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Stephen Ministry Leader’s Training Courses (LTCs)

Video:  An Inside Look at a Stephen Ministry Leader’s Training Course

An amazing week that will fully equip you to serve as a Stephen Leader

Stephen Leaders are pastors, church staff, and lay leaders who work together as a team to lead Stephen Ministry. They come from all ages and backgrounds, but they all share a common passion—bringing Christ’s love and care to hurting people.

The Stephen Ministry Leader’s Training Course (LTC) is an engaging week of learning, discovery, worship, relationship building, and catching a vision for all that Stephen Ministry can be for your congregation.

We continue to closely monitor the guidelines from the CDC and other health authorities, evaluating each event as conditions change. To guard the health and safety of everyone involved, we may need to cancel one or more events; if so, we will let those registered know in a timely manner.

2020 Leader’s Training Course (LTC) Schedule:

Date Location Conference Site
January 12–18 Orlando, Florida Wyndham Orlando Resort International Drive
February 16–22 Anaheim, California DoubleTree Anaheim/Orange Hotel
April 19–25 St. Louis, Missouri Renaissance Airport Hotel (cancelled)
June 7–13 Orlando, Florida Wyndham Orlando Resort International Drive
July 12–18 Dallas, Texas Westin Park Central
August 16–22 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh
  • LTCs begin at 6:30 P.M. on a Sunday evening and conclude at 11:00 A.M. the following Saturday.

  • The LTC combines many different learning activities—presentation, video, large- and small-group discussion, Q&A, skill practice, and more—for an enjoyable and productive training experience.

  • Your Stephen Leaders will return from the LTC fully equipped to begin and direct Stephen Ministry in your congregation.

  • Download a sample LTC schedule.

  • See what LTC participants are saying about their experience.

How to Register

Leader’s Training Courses are for members of congregations that are enrolled in the Stephen Series.

LTC Faculty

Meet the LTC faculty.

The Rev. Kenneth Haugk, Ph.D., is the founder and Executive Director of Stephen Ministries. A pastor and clinical psychologist, Dr. Haugk also writes, teaches, and is the author of many books and courses, including Christian Caregiving—a Way of Life, Journeying through Grief, Don’t Sing Songs to a Heavy Heart, Cancer—Now What?, and Discovering God’s Vision for Your Life: You and Your Spiritual Gifts.

Kim Hoffer came to Stephen Ministries in 2008 and serves on the Training Course Coordinating Team. In addition to teaching at Leader’s Training Courses, she also serves on the consultation, research, and Stephen Ministry Introductory Workshop teams. She is both a Stephen Minister and Stephen Leader and the daughter of a Stephen Leader.


Amity Haugk represents the second generation of the Haugk family at Stephen Ministries, joining the staff in 2006 after serving as a restaurant manager at Walt Disney World. She now manages video production, serves on the marketing and consultation teams, teaches at workshops and Leader’s Training Courses, and is coauthor of the second edition of the Antagonists in the Church Study Guide.

The Rev. Justin Schlueter, M.Div., a graduate of the College of William and Mary, served as a teacher in Virginia for eight years before entering Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis. Upon graduation, he came to Stephen Ministries, where he now serves on the pastoral staff, research and writing team,  and the consultation staff. He is also a Stephen Leader and Stephen Minister.


Janine Ushe, M.Div., came to Stephen Ministries in 2001 and now oversees Stephen Series enrollments while also managing the operations, warehouse, and shipping teams. A member of the pastoral staff, Janine teaches at Leader’s Training Courses and serves on the consultation team, the Human Resources Team, and the Training Course Coordinating Team.

David Bode, a Stephen Leader and son of a Stephen Leader, manages the Information Technology and website teams at Stephen Ministries and leads the Training Course Coordinating Team. David has served at more than 65 training courses since coming to Stephen Ministries in 2001.


Pam Montgomery has more than 30 years of experience as both a Stephen Leader and a Stephen Minister. Since 1992, Pam has taught at more than 200 Stephen Ministry Introductory Workshops and Leader’s Training Courses. She also serves on the Stephen Ministry consultation and research teams.

Joel Bretscher served as a Stephen Minister in Arizona before joining the St. Louis staff in 1995. As Program Director, he heads the team that produces the Stephen Ministry training resources as well as serving as a writer, editor, presenter, and Stephen Ministry consultant.


LTC Purpose and Objectives

Learn more.

The purpose of the LTC is to teach pastors, other church staff, and lay leaders about the Stephen Ministry system and equip them to lead Stephen Ministry in their congregations. At the LTC, you will gain the knowledge, skills, and resources needed to implement and grow your congregation’s Stephen Ministry. Upon completion of the LTC, you should be able to:

  • Plan and administer your congregation’s Stephen Ministry

  • Build awareness of Stephen Ministry in your congregation

  • Recruit, select, and train Stephen Ministers

  • Identify care receivers and match them with Stephen Ministers

  • Coordinate Small Group Peer Supervision

  • Lead continuing education for Stephen Ministers

Skills are taught using a variety of learning methods, including presentations, video, group discussion, Q&A, and skill practice.

At the LTC, you will also be introduced to the Stephen Ministry Leader’s Manual and learn how it will guide and support your ministry. This resource provides key information for directing your Stephen Ministry when you return home.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do Stephen Leaders do?

Stephen Leaders:

  • cast a vision and build awareness for Stephen Ministry in their congregation

  • recruit, select, and train Stephen Ministers

  • connect Stephen Ministers with people who need care

  • provide ongoing supervision and continuing education for Stephen Ministers

  • keep Stephen Ministry vibrant and strong

Who should attend the LTC?

The LTC is for pastors, other staff, and lay leaders from your congregation who will serve as your Stephen Leaders—the team that will carry out the activities listed under “What do Stephen Leaders do?”

Each LTC draws hundreds of people from the U.S., Canada, and beyond. Participants come from a wide range of congregations (large and small—urban, suburban, rural) representing many denominations.

  • Congregations just beginning Stephen Ministry usually send two to four leaders—a pastor, perhaps another staff person, and one or more lay leaders—who then work as a team to begin and manage Stephen Ministry.

  • Congregations with an established Stephen Ministry send additional leaders as needed to grow their leadership team and keep the ministry strong and healthy.

If I’m not a trained Stephen Minister, can I still attend the LTC?

Yes. You don’t have to have received Stephen Minister training to be trained as a Stephen Leader; the two roles are very different and involve different gifts and skills. People who have no experience as Stephen Ministers often make excellent Stephen Leaders. Typically, more than half of participants at each LTC have not been trained as Stephen Ministers.

Does the LTC train people to be Stephen Ministers?

The LTC does not train Stephen Ministers—rather, it trains Stephen Leaders, the ones who will lead Stephen Ministry in the congregation. Stephen Ministers are trained in their own congregations by Stephen Leaders

What resources do Stephen Leaders use?

At an LTC, your congregation’s Stephen Leaders learn how to use the Leader’s Manual and other key resources to build and maintain a vibrant, strong, and long-lasting Stephen Ministry—to carry out the activities listed under “What do Stephen Leaders do?” (above).