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Urban Leadership Certificate Program

1 year


4 courses

Each class
2 months

Why is the Urban Leadership Certificate Program the right program for you?

Are you wishing to deepen your leadership skills and find ample support and resources to serve your community in the fullest way possible? Are you wondering if there are more efficient ways to make a greater impact? Are you longing for a community of other leaders who have the same crazy passion and hope for change?

Then this certificate program is for you.

Leaders who serve in under-resourced communities know well the challenges people face to survive and thrive. These leaders also experience many of the same challenges – from experiencing post-traumatic stress to trying to find the necessary resources to fund their respective organizations and programs, or even just having the essential time and space to decompress all they encounter in a day’s work. The work is exhausting, even as it is fulfilling.

Research shows that most leaders who work in underserved and under-resourced communities end up facing burn out exponentially faster and the top two reason for this is a lack of the necessary training and lack of communal support.

This is where the Urban Leadership Certificate program comes in.

We at The InBetween see you. We hear you. We know you. Your work is vital and essential. It’s our goal to provide you with the training, tools, and resources needed to sustain and strengthen you as you commit to the arduous work of serving marginalized, under-resourced, and under-served communities.


What does the program entail?

What makes our certificate program unique from other programs is that this is a distant learning year-long program that will be composed of digital “in-person” lectures led by professional practitioners who combine both their experience of working directly in the trenches with their academic knowledge and expertise. Along with learning from professional practitioners, an essential core element of the program is peer-to-peer learning with your other cohort members through online discussions, study groups, and fellow evaluation and feedback of one another’s work. We believe community learning is a key element to growth and transformation.

The program consists of four courses that provide a wholistic foundation to every leader participating:

Foundations of Urban Ministry

This course provides a foundational framework for incarnational urban ministry, particularly in communities daily suffering evil systemic oppression in all of its forms. In these circumstances, what does Incarnation say to people about the fullness of life? This course will explore how the Incarnation leads and frees practitioners, and young people, to discover and reclaim the Gospel that is embodied in Christ, and rooted in the stories of the marginalized, oppressed, colonized, wrongly accused and unjustly treated. At the end of this course, practitioners will form a solid praxis for their work and learn to see and read biblical text for peace and justice.

Wholistic Urban Leadership

Trauma and trauma care go hand in hand with anyone involved in under-resourced marginalized communities, whether they themselves have experienced trauma or are ministering to others who have been traumatized. In this course, we will explore in depth the praxis of self-care for leaders, what it means to have work-life balance through boundaries, tools for trauma care of others, and develop a strategic skillset for a more holistic approach to ministry.

Strategic Leadership and Management of Urban Ministry

In this course, we will dive into the various leadership and management principles and skills essential to running an organization. We will touch upon strategic planning, conflict management, volunteer management, leading up well, fundraising and resource development, and the vital importance of effective evaluation and change management.

Foundations of Community Development

A core tenant of serving under-resourced communities is understanding how to correctly engage with the community you’re serving. Often times, leaders are doing a great deal of work but aren’t necessarily doing it the most efficiently or effectively. This course will help each leader understand in-depth how their ministry/organization participates in the transformational process of the context they’re serving through engaging partnerships with youth, families, leaders, and core stake holders in the community. Through an exploration of asset development, systems change, capacity building, unpacking systemic issues impacting the community such as policing, poverty, and education, and community mapping.

Meet the instructors

Lina Thompson


Lina is the Pastor and Teaching Elder of Lake Burien Presbyterian Church where she has served since 2012. Prior to coming to Lake Burien Presbyterian Church, Lina spent 15 years with World Vision directing both local and national initiatives focused on training and building the capacity of urban youth workers, organizations, churches and communities. Lina’s Samoan heritage taught her the values of community – particularly rising together, service, concern for others and sacrifice. Her parent’s unwavering message, to all of their children, about the priority of education is the foundation of Lina’s work in the Pacific Islander community as an organizer and advocate for equity in education. Lina’s ministry as pastor, teacher, trainer, mentor, advocate and community organizer is rooted in a holistic vision of reconciliation, hope and justice that can be best described in this way: “This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Once again men and women of ripe old age will sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each of them with cane in hand because of their age. The city streets will be filled with boys and girls playing there.” Zechariah 8:4-5

Chris Schaffner


Chris is a certified counselor and is the founder of Conversations on the Fringe, an organization seeking creative and innovative ways to bridge the gap between the mental health community and those entities (particularly schools and churches) that serve marginalized people in contemporary society. He’s been working with vulnerable and marginalized children, teens, and adults for over 25 years. Chris is a sought-after conference speaker and writer, and has published in journals/magazines and writes curriculum aimed at helping hurting youth and adults. Through CotF, he hopes to equip others so they can also navigate those dark spaces to walk alongside the vulnerable among us.

Mayra Macedo-Nolan


Mayra grew up in East Los Angeles, and currently lives in Pasadena, CA. Most recently she served on the pastoral staff of Lake Avenue Church, a large congregation that has been at the same location for over 120 years. She has spent the past 19 years leading in her local community and casting vision for Kingdom-neighbor-loving. Her love for the local and global church fuels her speaking and teaching focus on issues related to leadership, race/ethnicity, gender, faith, justice, and the Church. Mayra spends lots of time mentoring and learning from younger leaders in her church and community. She serves on various local and national boards, including the Clergy Community Coalition (CCC), and is Chair of the Board of Directors of the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA). She is married to Chris and they have raised their four children in Pasadena. Besides Jesus, Mayra loves her community and the challenging and sacred call of pursuing justice.

Jeremy R. Del Rio, Esq


Jeremy co-founded and leads Thrive Collective, a nonprofit that creates hope and opportunity through arts and mentoring in and around public schools. He also teaches youth and community development at Alliance and Fuller seminaries; and connects, trains, and mentors youth workers nationally. He has consulted businesses and nonprofits on leadership and strategy since 2000; and co-founded and directed Generation Xcel, a holistic youth center in Manhattan, from 1996-2006. Jeremy was the founding youth pastor at Abounding Grace Ministries (1994-2004), and also worked as a corporate attorney at Dewey Ballantine in New York before resigning after 9/11 to lead relief work at Ground Zero. He has contributed to six books, including Deep Justice in a Broken World (Zondervan/YS 2008) and The Justice Project (Baker Books 2009), and his articles have appeared in dozens of publications. His two sons are proud NYC public school students and graduates.


Each course runs for 2 months. The program begins May 3 2021 and you will be a certified graduate in March 2022.

The cost of the year-long program is $1000 per registration. For this cost you will receive a total of 24 hours of direct learning time with instructors, minimally 10 hours of peer-to-peer engagement and growth learning, minimally 4 hours of one-on-one coaching, as well as an abundance of additional resources dedicated to your growth and transformation.

If you’re interested in being a part of this life changing experience, register below.

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Urban Leadership Certificate Registration

  • Price: $1,000.00

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