A Diverse Church by Design

07.21.21 | Leader Development, Advocacy and Action, Racial Justice

    Cross-Racial and Cross-Cultural Leadership Program

    Register Today

    Registration will close on January 16th, 2025 at 11:59pm.


    A Diverse Church by Design: Cross-Racial and Cross-Cultural (CRCC) Leadership Certificate Program is a biblically-based experimental approach to diversity and inclusion. ​It has been informed by the survey the Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference conducted this year with pastors and lay leaders in 80 CRCC congregations and best practices.

    The program aims to increase churches' diversity and inclusion and develop ways to create God's Beloved Community where justice, equal opportunity, and love can embrace all. We will achieve our goal by a hands-on approach that includes:

    • Exercising strategic and creative work to define diversity and inclusion challenges in your congregation; and,
    • Seeking innovative solutions for ministerial excellence.

    As a result, you will be able to develop a creative plan for your church that will help everyone feel welcome, supported, respected, and included.

    The program consists of four modules based on a problem-solving approach. Upon completing the program, your church will receive a certificate acknowledging your commitment to creating a just, diverse and inclusive church. ​

    This program is designed to provide tools for fostering a culture of appreciation, respect, and inclusion, and for making evangelism culturally effective in a diverse world.


    Diversity promotes creativity and leads to higher team performance in an organization. This is particularly true regarding church ministry. A diverse church leadership brings a wide range of God-given talents, leadership styles, different gifts and perspectives, and spiritual growth with openness.


    This program is for a team of up to five leaders in a church, including the pastor and/or other clergy staff persons. This is not a program for individuals to take alone.

    It is designed for:

    • Churches looking for solutions to be a more diverse and inclusive church. 
    • Leaders who want to grow a stronger intercultural ministry team.
    • Those congregations who have received a new cross-racial/cross-cultural appointment.

    Register for the program by January 16th, 2025. The curriculum is designed as a hybrid model with four learning modules. Hybrid courses entail self-paced online learning and live interactive lessons. The orientation session will take place on October 15th, 2024. The first live interactive lesson will begin on Saturday, January 18th, 2025. Course commitments include:

    • Complete four modules consisting of self-paced study material (approximately taking an hour to review).
    • Participate in 1.5 hours of live online sessions each quarter (January, April, July, and October).
    • Have guided reflections with Conversation Partners in your context (February, May, and August)
    • Complete quarterly assignments (March, June, and September).
    • Present A Diverse Church by Design project to your church.
    Register Today
    When? Schedule of Zoom Training

    Orientation | October 15th, 2024, 7:00 - 8:00 pm ET
    Module 1|
    January 18th, 2025, 9:00 -10:30 am ET
    Module 2| April 19th, 2025, 9:00-10:30 am ET
    Module 3 | July 19th, 2025, 9:00-10:30 am ET
    Module 4 | October 18th, 2025, 9:00-10:30 am ET


    These faculty provide leadership during the quarterly sessions.

    Rev. Dr. HiRho Park - Lead Pastor at Bethesda UMC and Vice President for International Relations and Advancement at Huree University.  View Bio.

    Rev. Dr. C. Anthony Hunt - Pastor/Professor/Consultant/Leadership and Life Coach in The United Methodist Church; CEO New Horizons Coaching/Consulting.  View Bio.

    Rev. Dr. Stacey Cole Wilson - Executive Minister of Beloved Community for the Baltimore-Washington Conference. 

    Rev. Dr. Frederick Douglas Powe, Jr. - Director of Lewis Center for Church Leadership and Professor of Evangelism at Wesley Theological Seminary. 

    Rev. Neal Christie - Executive Minister of Connected Engagement for the Baltimore-Washington Conference.

    Rev. Dr. J. Val Hastings - Founder and president of Coaching4Today's Leaders and Coaching4Clergy.  View Bio.

    Rev. Dr. George Winkfield - Mentor with the District Committee of Ordained Ministry and the Baltimore-Washington Conference Board of Ordained Ministry.


    Sojourners accompany congregations throughout the program to ensure that they have the support they need to implement well. 

    Rev. Phil Ayers, PCC (Professional Certified Coach)
    Rev. Phil Ayers, PCC, CMC has served rural, urban, and suburban congregations for 40 years. The majority of his pastoral ministry has centered on congregational revitalization. Phil has also served as a law enforcement chaplain for over 20 years and currently serves with the Maryland State Police. Phil has an extensive background in sacred music which enhances his ministry. Since January of 2018, Phil has been actively coaching individuals and groups in congregations establishing a coaching mindset that has proven to be highly effective to spiritual growth. He has also started a coaching business and is working to establish an international coaching group that concentrates on inclusiveness and diversity. Most recently he became a Certified Mentor Coach through the International Coaching Federation. He is certified in Emotional Intelligence Assessment as well as DISC. His website can be found at: ayerscoaching.com

    Rev. Dr. George Winkfield 
    For the last five years, I have had the pleasure to mentor candidates for ordained ministry with the District Committee of Ordained Ministry and the BWCj Board of Ordained Ministry.  I have had the opportunity to share my knowledge and experiences of pastoring a variety of churches including Cross-Racial Cross-Cultural appointments. I work to guide those I mentor through the process of commissioning and ordination. For individuals who already have appointments, I help them to navigate the early portions of their life as a pastor in a wide variety of settings and contexts.

     Rev. Dr. Kevin M. James, Sr. 
    I have provided professional mentorship and coaching opportunities for the last 25 years. Being a former district superintendent, campus minister, college chaplain, seminary and college Trustee, and the current senior pastor of a multicultural/multiracial church has enhanced my abilities to assist other clergy colleagues and congregations.

