2019 LWF Retreat of newly elected leaders in Geneva and Wittenberg, September 2019. Photo: LWF/C. Kästner

Newly Elected Leaders

Called to serve

This is a leadership development process for newly elected church leaders, namely bishops and pastor presidents. The program consists of biblical, theological, leadership and management learning/sharing modules, which are implemented through a combination of individual and peer learning, online workshops and in-person retreats in Geneva and in Wittenberg, Germany. The retreats are organized in collaboration with the LWF Center Wittenberg.

The Retreat for Newly Elected Leaders (RONEL) is an annual event. The LWF invites newly elected church leaders—Bishops, Pastor Presidents—in its member churches to participate in a joint leadership journey to explore and reflect together on the concept and practice of leadership, and deliberate on the meaning of being leaders in the Lutheran communion.

The annual RONEL seminar is conducted annually by the LWF Communion Office in collaboration with the LWF Center Wittenberg. Rather than being a one-time event, the retreat is a process that consists of study and reflection, face-to-face encounters in Geneva and Wittenberg, and peer-based exchange and networking.

The seminar provides an opportunity to learn more about LWF’s work, to be closely integrated into the global communion and find new ways of collaboration through:

  • individual studies and reflections;
  • in-person seminar in Geneva and Wittenberg;
  • peer-based interventions and networking.

The seminar’s content is based on the following thematic areas:

  • Biblical foundations on leadership
  • Lutheran theology on leadership
  • Vision and values of church leadership today: What guides Lutheran leaders today and
  • Lutheran identity, theology and leadership:
  • Adaptive leadership, leadership models and methods: Ability to change and develop leadership

The program is adjusted according to the participants’ needs and expectations.

Throughout the process we nurture a learning culture, which encourages mutual learning and sharing of experiences. We want to offer a space where leaders become connected and mutually supported, especially in regard to contextual concerns. Each theme is reflected through individual experiences of participants and study cases from diverse contexts.

By facilitating the establishment of networks, the LWF wants to encourage leaders to find synergies, share resources and be connected with each other. Through peer-based interventions during and after the seminar, the LWF provides safe spaces for dialogue, in which leaders can feel supported and empowered and address issues that are sensitive and truly concern and burden them.

Participants in the 2022 Leadership Seminar will be invited by LWF Communion Office. Should you be interested to join, kindly contact either your LWF Regional Secretary or Rev. Katariina Kiilunen