Personal Care & Leadership Development
The Western Canadian District (WCD) of The C&MA is convinced that healthy pastors make for healthy churches.
Parker Palmer said, “self-care is never a selfish act, it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer others.” In other words, nurturing emotional and spiritual health is essential to effective ministry.
The WCD provides numerous resources and opportunities to help you with your personal care and leadership development.
Care & Support
Marriage Retreats – held at Kerith Creek Retreat Centre, contact your District Church Coach if you would like to learn more about this experience. Pastoral Care Pastors are available to discuss life and ministry needs. The District Office encourages married licensed workers to attend a marriage enrichment experience as needed. Please consult your church coach or our office if funding support is required; support will be given on a first-come, first-served basis and available as WCD budget permits.
Prayer Retreat – an annual event at Chateau Lake Louise that our District hosts for all our licensed workers in early November. This is a time where the WCD Family comes together to experience God’s presence, enjoy rich fellowship, and receive rest, relaxation, and fun.
Private Retreats – we offer the following sites for a personal renewal retreat. These can be booked directly with each retreat provider.
The District may provide subsidy upon request and dependent on budget. Please consult your church coach or contact our office.
Counseling & Direction
Professional counseling is provided by the District to our licensed workers. We take great care in providing a confidential environment for counseling to take place. If we can assist in connecting you with a professional counselor, please contact your Church Coach.
Recommended Counselors – here is our list of recommended counselors in Alberta. Our benefits provider (Great West Life) will approve counseling from anyone registered with the following associations:
- ACSW (Alberta College Of Social Workers)
- CAP (College of Alberta Psychologists)
- PACCP (Professional Association Of Christian Counsellors & Psychotherapists)
Retreat Centres & Crisis Support – here is a list of ministries that aid in personal retreat or crisis support:
- Journey Canada (previously Living Waters) Relationships, sexuality, and identity
- Kerith Creek A space to truly find stillness and our retreat schedule enables you to experience profound renewal in Christ
- Oasis Ministry In a safe and confidential environment, Oasis offers six-day/5-night retreats designed to provide a place and time to reconnect with God and work through personal and ministry challenges.
- Shepherd’s Heart Ministry designed for pastoral couples, missionaries and full time ministry leaders who are is CRISIS in their marriage or ministry.
- King’s Fold Retreat Centre – a place for rest, renewal and spiritual discovery in the context of Christian hospitality. Our guests come for personal retreat, group retreats and specific themed retreats.
- Other Retreat Centres in Canada
Spiritual Directors & Life Coaches – the following individuals are Alliance professionals who provide spiritual direction:
- Floyd Grunau offers companionship and spiritual direction for male pastors and Christian workers in this District. Contact Floyd at 403.800.2241 or email@example.com. Learn more about Floyd by visiting his website.
- Becky Matchullis is a certified life coach who has served pastors, missionaries and their families for 13+ years. Living as a pastor’s wife and missionary, she coaches from experience with empathy and understanding. Her coaching is practical and goal focused as she calls her clients to live a life true to who God created them to be. Her clients are empowered to find creative solutions and strategies to face where they are and journey toward what’s ahead. Focuses: transition, leadership growth, parenting, feeling stuck. Contact Becky at 403.919.1803 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more about Becky by visiting her two websites Expat Family Resilience Coach or Navigating Life’s Transitions
- Ruth Anne Gilbertson is a Spiritual Director whose passion is to accompany others as they journey toward a deeper connection with the Triune God, self and others. Her approach focuses on assisting a person to pay closer attention to the presence of God and His invitations to cooperate with the ongoing process of becoming like Christ. The whole person (body, soul and spirit) is involved as the directee is invited to develop ways of intentionally increasing awareness of God at work. Ruth-Anne’s approach to spiritual direction has been influenced by her experiences as a cross-cultural worker, years of walking alongside people in transition and discernment, as well as knowledge of scripture that informs us of God’s unchanging ways and goodness of relating to His people. Her training includes formal theological education, certification as a life coach, and as a Spiritual Director. Ruth-Anne loves to embrace life, laughter and the unique expression of God’s grace in each person she meets.Ruth-Anne lives in Calgary, however, does spiritual direction virtually within Canada and globally. You can be in touch with Ruth-Anne to find out more about Spiritual Direction and her services as a Spiritual Director by contacting her by email email@example.com
- Dawn Bon-Bernard offers life coaching for those who feel stuck and want to move forward.Being in ministry for 30 plus years has given her a variety of experiences in coming alongside women…helping them to move from where they are to where they want to be. She believes in the transforming power of the word of God as the Holy Spirit takes it and applies it to our lives. The word says that two are better than one because they have a good return for their work…and as iron sharpens iron so one person sharpens another. These verses serve as the foundation for her ministry. Through ongoing coaching training Dawn continues to learn skills that enable her to be effective in empowering women to move forward on their journey. You can contact Dawn at 403.831.7337 or by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Jamie Boda is a trained and certified spiritual director with a Master of Arts degree in Spiritual Formation. Her greatest joy in offering spiritual direction to leaders is to provide the support needed to know and experience Christ in the midst of day-to-day ministry demands. Together, with the Holy Spirit you will discover what God has for you. This three-way conversation will help you experience a deeper intimacy with God. This intimacy with God will develop through an increased awareness of God in all of life and a growing ability to hear God’s voice. Living and leading from a healthy soul is necessary for yourself and in the expression of your ministry. In order to assist you, Jamie offers spiritual direction in person and via Skype. For more information you can email Jamie at email@example.com.
