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Leadership Cohorts:

The topical content of the School of Urban Leadership 

Experience Change.

The KLA School of Urban Leadership offers a 9-month Leadership Cohort certification program implemented in retreat format. See the schedule and curriculum below.

Schedule and Curriculum

The School of Urban Leadership uses a connected learning model that fuses interests, relationships, and academia through 4 retreat-style classes and a concluding capstone project. The classes are day-long retreats* spread over 9 months with additional skill-specific workshops interspersed throughout. This allows for your experience to be active, relevant, real-world, effective, hands-on, innovative, contextualized, personal, and transformative. This retreat model is fashioned to make the program as inclusive as possible so participants can integrate it into their existing commitments, work, church, family, school, and so on. It's also fashioned to foster deep bonds between cohort members.


Retreat 1: Foundations of Urban Leadership and Christian Community Development (September 2024)

  • The Mission of God

  • The Mission of the Church

Retreat 2: The Power and Necessity of Proximity -- Ancient, but Fresh Models of Leadership in a Post-Christendom Society (November 2024)

  • Incarnation, Relocation, and the Cross: The Call to Suffer with Christ

  • How to See the City: The City as Classroom, Parish, and Playground

Retreat 3: Engaging Culture with Integrity -- The Hard Issues within the Ministry of Reconciliation (January 2025)

  • Knowing and Loving the Other

  • Diversity: Race and Class

  • Diversity: Sexuality and Gender 

  • Unity in the Body

Retreat 4: Systems Thinking -- Doing Justice (March 2025)

  • Colloquium on Social Justice

  • Structural Advocacy: Law, Policy, and Theology

  • The Economics of Human Flourishing: Moving from Toxic Charity to Development

Retreat 5: Capstone Presentations (April 2025)

*Retreats are Saturdays from 9 am to 3 pm. There is one day and a half retreat which includes a Friday evening Opening Ceremony at a great local restaurant in the region.

**All retreats and workshops include meals, snacks, and childcare all covered by the KLA

Projects, Assignments, and Application

  • There are limited, but efficacious assignments and active learning structured around your calling and what you need to know

  • Regular discussion-based and written reflections

  • Ministry/work-specific excursions

  • Explicit challenges

  • Capstone project that is designed to practically impact your work and community


  • Transformational Leadership

  • Art as a Transformational Tool

  • Emotional IQ + Self-Awareness

  • Active Listening

  • Community Assessment

  • Asset-Based Community Development

  • Trauma-Informed Care

  • Self-Care

Required Reading

  • Making Neighborhoods Whole - Wayne Gordon and John Perkins

  • The Shaping of Things to Come - Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch

Supplemental Reading

  • Where the Cross Meets the Street

  • Leadership on the Line

  • The Divine Conspiracy

  • Tattoos of the Heart

  • With Justice For All

  • Shalom and the Community of Creation: An Indigenous Vision

  • Roadmap to Reconciliation

  • Disunity in Christ

  • Faith-Rooted Organizing

  • One Church, Many Tribes

  • Work Matters

  • God is in the City: Encounters of Grace and Transformation

  • The Very Good Gospel


  • Become a part of a collaborative network of faith-based, grassroots leaders that are neighborhood-focused, sector-based, and citywide.

  • Learn to interact in a pluralistic society with, conviction, integrity, and thoughtfulness

  • Develop and practice a centered and holistic theological perspective that can be practiced

  • Develop cultural and leadership competencies

  • Get connected to resources 

  • Learn ways to restore the public trust in the church as an agent of good and reconciliation


  • Duane Crabbs -- Founder of South Street Ministries; Co-Pastor, Front Porch Fellowship

  • Bryson Davis -- CEO of the Akron Leadership Foundation; Professor of Sociology and Criminal + Restorative Justice, Malone University; Co-Pastor, Front Porch Fellowship

  • Other experienced non-profit, church, political, and business leaders of faith from around the country


Hear from past Cohorts testimonials

*Curriculum abides by Judeo-Christian principles

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