The Centre for Leadership Development is committed to providing a clear process that’s specifically designed to strengthen leaders who can lead healthy and vibrant churches.

We often intersect with other areas of the CBAC’s work. In particular, the Sozo Centre for Soul Care works with our leaders to develop skills for flourishing and resilience in our leaders, and provides encouragement to congregations to support the wellbeing of their leaders.

Solid leadership is rooted deep in the disciplines of our lives. If we are to be the leader that God has asked us to be, we need to pay attention to these areas:

  • the character of the leader
  • the knowledge of the leader
  • the skills of a leader

Thriving leadership is crucial for our churches to be joining God in our neighbourhoods.

Leadership Academy Masterclass

Masterclass is a series of events from our Leadership Development department, seeking the transformation of our CBAC leaders with continued learning from world-class speakers.

February 27, 2024 @ 1:30pm – Margaret Totten, “Unspoken at Church: Giving voice to the mental health crisis” – Register:  Click to Register for this Masterclass

Mark your calendars for these upcoming Masterclasses (always on the last Tuesday of the month unless advertised differently):

  • February 27
  • April 25
  • May 28

Want to watch previous Masterclass content and past bonus podcast conversations? Check out the presentation videos below. Past bonus podcasts are available here: Youtube playlist. Season 4 podcasts are available below.

Bonus Podcasts:
November 2023 – Dr. Terry Atkinson 


Lay Learning Labs

The Lay Learning Labs are accessible and practical learning sessions for lay leaders seeking to improve and develop their skills that will help them lead the church in this current moment. Details and registration info here:

On the last Monday evening of the month (February, March, April & May), sessions will be offered covering various topics.  Note that they take place concurrently. You can only choose one. Some topics have more than one part, with subsequent sessions taking place in the following months.

Below is the list of what is offered:

