Piedmont Crossing Invests in Faith-Based Leadership Development

February 7, 2018

Rev. Bob Symanski, Director of Spiritual Life at Piedmont Crossing, recently completed the Nollau Institute’s year-long training program specifically designed to develop quality leaders. Named for a 19th-century German pastor, Rev. Louis Nollau, who founded several Council of Health and Human Service (CHHSM) Ministries, the Nollau Institute helps participants discern their calling as Diakonal ministers. The curriculum for this distinction is administered by CHHSM’s Nollau Institute, a Cleveland-based organization related to the United Church of Christ denomination.  

The hallmarks of Diakonal ministry are servant leadership, motivation, and engagement. Through retreats, site visits, online dialogue and peer mentoring, the program helps participants discover their vocation as leaders with the support of a community of practice. Much of the program involves internal reflection and emphasizes professional excellence with faith-based purpose.

“Through personal growth and development, the program allows participants to find the servant leader within themselves,” shared Rev. Symanski, reflecting on the Nollau Leadership experience.  “A servant leader puts people first and helps build a community that embraces that same philosophy. By working together, we are able to fulfill our mission and better the lives of those we serve and beyond.”

Along with 18 classmates, Rev. Symanski will be officially commissioned as a Diakonal Minister at the 2018 CHHSM Annual Meeting to be held in St. Louis, MO this March. Rev. Symanski joins several other leaders within the United Church Homes and Services organization to receive the Diakonal Minister designation.