Overview of Discernment Cohort

Discernment cohorts are an online creative space to work through and refine a calling to start new faith communities. 

For those who want to enter into a partnership with our initiative it begins with one of our four annual 8-week online cohorts.

This free experience offers candidates the opportunity to explore the various facets of church starting — including visioning, core group development and bi-professional ministry.

The discernment experience is intended to create a space for creativity and clarity of calling with eight to twelve other candidates who also sense a call to this kind of ministry.

When a candidate finishes the discernment process, the journey can then go in a number of directions. For some, the cohort is exactly what they need to clarify a different calling than church starting. If this is the case, it is our hope to help candidates find placement in a church through our Congregational Reference and Referral initiative.

For others, he or she might be months away from moving to the location of the new church start or forming a core group, so we may enter into a consulting relationship with the candidate to help him or her along in the process.

Still for others, who are living in the location and have made significant progress in forming others around the vision, we look to bring them to the next stage of the partnership: a semi-annual exploratory conference.

Exploratory Conference

Invited candidates participate in a three-day experience of teaching, leadership development, core group and fundraising training, financial planning and coaching. During the conference, candidates become more accustomed to the church start family and networking with their state/regional leadership.

This is an opportunity to figure out whether individuals fit well with CBF and if the Fellowship fits well with them. From the exploratory conference, candidates can be chosen for commissioning (link to commissioning overview page) or receiving coaching to help them along in the process.

Are you ready to begin the discernment process with CBF?

Our four discernment cohorts take place in the late summer (August to September), fall (October to November), winter (January to February), and spring (April to May).

Please fill out the cohort application here.