- Sarah Creek is a Certified Professional Coach (CPC), and accredited member of the ICF. Sarah first discovered the Father’s heart to see women set free when she began her own personal inner healing journey over 15 years ago. She favours a wholeness approach where the heart, mind and soul are considered. Sarah believes that true transformation happens from the inside out; her deep and transformational coaching style reflects this. She is married to Hamish, and they have 2 amazing boys, Evan and Brandon. They call Airdrie Alliance Church their home. Sarah has 23 years of experience in working with people, including past experiences in elementary schools and in the interior decorating industry. She is fully bilingual – French & English, and offers her Life Coaching Sessions via phone or Skype. You can email her firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website here https://www.puresimplechange.com/
Fern Buszowski is a spiritual director and a certified professional counsellor (CPC), GRIP-Birkman coach and life-long learner. After 14 years with the Christian Missionary Alliance, and newly retired Pastor of Counselling and Soul Care, Fern’s passion continues to be sojourning with others seeking inner transformation, growth and wholeness (body, mind and spirit) and a deeper walk with God. Fern’s background, education, and experience integrates emotional, theological, spiritual, and psychological approaches, and prayer disciplines into sessions providing a uniquely experiential approach. She has a certificate in Spiritual Direction from Anam Cara, the urban ministry of Kingsfold, as well as an MA in Leadership and Ministry from Ambrose Seminary, and an MA in Counselling from Providence Seminary. Her main focus is on spiritual and personal growth, transitions, shame resiliency, vocation & calling, cultivating emotional intelligence, leadership and team wellness. She can offer group spiritual direction sessions (locally and remotely) for those seeking growth and transformation in their spiritual life as well as in building healthy healing communities for soul care. Fern is also qualified in a number of assessments (Grip Birkman, EQi 2.0, MBTI I/II, etc.) and does debriefing and coaching for personal wellness and development. For availability and more information, please contact Fern at 403-852-8845 or email at email@example.com
- Marion Dicke – is a trained and certified spiritual director and has served for several years in the Alliance as an International Worker. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ministry of Church Effectiveness Coaches – this is a ministry delivery strategy where our District provides coaches to walk beside pastors in their ministry journey. Find out who’s your church coach
Personal Development (Ministry) Plan – creating specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound goals that can be assessed within the year. See below for the file.
Grip Birkman – an in-depth behavioral and spiritual gifts assessment tool. Contact Wendy to find out more.
Affinity Groups – clusters of pastors that meet together in the following ministry groups: children, youth, worship, chaplains, rural church pastors, women and pastors’ spouses. These ministry groups connect throughout the year. Learn more about an upcoming event with one of these affinity groups.
Strategic Peer Networks (SPN) – peer based affinity groups that meet monthly/bimonthly for the purpose of accountability, support, and encouragement. Contact your District Church Coach about connecting with an SPN.
Professional Training & Development
Alliance History & Thought – a course which surveys the origins of The Christian & Missionary Alliance movement in its social, cultural, and theological context. The course is requirement for all our licensed workers.
Continuous Education Guidelines – the WCD is pleased to partner with our pastors in supporting them in formal education pursuits. Please consult your District Coach or our office.
Core Training – a leadership development program for all new WCD portable license holders. It’s designed to further equip the new worker with knowledge and skills essential for effective leadership and ministry within the context of a mentoring/cohort environment.
Foundations For Ministry Certificate Program – for our non-portable licensed workers without previous theological training, this is a series of educational classes that offer basic theological and ministry related training. See which courses are offered through the Ambrose website.
General Assembly Subsidy – a national gathering held every two years by The Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA) in Canada. This five-day gathering is a time when the whole C&MA community comes together to discern and make decisions together. Contact the WCD District Office for more information.
WCD Lay Leader Development Subsidy – the WCD offers churches the incentive of sending lay people to training events (i.e. Global Leadership Summit, Holy Spirit Encounter). Discuss further with your church coach or contact our office.
New Worker Orientation – each spring the WCD offers new, licensed workers a three day retreat experience in which orientation to our District culture and ministry practices are shared. Contact our WCD District Office for more information.
Sabbatical Guidelines – the WCD provides guidelines (see below) for churches and pastors considering a sabbatical.
Short Term Missions Experience Subsidy – a program available for and limited to an Alliance Field experience. Contact our office for further information.
- District Sabbatical Policy
- Elder Board Sabbatical Planning Checklist
- General Guidelines For Sabbatical Policies
- Sabbatical Communication To Congregation
- Sabbatical Planning Template
- Sabbatical Transitioning Plan
- WCD Sabbatical Strategy (comprehensive)
- WCD Sabbatical Strategy (executive summary)