover and live into the principles of adaptive change that lead to impactful ministry in the 21st century.

You will learn how to be more attentive and strategic about experimenting on the edges and reshaping the culture within your church to more effectively be the church for a changing world. You will have access to one of the most sought after consultants and coaches in adaptive change, Tod Bolsinger, for real-time feedback, discussion, and support. You will be supported in the work of adaptive change in your local congregation by a coach who will work with your team through the opportunities and challenges that arise in the day to day implementation. And you will be connected to other church leaders and teams navigating a similar journey through peer conversation, online chat group, and in-person summits.

View the 4 Phases of Training

Phase 1

Preparing for Adaptive Change

Recruiting a transformation team, utilizing the Observation/Interpretation cycle, and identifying the congregational DNA that is critical for the adaptive process.

Phase 2

Prototyping Adaptive Change

Learning the principles and practices of prototyping, leading from the margins, overcoming sabotage, and building adaptive capacity within your congregation.

Phase 3

Building Adaptive Capacity

Interpreting learnings, maintaining disciplined attention, applying internal change interventions, and iterating experimentation.

Phase 4

Becoming an Adaptive Church

Leading through learning, gaining congregational involvement in the change process, developing capacity for enduring change.

Meet your guide.

Tod Bolsinger, recognized leader in the field of adaptive leadership in the church and colleagues from Fuller Seminary; partnering with Fresh Expressions US, a network of leaders with a track record of mission experimentation emerging out of inherited church systems; and other leading voices in the field.

Businesswoman smiling during a meeting in office. Cheerful female professional looking at male colleague and smiling.

“This Cohort has been so good for me and for our congregation. I think what we learned will ‘stick.’ I’ll carry what I learned to my new church since it’s the perfect approach to a new pastorate.”

Bruce Case
Parkway Heights UMC, Hattiesburg MS
Cohort Locations

Forming Cohorts for 2023-2024

Midwest Cohort (Kansas City based)

Begins October 20, 2023

October 20-21, 2023—In-person summit

January 9, 2024 6-7:30pm CT—Webinar

April 9, 2024 6-7:30pm CT—Webinar

June 14-15, 2024—Virtual Summit

September 10, 2024 6-7:30pm CT—Webinar

October 4-5, 2024—In-person summit

November 5, 2024 6-7:30pm CT— Final webinar

Don’t see what you’re looking for? Join the Waitlist for our next cohort.


Six-Person Team

  • Training
  • Materials
  • Coaching
  • Meals at 2 in-person summits

$5,999 or $279/month
(Including a $1,000 non-refundable deposit)


More questions?

What format is the training?

  • 1 Virtual and 2 In-Person Summits: Extended training time with thought leaders, coaches, and peers
  • Online content: To further your learning and share with your congregation
  • Webinars: To interface with training and inspiration between summit gatherings
  • Church team coaching: To support your church team in working the process of adaptive change
  • Group coaching: To foster idea-sharing and feedback from peer churches

How do we know if we’re a good fit for the cohort?

You know that there will be no “return to normal”.

You have read “Canoeing the Mountains,” but are having trouble applying it in your setting.

You want to develop a small team of explorers and adventurers who can lead into the unknown.

You want to become the best leadership team you can be for God’s work in the world in this new ministry landscape.

You have tried to lead change and got stuck when you faced resistance or apathy.

You are ready to move from the strategies of the past and the divisions of the present and want to experiment your way into a new future.

You are not the only church that is struggling to figure out new ways of being the church in a changing world. But if you care about entering into that struggle and discovering the unique opportunities for your church to engage a changing world, you are a good fit for this cohort.

Who should attend the summits?

We allow up to 6 people from a participating church to attend the summits. Included on this team should be a mixture of:

Permission Givers: senior pastor, associate pastor, influential leaders (elders, key leaders, trusted mentors) who have the role and influence to effect cultural shifts in the church system

Pioneers: entrepreneurial disciples who are interested in mission experimentation in and beyond the local congregation

Both Permission Givers and Pioneers will be critical to the process and should be in the conversation from the start.