February 26th
  • Rev. Renée MacVicar – CBAC intro, Discerning Vision. This learning lab introduces you further to this big, beautiful, loving family we call the Canadian Baptists of Atlantic Canada. Plus, we’ll explore how we’re discerning vision at the CBAC and how YOU can lead a process to discern vision in your local context.
  • Rev. Dr. Greg Jones – Mission Edge Churches: Home Grown/Right Size (Session 1 of 2). The common complaint often heard is that recommended resources may be helpful for some other churches in other places; but they’re not right for us.  Mission Edge Churches is a model/tool developed by CBAC churches for CBAC churches … and churches of all sizes.  In this lab we will introduce the basic precepts of Mission Edge Churches, exploring how at its core it is simply a renewed call for all CBAC churches to live out the mission God has given to all churches in all places at all times.
  • Rev. Paul Ross – Ministry with those who are disabled (Session 1 of 3). Paul will share his experience through I AM Ministries by looking at “A Luke 14 Kingdom Venture: Ministry Beyond Barriers.” In this session, he will look at an introduction to special needs and disability.
  • Jacqueline Derrah – Refugee Sponsorship: Welcoming Strangers with Loving Hospitality. We’ll learn more about what life is like for refugees, how Canadian churches are key in the Private Sponsorship Program, and some of the ways that our churches and individuals can be instruments of hope for the hopeless. We’ll consider some practical ways to love, welcome and extend hospitality in our new neighbourhoods.
  • Rev. Dan Pyke – The Value of Authenticity in Next-Generation Ministry. Our students want to know that faith makes a difference in their schools, work, and neighbourhood. I’m inviting you to consider some of the big trends in youth culture, and how we can respond to those trends through discipleship and a posture of authenticity.
March 25th
  • Rev. Renée MacVicar – Joining God in the Neighbourhood. Together, we’ll look at Jesus’s encounter with a Samaritan woman at the well. We’ll consider what it means for us and our church, as today we join God at the ‘wells’ in our communities.
  • Rev. Dr. Greg Jones – Mission Edge Churches: What’s in Your Hand (Session 2 of 2). This Part 2 of exploring Mission Edge Churches emphasizes that each and every church has all that they need for at least the first/next step(s) of the journey God has for them, but often we fail to appreciate it. In this lab we will explore the Congregational Guide developed for Mission Edge Churches, and how it can be used to bring your congregation together to discern its calling in the neighbourhood(s) where He has you, in part by considering all the resources your church already has.
  • Rev. Paul Ross – Ministry with those who are disabled (Session 2 of 3). In continuing with “A Luke 14 Kingdom Venture: Ministry Beyond Barriers,” Paul will talk about the Key Concepts and Strategies that they have developed at I AM Ministries that can be helpful in creating a ministry to and with those with special needs and disabilities.
  • Laura Bennett – The Trellis: A Framework for Flourishing in Life and Ministry. Increasingly, we see a need for next-generation leaders to be grounded in a holistic approach to following Jesus to best serve the young people in their care. That’s why we created ‘The Trellis.’ Come learn about our framework for flourishing and how it might change your personal journey, team, and ministry culture.
April 29th
  • Rev. Renée MacVicar – Discerning a Call. This lab is a conversation about what it means to be called by God and how we can recognize God’s call and leading in our lives. This lab gives you an opportunity to reflect on how God has been at work in your life and can use you in Kingdom work.
  • Rev. Paul Ross – Ministry with those who are disabled (Session 3 of 3). In this final session on “A Luke 14 Kingdom Venture: Ministry Beyond Barriers,” Paul will look at the vital part of Making a Luke 14 Kingdom Venture a vital part of a congregation.
  • Laura Bennett – Justice: Issues of Reconciliation. Description TBA.
  • Karen Gunn – What Church Treasurers need to know about Pension and Insurance Benefits. In this Learning Lab, we will go through the eligibility requirements, enrolment and contribution process, answer some of the Frequently Asked Questions, and share recommended practices for sick leave. All important things your church needs to know if you have paid employees.
  • Rev. Dan Pyke – Listening to Our Students: What do they tell us about Church and Faith? One of the most important things we can do is listen well to our students. In 2021-22, the Youth & Family Department sought to listen to students through their Perspectives research project. Come learn what we learned from our students and the insights they have for our churches.
  • Rev. Dr. Cheryl Ann Beals – Growing Deeper: Exploring Relationship with God, Self and others. We will explore briefly what it means to go deeper in our relationship with God, with ourselves and with others.
    We will explore:
    *The meaning and importance of relationships for Christians and for the church.
    *How to be more aware of God, ourselves, and others.
    *How to be intentional about relationships.
May 27th
  • Rev. Dr. Greg Jones – Fresh Expressions: Unwrapping It and Taking It Out of the Box. This Part 2 of exploring Mission Edge Churches emphasizes that each and every church has all that they need for at least the first/next step(s) of the journey God has for them, but often we fail to appreciate it. In this lab, we will explore the Congregational Guide developed for Mission Edge Churches and how it can be used to bring your congregation together to discern its calling in the neighbourhood(s) where He has you, in part by considering all the resources your church already has.
  • Debbie Barriault – Best Practice for Church Treasurers. This learning lab will be focused on Best Practices for Church Treasurers to help better equip you to do your role. We will go through the Treasurer’s Handbook and answer some of the most Frequently Asked Questions, as well as share some of the services that are available to you.
  • Rev. Dr. Garth Williams & Andrew Myers – Called to Serve. If you’ve ever wondered what the process to Ordination looks like in the CBAC, now is your opportunity! From Call to Education to Ordination. Come learn about the journey.


Leadership Development Intensive (LDI)

A new 18-month program designed to help all pastoral leaders understand themselves, the theology of leadership, and the culture of the church and community they are called to lead.

The CBAC needs leaders who are prepared to skillfully, prayerfully serve our congregations as we join God in our neighbourhoods. The LDI addresses an ongoing need for structured professional development and deeper engagement for pastoral leaders serving in our churches. Leaders who enroll in LDI will take part in monthly peer group learning circles and four in-person summits throughout the program.

The Leadership Development Intensive is now ongoing. We invite you to pray for this community of leaders over the next 18 months—we’re believing that God will do a work of growth in this group!

LDI fact sheetView PDF | Download PDF


Are you considering vocational ministry?
Have you already taken the first steps but have questions about your fit for ministry?
Want to know more about yourself and your gifts for ministry?
Come to Explore, an annual event for individuals looking to enter into our process towards ordination.

This event will help you:
– discover who the Canadian Baptists of Atlantic Canada (CBAC) is;
– discover who you are and your call through the use of an Emotional Intelligence Profile, Personality Profile, Spiritual Gift Inventory and conversations.

For those who are planning on coming before the Board of Ministerial Standards and Education, this is a requirement for acceptance as a Candidate and will be a prerequisite to appearing before the Board for their initial interview.


The Unexpected Leader Podcast, launched in 2019, shares stories of leaders’ journeys through unexpected circumstances and callings.


Dr. Garth Williams
Director, Centre for Leadership Development

Andrew Myers
Assistant to the Director of Leadership Development


Journey to Ordination


Recognized Lay Leadership Process & Regulations:

  1. Download Lay Leadership process here
  2. Contact Garth Williams to talk about next steps: