Lexington Theological Seminary will host a workshop on Appreciative Inquiry Nov. 10-12, 2014 at its new site at 230 Lexington Green Circle. The workshop will be led by Dr. Rob Voyle, founder and director of the Clergy Leadership Institute based in Hillsboro, Ore. Thanks to a grant from the Oreon E. Scott Foundation, LTS is able to offer the workshop to local clergy at a registration cost of $50. Noon meals are included.
Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is an approach to organizational development that emerges out of the pioneering work in organizational psychology by David Cooperrider at Case Western Reserve University. Dr. Voyle has adapted this into church contexts as a powerful approach to individual and congregational development that is future oriented and focused on increasing positive capacity to move into that future.
AI is based on the idea of discovering what works and gives life to an organization and then building the organization on these life-giving properties. Using AI in churches is described as discovering “What in God’s name is going on here?” and then designing the church’s structure and programs to enable more of these Godly things to be done and participated in.
In essence, the AI model uses a process of inquiry to discover people’s best experiences and to use those experiences as a basis for imagining a future and designing the processes and structures that will make the imagined future a reality. This imagined future, however, is not just a fantasy because it is grounded in the experiences of the people involved. What is noteworthy about the AI approach in comparison to other organizational development models is that it does not require a detailed analysis of problems or deficits. Consequently, AI is less prone to initiating negative, blaming and judgmental atmospheres than problem-focused interventions.
Dr. Voyle is an Episcopal priest with more than 20 years of experience in ordained ministry. He has a doctorate in clinical psychology from Fuller Theological Seminary in addition to degrees in theology, counseling and mechanical engineering. He has served as an interim pastor, interposed with research and development engineering, behavioral medicine, clinical psychology, coaching and organizational consulting. In his parish ministry he has focused on pastoral counseling for both individuals and churches in transition. He is also the coordinator for the Transitional Ministry Network.
Dr. Voyle was an original faculty member at the College of Executive Coaching. For five years, he taught and coached hundreds of personal and executive coaches on using appreciative inquiry. He is committed to providing advanced training in clergy leadership to enhance ministry effectiveness. His personal mission is to be “helpful, humorous, and healing,” which he manifests in a passion for conducting training. He is a gifted storyteller with a penchant for mischievously confronting listeners with new insights that are both affirming and liberating.
NOTE: The registration deadline is Oct. 15, 2014.
TIME: – 9 a.m.-5:50 p.m. EST on Monday and Tuesday, and 9 a.m.-12 noon on Wednesday
LOCATION: Lexington Theological Seminary – 230 South Lexington Green Circle
For more information, contact Rev. Tanya J. Tyler, LTS Clergy Mentor Program Coordinator, at (859) 280-1232 or firstname.lastname@example.org.