Coaching Ministry

Introduction and FAQ

Our coaches empower leaders of the SES to effectively engage God’s people in ministry.

About SES Coaching Ministry: 

Aligned with Southeastern Synod’s vision “To equip, empower, and engage God’s people to love and serve the world,” the SES Coaching Ministry believes that coaches are effective partners who empower our leaders to live this vision. Through coaching, leaders will engage God’s people as they shine the light of Jesus in our world. 

God Equips

We believe God has already equipped you with the skills, gifts, and partners you need to participate in God’s mission in your community.

Coaches Empower

The role of a coach is to journey alongside an individual or group, so you may use those gifts from God more effectively to overcome challenges and achieve your goals. Through listening and questioning the coach helps you to see different perspectives and to implement a plan to move forward.

You Engage

Equipped by God, accompanied by a coach, you are empowered to engage with others. A coach can walk with you but cannot take your steps. You, as a client, set your own goals and create your plan for reaching them.

An ELCA coach is someone who has received 20  hours of coach training through an accredited program of the International Coaching Federation (ICF). Learn more about what a coach is (and what a coach is not) in this document.

We coach individuals and groups in the Southeastern Synod including pastors, deacons, council members and ministry teams.  We coach anyone who is doing God’s work through ELCA congregations in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee.

We believe that anyone who has goals they want to accomplish or overcome the feeling of being stuck can benefit from a coaching relationship. Coaching can be used for a myriad of opportunities, including but not limited to:

  • Growing in personal leadership.
  • Growing as a head of staff.
  • Leading as an associate pastor, council president, or stewardship chair.
  • Developing skills for handling staff or congregational conflicts
  • Designing council development opportunities.
  • Empowering evangelism
  • Designing opportunities for worship, mission, or stewardship development
  • Leading strategic planning
  • Developing leaders
  • Building ministry teams

The core requirements for a client are openness, teachability, and openness to reflection and a desire to do the work as the client.

The cost can be free or cost can run from the price of a cup of coffee, or lunch, up to $150 per session (Typically coaching lasts six sessions). The difference in the cost is related to the amount of experience of the coach. If you are a pastor or a congregational leader and your congregation is going to benefit from the coaching relationship, we recommend the church bear as much cost as possible. If you need help to offset some of the cost of coaching, please contact the Coach Coordinator, Pastor Patti Axel to inquire (

Complete the Request A Coach form HERE.

Then a member of the SES coaching leadership team will contact you. We will try to match you with a coach who meets your needs.

Coaching is open to both clergy and lay leaders. Please email our Synod Coach Coordinator, Pastor Patti Axel at  Pastor Axel will discuss the next steps, including Level I Basic Skills Coach Training with you.