Academy of Artful Leadership Program watercolor header graphic

Barbara Wilson, Coach/Leader

The Academy of Artful Leadership helps gifted leaders continue to grow through hosted conversations around key themes in ministry, peer learning, and individual coaching. The outcome is greater clarity and calculated movement toward transformational congregational leadership.

The Academy utilizes a “coach approach” process, which means that instead of relying on instruction from a teacher or prescriptions from a consultant, a coach helps to mine the expertise and internal wisdom of congregational leaders. This “coach approach” process helps leaders discern the God-sized things that need to happen, develop a plan to get there, and celebrate with them when they do.

Topics Covered

  • Spiritual Leadership — How to remain a life-giving adaptive and spiritual leader.
  • Adaptive Leadership — Best practices for connecting with the mission field around you.
  • The Importance of Vision and the Power of Smart Goals — The power of setting SMART goals for ministry.
  • Disruption as Holy Opportunity — What needs to be honored, and what needs to be disrupted for the sake of the Kingdom?
  • Enhancing Small Group Ministry — Why leaders should be starting new small groups continuously.
  • Empowering Lay Leadership — Tools for developing lay leadership.
  • Fresh Expressions of Worship — What one change would increase the vitality of your worship?
  • The Coach Approach to Ministry — How to utilize the “coach approach” in ministry.





Group sessions will from 10-11:30am Central:

  • January 22, 2022
  • February 26, 2022
  • March 26, 2022
  • April 23, 2022
  • May 28, 2022
  • June 25, 2022
  • July 23, 2022
  • August 27, 2022

Individual coaching calls will be scheduled between you and your coach at a time that is convenient for you.


  • 18 hours of coaching that includes:
    • Peer Group Learning — Eight monthly 90-minute group sessions designed to spark dynamic conversation around key themes in ministry.
    • Six individual one-on-one coaching sessions with a trained coach, focusing on challenges and opportunities in ministry.
  • Teaching Videos and Worksheets –monthly, around crucial ministry themes
  • Certificate of Leadership Development upon completion of the training


Barbara Ann Wilson journeys with people and organizations in linking intellect, passion and practice.  She has extensive training and experience with organizations and systems to increase capacity, transform culture, and create resilient and sustainable opportunities. She is a catalyst to support strengthening vitality and mission impact within communities. 
Connect with Barbara:

Barbara is an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) with the International Coach Federation and works with individuals and teams in leadership transformation and strategic partnerships. Barbara is a certified Qualified Administrator (QA) of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) and trained Facilitator of Bowen family systems theory with Healthy Congregations, Inc.

She is an adjunct professor (Mission, Ministry, Leadership) for the Doctor of Ministry programs at McCormick Theological. She is a master trainer in Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Trauma-Informed for Faith Communities.

Barbara is ordained as an Itinerant Elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AMEC) and has over 26 years of service as a staff minister, senior pastor, and local, regional and international denominational positions, appointed and elected.

Barbara also serves as the Director, Collaboration and Community Partnerships for the Presbytery of Chicago, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). In this leadership role she models and facilitates, for collective mission impact, maintaining healthy collaborative relationships with leaders of the 80+ congregations and community stakeholders in within Chicago and surrounding suburbs.

She holds B. A. and M.S degrees in Criminal Justice and Justice Administration, respectively. She received the Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from McCormick Theological Seminary.  She is a native of Memphis, Tennessee and has called Chicago home for 36 years.  She endeavors to live with integrity and joy.

Contact Barbara if you need more information or have questions. 

Barbara Wilson, 312-420-2701,

About the Author –

Chris Holmes photo,

Rev. Chris Holmes, PCC,  has been coaching church leaders across many denominations since 2008, with over 1000 hours coaching laity, clergy, denominational leaders and bishops. In the United Methodist Church he leads the coaching team working with new district superintendents and directors of connectional ministry, as well as several conference leadership cabinets.

Chris authored, along with George Howard, the Coach Approach Skill Training (CAST) for ministry, which is an approved training program of the International Coach Federation. CAST has now trained over 1000 church leaders in the basic and advanced skills of coaching for ministry. He also is co-creator and faculty for Auburn Seminary’s coach training and author of The Art of Coaching Clergy, as well as many articles on coaching.

As a founding member of the Maryland Chapter of the International Coach Federation, Chris served as President from 2012-2014. Prior to coaching, he pastored churches for 26 years and served as District Superintendent of the Annapolis District in the Baltimore-Washington Conference. Chris and Margaret have been married for over 35 years, have three grown children. Chris is an accomplished watercolor artist.

General Questions

Contact Lynda Otte, 614-245-8813,