The Academy of Artful Leadership helps gifted leaders continue to grow through hosted conversations around key themes in ministry, peer learning, and individual coaching. The outcome is greater clarity and calculated movement toward transformational congregational leadership.
The Academy utilizes a “coach approach” process, which means that instead of relying on instruction from a teacher or prescriptions from a consultant, a coach helps to mine the expertise and internal wisdom of congregational leaders. This “coach approach” process helps leaders discern the God-sized things that need to happen, develop a plan to get there, and celebrate with them when they do.
Rev. Dr. Perzavia Praylow is Pastor of Fifteenth Street Presbyterian Church in Washington, DC and teaches African American History at Bowie State University (MD). Previously, she was an assistant professor of American History at Augusta University. Dr. Praylow earned a PhD in American History, an MA in Education Policy and a MA in History all from the University of Illinois (Urbana, IL), an MDiv at Columbia Theological Seminary, a Masters of Sacred Theology at Lutheran Theology Southern Seminary (SC), and a BA in History at Drew University. Dr. Praylow’s research focuses on 20th Century race relations, American religious history, African American social equality and the history of education. Her current book project is, Educating the Talented Tenth: Fisk University Students, the Politics of Race Leadership and the Struggle for African American Equality and is completing a manuscript on the mission work of Black women ruling elders in Black Presbyterian churches in the Carolinas. She serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the Presbyterian Historical Society, is a member of the Presbyterian Mission Agency Mission Development Resource Committee, the DC Mayor’s Interfaith Council and has served on the strategy Team of Next Church and the Alumni Council of Columbia Theological Seminary. She is an ordained Presbyterian minister.
Dr. Praylow is most passionate about equipping individual leaders and congregations for transformative and adaptive leadership and Christian serve as an expression of their faith. Through her coaching, preaching, teaching and scholarship, she endeavors to journey alongside others helping to equip them to be change agents in increasingly diverse and intercultural contexts. Fundamentally, she believes with a little coaching and whole lot of belief in what is possible, we can all grow, change and become equipped leaders.
Rev. Chris Holmes, PCC, has been coaching church leaders across many denominations since 2008, with over 1000 hours coaching laity, clergy, denominational leaders and bishops. In the United Methodist Church he leads the coaching team working with new district superintendents and directors of connectional ministry, as well as several conference leadership cabinets.
Chris authored, along with George Howard, the Coach Approach Skill Training (CAST) for ministry, which is an approved training program of the International Coach Federation. CAST has now trained over 1000 church leaders in the basic and advanced skills of coaching for ministry. He also is co-creator and faculty for Auburn Seminary’s coach training and author of The Art of Coaching Clergy, as well as many articles on coaching.
As a founding member of the Maryland Chapter of the International Coach Federation, Chris served as President from 2012-2014. Prior to coaching, he pastored churches for 26 years and served as District Superintendent of the Annapolis District in the Baltimore-Washington Conference. Chris and Margaret have been married for over 35 years, have three grown children. Chris is an accomplished watercolor artist.
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Holmes Coaching Group