    Rev. Dr. Val Hastings, MCC (Master Certified Coach)
    I have been providing coaching, coach training, and mentor-coaching for the past 20 years. I have offered these services in five different languages and on five continents. I am also the founder of Coaching4Clergy and Coaching4TodaysLeaders.

    Rev. Dr. Steve Cho, ACC (Associate Certified Coach)
    I am a life coach and a Methodist minister serving at Ward's Chapel UMC in the Baltimore-Washington Conference. My coaching journey began with taking courses in the Coaching4Clergy training program in 2018. Working through these courses soon became an amazing turning point to restructure my life and to review some bumpy issues I was facing. My coaching buddies guided me to find better solutions through that process. Later, I established Coaching for Transformation and invited people from diverse life-environments and cultural contexts. My coaching specialty is dealing with issues of churches and groups in the cross-cultural and multicultural context. Any request from individuals or churches is welcome. Life is an interesting journey, similar to riding a roller coaster. Once we feel that we have grabbed some clues for the next step, we then realize there's another bumpy obstacle ahead. However, as a transformational coach, I can provide you with reliable questions and insightful conversation so that you can wisely handle your challenges and restructure your community plans. I will be a good buddy for your journey!

    Rev. Dr. Jon McCoy
    I have participated in several mentoring/coaching relationships over the past 20 years, working with pastors of various congregations across the United States. My experiences in CR-CC appointments have included churches in several annual conferences. As a mentor and coach, I have assisted both clergy and laity in the development and evaluation of innovative ministries in urban and suburban settings. Rather than attempting to impose existing models upon pastors or congregational settings, effective coaching explores the unique gifts and insights of individual pastors and assists them in utilizing approaches that are comfortable and best suited for them. Mentoring offers another type of engagement that takes advantage of opportunities to learn from a wide range of experiences. In some cases, it is the similarity of the challenges, strengths, opportunities, and goals that influence the value of the mentoring relationship. In other cases, the impact of a mentoring relationship is expressed through the clarification of perspectives.

    Rev. Dr. Albert Shuler
    I have been coaching pastors, laity and churches for over twenty years. I have developed strategic plans for nearly twenty-five churches of which twenty were successfully completed. All plans were based on SMART goals. I have and continue to mentor pastors of various stages in ministry to ensure effective leadership and pastoral care. My work has included BOM, training for first-time pastors, course of study, licensed to preach school, and work with GBHEM  events ‘IS GOD CALLING YOU?’
    I had the opportunity to serve churches that have produced nearly candidates for ordained ministry during my tenure.

    Rev. Don Lee
    An Asian-American pastor, I have been an ordained United Methodist Elder for over 30 years. Every church that I have served as senior pastor (four out of five), I’ve been the first non-white Lead Pastor appointed to it. I am now in my ninth year as the Lead Pastor at FUMC Denton, a large church in the North Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church. In conjunction with the intern program at Perkins Seminary, SMU, I have served as a mentor for ministerial candidates numerous times. Formerly I chaired our conference committee on Asian ministries. I am in my third quadrennium as a member of our Board of Ordained Ministry and have worked as an advocate for Asian-American pastors in this process.

    Rev. Myungha Baek
    Rev. Myungha Baek was born and raised in South Korea. He came to the States to study in August 2001. After he graduated from Wesley Theological Seminary in D.C., he had served as a local pastor in Galesville UMC in Galesville, MD, and South Damascus Charge in Damascus, MD, and a pastor at Monrovia charge. He has served St. Paul UMC since July 2020. His appointments have been in a cross-racial/cross-cultural ministry context.
    Rev. Baek believes that diversity is a strength of UMC. His presence as an immigrant clergy allows the congregations to consider the differences and diversity in cultures. His ministry also helps them to expand the congregation’s understanding of different theologies from diverse backgrounds. And it allows people to grow in understanding our diverse cultures better and believing in God deeper.

    Rev. Loretta Johnson
    Passion for assisting individuals and groups work through challenges that create conflict and disharmony; assisting persons with identifying options for sharing strengths for building positive relationships during divisive encounters; and developing ways for groups to heal through agree-to-disagree strategies. Especially enjoy working with multi-ethnic groups on sensitive and relational issues.

    Rev. Esther Holimon
    In my 36 years as a Pastor, I have had the privilege of serving a total of seven churches.  Of the seven, five have been either cross-racial or cross-cultural appointments. Seminary seeks to prepare us for the work we are to do, but on-the-job training is by far the best teacher.  My experience in ministry has grown over the years, and in addition to my own parishioners, my ability to mentor my colleagues and those seeking to go through the ordination process has enabled me to further sharpen my skills in mentoring, coaching, encouraging, and leading.

    Rev. Edgardo Rivera 
    Rev. Edgardo Rivera is the lead pastor of Emmanuel United Methodist Church, appointed on July 1, 2021. Pastor Edgardo is a native of Puerto Rico and was ordained as an elder in the Philadelphia Episcopal area of the United Methodist Church in 2005.
    Before coming to Emmanuel, Pastor Edgardo served as Frederick District Superintendent. He has pastored churches in Harrisburg and Reading Pennsylvania. He currently serves as the Wing Chaplain at the 175th Wing, Warfield Air National Guard Base in Baltimore, MD.


    A Diverse Church by Design is sponsored by the Baltimore-Washington Conference.  There is no cost to register and complete the year-long program. The program includes a certain amount of time with a sojourner who accompanies congregations throughout the program to ensure that they have the support needed. Should your congregation determine it needs more support throughout the program, there will be a cost associated.

    Scholarships are available for those with a financial need.


    Upon completion of the course, clergy can earn 1.5 CEUs. For more information on CEUs, visit the Clergy CEU policy.


    Please contact Fathima Rifkey, Justice Project Coordinator, at .