Learn About Alban Consulting
For nearly four decades, the Alban Institute has been consulting with American congregations, and their leaders. Alban consultants are recognized as people who know how congregations really work and how to help them become the centers of grace and transformation that make a difference in their communities and in the world.
We believe that at various moments in a church or synagogue’s life, a gifted outsider can make a special contribution to a congregation’s ministry and future. These special moments often come at important times of leadership transition, growth or decline, planning, conflict, or dramatic changes in the make-up of a congregation or its external environment. If such moments are handled well, a congregation can be renewed and revitalized. It can emerge with a fresh sense of its identity and vocation, and it can take on important tasks and accomplish them. If handled poorly, these moments can leave congregations confused and mired in unhealthy patterns and practices. Because we know that consulting is the most labor intensive and expensive way we work with congregations, Alban does everything it can to keep costs down, but we never sacrifice quality and excellence.
Alban believes that congregations are pivotal institutions for human flourishing. We believe that God works through these local institutions in more ways and with more impact than any one can trace. We believe that what happens within them - their worship services and education programs, their meaning-making and values formation, their ministries of compassion and social justice, their forming of people of faith, hope, and love, their fund raising and recruitment of volunteers, their weaving of religious and social networks – releases a creative dynamism and an awakened imagination that our world desperately needs.
The Alban Consulting Group
With so much at stake in the congregations we serve, Alban is very careful to pick people of special quality and experience to be our consultants. We recruit people who believe in congregations and the difference they can make. The people we select bring excellence and experience in working with groups facing very difficult decisions. They also bring a deep respect for the local cultures of faith that exist in each congregation and are careful to honor their values and commitments. They are careful to build safe spaces for people to work together on challenges that are real and tough. They also will challenge a congregation to be its best self, to face its realities honestly and fully, and to make wise choices as they step into new and unexplored territory.
Face to Face or Virtual?
The digital age has created an array of options that Alban consultants tap to help increase participation and lower cost. Consultations are built on trust and mutual respect and these qualities develop most profoundly in face-to-face encounters. However, there are often elements within a consultation that can move forward without the consultant's presence on-site. Be sure to ask your consultant about when it might be appropriate to use a virtual meeting - teleconference, video-conference or web-meeting - for a portion of your consultation.