Collaborative Leadership Development Program for Women Religious, Co-Members and Associates


CLDP-4   June 2016 — November 2017
Applications due:  April 1, 2016
Acceptance notifications given:  May 1, 2016
Program begins:  June 1, 2016 with the 360 Leadership Profile

DATES for St. Louis Gatherings
August 26-30 2016
March 18-22, 2017
November 3-7, 2017

CLDP-3   June 2015 — November 2016
DATES for St. Louis Gatherings
August 28-September 2, 2015
March 13-18, 2016
November 16-20, 2016

CLDP-2   June 2014 — December 2015
DATES for St. Louis Gatherings
August 23-28, 2014
April 20-25, 2015
December 7-12, 2015

CLDP-1   June 2013 — November 2014
DATES for St. Louis Gatherings
August 25-30, 2013
March 16-21, 2014
November 16-21, 2014

The Leadership Collaborative is a coalition of religious congregations of women working to develop leadership capacity-building among religious congregations, and to foster dialogue and personal transformation that will translate into cultural and systemic change. The Leadership Collaborative includes United States-based congregations with or without ministries outside the US. The Leadership Conference for Women Religious (LCWR) and the Religious Formation Conference (RFC) are organizational members of the Leadership Collaborative.

The Leadership Collaborative has established the Collaborative Leadership Development Program (CLDP), a multi-congregational, multi-national, multi-faceted leadership-development program for younger vowed members, co-members and associates of religious women’s congregations. Designed to prepare individuals for leadership in community, church and society, the program is both contemplative and relational, expanding the participants’ consciousness and providing support for growth and development within the structure of a cohort of peers.

The CLDP is made possible in part through a generous grant from the GHR Foundation.

The CLDP is a multi-congregational, multinational leadership training program for religious congregational vowed members, associates and co-members who are 60 years of age or younger.

The program is 18 months in length, with three in-person gatherings, typically held in summer, spring and late autumn. The gatherings are held at Mercy Conference and Spiritual Center in St. Louis, Missouri, USA.

The program and all resources may be offered to participants in both English and Spanish.

The program seeks to build the participants’ capacity for effective leadership in community and ministry. The program promotes both individual development and a collective vision of shared leadership.

The program is open to members of United States-based congregations who may or may not also have ministries outside the U.S.  Vowed members include women who have made temporary vows. Associates and co-members, who have been affiliated through covenant or similar agreement with a religious congregation for five years or longer, may include both males and females.  Participation is limited to 40 participants.

Requirements include:

• A written letter of recommendation from the leadership team of the participant’s congregation affirming the applicant’s leadership potential

• The applicant must either be in a leadership role or be open to serving in a leadership role in ministry, community or society

• The applicant must be willing and able to fully engage in the program and have time to participate in all gatherings, monthly webinars, mentoring and small-group activities

• The applicant must have access to the internet and be able to engage in web-based learning.

Diversity will be assured by reserving up to 25% of the spaces for associates and co-members. In addition, the program promotes diversity by making every attempt to balance out participants in light of congregational membership, age and culture.

Qualified individuals apply to participate in the CLDP. The CLDP Director may also conduct phone interviews to further screen applicants to ensure they are a good fit for the program. The Program Director makes the final decision on the selection of candidates in light of the above criteria.

There is a one-time fee is $4,000 (which is applied to tuition, room and board). Participants are responsible for their own travel costs.  Grants and donations cover the remaining expenses.


• The program will have a contemplative dimension to allow participants to pause, reflect, integrate and practice what they are learning.

• The program will be framed in a global context that demonstrates the need for transformation in the world, in the church and in community.

• The program will emphasize the need for change and transformation toward a global, sustainable future.

• The vision of leadership will be based on the characteristics described in “The Spirit of Leadership,” by Bob Anderson, President and CEO of The Leadership Circle.

• Leadership includes leadership roles in community and/or in ministry.

• Each participant will take The Leadership Circle Profile, a 360 feedback survey, followed by an individual coaching session with a certified LCP coach.

• Each CLDP cohort will include vowed members, associates and co-members of religious congregations from several countries.

• Each participant will select a mentor. Below is a description of the mentor role:

Mentor: walks with a mentee over a longer period of time; has expertise in a specific area of leadership, and is perceived as a wisdom figure; exemplifies (at least in significant areas) what the mentee wants to become; attends to the spiritual dimension of leadership; offers insight into the system that the mentee is trying to learn; is not paid for her/his services.