What is the definition of a public leader’?

A public leader is a Christian who is intentional about bringing their faith to their leadership wherever God has placed them. There are two elements to this:

  • Public’ means that you are open about the fact that your Christian faith influences how you lead. It is also an indication that your leadership role is not internal to the church.
  • Leadership’ refers to a role where you have influence. This could be in the workplace, in your local community, online, or with a social group. It doesn’t have to be a title or a role of seniority.

Can you provide an example of people who have done the programme before?

Previous participants include leaders in:

  • the arts (filmmakers, writers);
  • business (traditional big business, entrepreneurs);
  • public services (education, healthcare, civil service, MPs, third sector); and
  • professional services (lawyers, finance).

I live in Wales and there’s no national course. Can I still apply?

Yes! Applicants based in Wales are welcome to apply to any of the national programmes. The England programme will be taking place in the north-west of England in 2023 – 24, which may work well for applicants based in Wales.

We are very excited to be launching our first Public Leader programme in Wales in 2024. For more information and to sign up for upcoming taster events, please contact the Public Leadership team on publicleadership@​eauk.​org

I work for a church – can I apply?

The programme is primarily aimed at Christians in leadership outside of the Christian world – eg in a secular workplace or local community. This means that most church leaders would not find the teaching appropriate for their context. However, we recognise that some church leaders have a more public role, such as an ongoing relationship with the local council, a focus on community and/​or social justice projects, or a chaplaincy role. If this is you, please clarify this in your application, or get in touch with the team to chat further.

If you are a church leader looking for leadership training, here are a few other programmes you may wish to consider:

  • HTB Leadership college
  • CPAS Arrow course

I work for a Christian ministry – can I apply?

Again, this depends on what your role is. If you work for a Christian ministry whose focus is on equipping Christians (for evangelism, through discipleship, etc) we would advise you to look at other programmes that cover both public and church leadership. If you work for a Christian ministry that is interacting with/​benefitting a non-Christian or mixed audience, or you have an external role in the organisation (eg a social justice project, a campaign organisation, PR/​media engagement), then we encourage you to make this clear when you apply. Please contact the team for more information.

Do you allocate places to particular sectors?

No, there are not specific places for different sectors, and you are not in direct competition with anyone else for each place. However, we intentionally seek to create a group from across different sectors. As we review applications on an ongoing basis, later applications are considered in light of those already reviewed.

Can my spouse/​children accompany me on the retreats?

The teaching retreats are packed with sessions, and even free time and meal times are intentionally formed for building relationships with other participants. Therefore, we do not encourage families to attend retreats, even at the participant’s own cost, as this will be a distraction. Some discovery events or alumni events may be open to families, at the discretion of the national coordinators.

If you feel there are extenuating circumstances, please get in touch with the national coordinator.

How is the programme funded?

The programme is funded through a mixture of participant fees and subsidisation by Evangelical Alliance donors. The participant fee varies in each nation, according to local costs. 

We encourage all participants to consider whether their workplace and/​or church family would be willing to contribute towards their fees, as part of your workplace leadership development/​Christian discipleship journey. Several previous participants have benefitted from such investment and the Evangelical Alliance’s head of giving is available to advise participants on fundraising techniques.

If the fee is a struggle, there are limited bursaries available. The team may not be able to confirm whether a bursary is available prior to acceptance of a place.

Do I need to pay the whole fee in advance?

Absolutely not! We anticipate that most participants will pay in instalments across the year, just prior to each of the teaching retreats. We do ask for a deposit in advance, to confirm your place. This is deducted from the full participant fee.

Is the programme only open to people aged 25 – 35?

This is a rough age guide and we will accept applications outside of this range. However, the teaching is aimed at people who have already experienced some leadership, but are still early in this journey. We are therefore unlikely to accept applications from people under the age of 20 or over 40. If you are outside of this age bracket, you are welcome to apply but please be aware that the teaching may not be at the right level for you, and this will inform the team’s response to your application.

This programme is too much of a commitment, do you run anything else?

Our SENT course is a series of four sessions that can be run in your local church, or in a workplace network. The pack includes four videos, discussion questions, prayer and post-session activities for about 10 people. Find out more and buy your pack here.

You can also get in touch with the team to discuss us visiting your church to run a one-day workshop about public leadership, focusing on the opportunities in engaging with local media and politics. These workshops can be customised to meet the needs of the individual church and local community.

What are the programme dates/​where are the retreats held?

Please see the relevant national programme pages for dates and locations in each nation.

Who leads the teaching at the retreats?

The retreats are hosted by the public leadership team but most of the teaching is provided by external experts including experienced public leaders, academics and church leaders.

The Public Leader programme

The Public Leader programme

A 10-month leadership development journey to help young professionals and emerging leaders follow Jesus in every walk of life Find out more
SENT: grow transformational leaders

SENT: grow transformational leaders

A new small group course equipping public leaders to be transformational in their workplace Find out more