The Servant Leadership Institute aims to assist leaders in cultivating the new competencies needed for leadership in the 21st Century.

Responding to new leadership needs

The Synod of the Northeast continues to live into the promise of the New Way Forward. One of our goals is to expand the pool of leaders in our presbyteries by enhancing their competencies and pursuing greater diversity. Old models of leadership that are focused on top-down leadership styles are obsolete. The new challenges in leadership require competencies in deep listening and the heart of a servant. New leaders must have the ability to cultivate a vision rather than dictate one, and they must have the tools to work collaboratively within a broader community of leaders.

The Servant Leadership Institute seeks to develop, nurture, and deploy leaders that are committed to working collaboratively with the diverse communities of the Synod; leaders who will meet the complex challenges of church in the 21st Century with creativity and a ground-up perspective. Areas of development include relationship development and management, communications, creative problem solving, emotional intelligence, and resilience.

Program Format

The program runs from September-September and consists of:

  • 9 workshop sessions

    • In-person action learning focused on real-life issues and leadership challenges

    • Group coaching experiences for in-depth leadership development work

    • Conversations and learning stimulated by assigned reading pertinent to the objective of the session

  • Four 1-1 coaching sessions over the 12 months of the Institute

  • A final meeting three months after the last gathering

    • Checking-in and planing a way forward


How much does the program cost?

All participants are being asked for a contribution* of $500, plus books and transportation (within 100 miles of our meeting). All meals, and accommodations for those who might need an overnight stay, are included.

Applicants should also be mindful of other important costs:
For the year of its duration, the program will ask participants for significant commitments of time, openness of mind and spirit, and spiritual and intellectual energy. By submitting an application, you affirm that you foresee being willing and able to make these commitments.

Financial assistance is available, and no person will be turned away for an inability to pay.
For more information about financial support, please email our program coordinator, Lori Hylton.

*The actual cost of the program is approximately $5,500/person, but is heavily subsidized by the Synod.

Who will be providing leadership to the Institute?

The Synod is working with Janet Steinwedel, a ruling elder from the New Castle Presbytery in Wilmington, Delaware (directly to the south of our Synod's bounds) for instruction/facilitation. Janet brings significant leadership coaching experience and we are excited for this new partnership! Her bio is below.

Lori Hylton, our own Synod Administrative Coordinator, is serving as the program coordinator for the Servant Leadership Institute.

Janet Steinwedel photo
Janet Steinwedel

Janet's Bio:
Janet Steinwedel, Ph.D. is the President of Leader’s Insight. She provides coaching to individuals, teams, and small groups in a variety of organizational settings. Janet is an adjunct professor in the Master of Science in Human Resource Development (MSHRD) program at Villanova University and a regular lecturer for Neumann University.

Janet worked internally with Fortune 500 companies leading change management, organizational development, and leadership development departments. She started the coaching function for a leading global pharmaceutical company. At that time she was a member of the Conference Board’s Executive Coaching Council assisting with the clarification of ethics and developing standards of excellence.

In 2005 Janet completed her Ph.D. work in Human and Organizational Systems and started Leader’s Insight, LLC. She has been a student of Jungian psychology for over a decade and has two books integrating the work of analytical psychology and executive coaching published by Chiron Publications: The Golden Key to Executive Coaching (2015) and Authenticity as an Executive Coach: Waking up the Wounded Healer Archetype (2017). Her third book on Group Work is due out in the fall of 2019.

Janet is a 20-year member of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Wilmington, DE, where she is active on session. She is a 30-year member of the Philadelphia Society for People and Strategy, holding a variety of positions over the years and is currently the leader of the Executive Coaching special interest group. She enjoys swimming, playing golf, and traveling in her spare time.

What will sessions cover?

  • Session 1 – What is leadership today?
  • Session 2 – Self and Other Awareness, Building Trust
  • Session 3 – Leadership & Self Development, Integrity and Gratitude
  • Session 4 – Leadership & Self Development, Aggression vs. Passivity, Resilience
  • Session 5 – Innovation
  • Session 6 – Change Management, Organizational Development, & Communication Strategies
  • Session 7 – Team Development, Coaching Skills
  • Session 8 – Accountability, Execution
  • Session 9 – Pulling it All Together
  • Session 10 – Check In, What’s Working, Challenges

What is the timetable for each session?

Each session will run from 10:00am to 3:00pm, with coffee and pastries in the morning at 9:30am.
Lunch and afternoon refreshments will be served.

What are the meeting dates?

  • September 20/21 – 1-1 meeting
  • Friday, October 18
  • Saturday, November 16
  • Friday, December 13
  • Saturday, February 8
  • Friday, March 20
  • Saturday, April 18
  • Friday, May 30
  • Friday, June 19
  • Saturday, July 18
  • Saturday, October 17

Do I have to attend all the program days?

To successfully complete the Servant Leadership Program, all participants are expected to attend all sessions and participate in the peer learning groups.

Where will sessions be held?

The in-person gathering location of the Servant Leadership Institute is still being determined, but will likely be somewhere in New Jersey.

Who will review applications & select the cohort?

The Synod’s Committee on Representation (COR) will serve as the application review committee and select the 2019-2020 cohort.

2019-2020 Cohort Information

The inaugural Servant Leadership Institute will run from September 2019 to October 2020.
We are now seeking a cohort of 10 individuals who have exhibited leadership qualities and are eager to participate in this leadership development opportunity.

To apply, please complete the application webform below (including an attached résumé and letter of recommendation).

While only applications received through the online form will be accepted and reviewed, for your convenience you may use this Word document template as you prepare your application, since the online form does not allow you to save and return to unfinished drafts.

Application DEADLINE: Friday, May 24, 2019
CONTACT: Synod administrative coordinatoR, Lori Hylton

Click here for 2019-2020 Cohort Application

Servant Leadership Institute

Have questions about the institute, the application, or curriculum?
Contact our Synod Administrative Coordinator, Lori Hylton.