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Conversations and insights about all things Episcopal

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What is clergy coaching?


Twenty years ago, “executive” or “professional” coaching was about fixing toxic behavior at the top of an organization. However, today, “executive” or “professional” coaching is about investing, developing, and supporting high potential leaders in an organization.

Clergy coaching is executive/professional coaching for ordained leaders in the Church. The most successful and innovative leaders in America have coaches who further develop their leadership and vocational excellence. Athletes like Serena Williams and Tom Brady rely on coaches both on and off the court/field. Excellence is not accidental; excellence happens when it is cultivated and embodied by an organization’s leaders.

Clergy coaching is not therapy. It is also not primarily consulting. A coach’s role is not to give answers and solutions; instead, an excellent coach engages in their client’s professional journey through observations, questions, education/resource sharing, advocacy, and empowerment. The ideal coaching environment is achieved when the clergyperson is highly professionally motivated, committed to being coached, and embodies a fierce desire to learn and grow.

How involved should the congregational/organizational leadership be in the coaching experience? Clergy coaching is ideally a three-party relationship between the church/organization, the clergyperson, and the coach. The clergyperson and their coach carry out the bulk of the work. Yet, coaching is a forward-looking endeavor that seeks to enhance the individual leader and the church or organization they lead. A three-party partnership better articulates and strengthens the unified goals, supports healthy and transparent communication practices, and best supports the clergyperson’s well-being and success both professionally and personally.

Rite One Consulting offers to individuals, congregations, organizations, and Dioceses an extraordinarily cost-effective and straightforward way to invest in your clergy’s well-being and success through our clergy coaching (executive coaching) program. Coach and client, seek to create bridges to navigate difficult waters, bridges to new ideas and innovation, and bridges to improved personal balance and well-being. To learn more, visit our clergy coaching website.


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