Certificate in Women in Leadership

Following the success of our first course in September 2019, and due to demand – another Women in Leadership course in June 2020, with a focus on lay leadership! See details below. 

Leadership can be a lonely and challenging place, it is true for all called to it but it is even more complex for women, who often juggle many conflicting expectations, feel discouraged and depleted and continue to lack confidence in their own abilities.

The course highlights the many strengths and gifts women bring to leadership, it affirms their unique styles and contributions, provides space to share stories and insights, as well as equips in practical and innovative ways to help women take their leadership to the next level and expand their capabilities.

Women in leadership are exposed to a number of persistent challenges, which if unchallenged will continue to cripple the women’s impact and influence, some relate to the deep seated limiting believes and some to the leadership practice itself. Some of these challenges are: a lack of confidence and struggling with an ‘imposter syndrome’, lack of initiative to lead change, feeling of not being able to live up to the conflicting expectations and sense of failure when not meeting these expectations, struggling to find work life balance, being undervalued and underappreciated for their contribution. All these may lead to women feeling discouraged, depleted and resentful.

Our second Certificate in Women in Leadership course is offered in June 2020, and is a week-long course designed to stretch, inform and inspire. Designed for those in current lay leadership roles, or those aspiring to leadership in business, community or church settings.  Is the Certificate in Women in Leadership for you? Maybe you are looking for ways to refresh your leadership tool box, or network and re-evaluate your current practice. The Certificate in Women in Leadership is also for you! Please note that the course is not designed for those in ordained ministry.

Cliff College is delighted to be running this Short Course Certificate under the course leadership of Dr Joanna Williamson, co-founder of One Rock International and founder of SheLives, alongside Rev. Melissa Falk from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania . There are only 25 places available on this course, so book early!

Joanna Williamson, Course Leader & Melissa Falk

Dr. Joanna Williamson – Joanna E. Williamson is the founder and director of SheLives and a co-director of One Rock International. She is half German and half Polish. An Alumni of Cliff College, she holds double postgraduate degrees in Theology and Politics from both Austrian and British universities. She worked for General Board of Global Ministries as a Mission Coordinator for the Polish Methodist Church. She is a lay preacher in the Methodist Church and together with her husband Mark she leads a young adult congregation in central London. She also worked for the government as a specialist in European Union integration. She has training in diplomatic protocol. Over the last 12 years she has travelled to over 30 countries around the world training leaders and mentors. She is an author of two biographies one on Hudson Taylor and one on Amy Carmichael, two amazing missionaries she has been deeply influenced by, and considers them to be her historical mentors. She seats on several boards including Renovare Britain and Ireland, establish by Richard Foster and Dallas Willard and Sanctus a European Spiritual Renewal movement based in Germany.

Joanna is supported by Melissa Falk from the USA. Melissa Falk is an ordained minister and a professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling at the University of Valley Forge. For the last 20 years she has served as the pastor of a local parish, served as a spiritual care chaplain at a trauma hospital, and served in higher education through teaching and administration. Her passions in ministry are multi-ethnic congregations, leadership training, compassion fatigue and burn-out prevention, and empowering women leaders in the church. She currently resides near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and enjoys hikes in nature, music, traveling to new cities, and partnering with friends in ministry.

Course Details

Hosted by Senior Tutor Ian White, the course is led by Joanna Williamson, with contributions from the Cliff College Faculty, and other expert adjuncts. There is time for personal reflection and social space, as well as teaching delivered via lectures, seminars and workshops with practical as well as theoretical applications. The course aims to enable new learning and provide the student with skills and resources for both individual and church application.

Aiming at developing the skills and confidence of women towards lay leadership roles, and supporting those already in lay leadership, the course focusses on the ministry of women both in a church setting, and also the wider marketplace of the community and business worlds. The course is open to both women and men.

Subject areas and outcomes include:

Leading Self:

  • Biblical and theological considerations of women in leadership
  • Knowing and valuing our unique stories and leading from our authentic self
  • Wellbeing of women in the workplace: dealing with toxic emotions, work life balance, resilience and vulnerability
  • SERVE model for personal development

Leading Others:

  • How gender impacts leadership and management styles
  • Challenges facing women in leadership
  • Latest research on women in leadership drawn from international community
  • Tools to help women excel in their leadership roles

Participants will be encouraged to put together a Personal Development Plan, that alongside theological reflection upon their story will also include key leadership areas that need further consideration and growth.

‘We are really looking forward to again be working with Joanna Williamson on this key course focussed on women in leadership roles, and the crucial ministry that they offer. Designed to empower and encourage women, but also examine some of the particular issues they face in leadership, this course provides some of the necessary training into this important area of ministry.’Ian White; Programme Leader; Short Course Programme, Cliff College.

Students say of the Short Course certificate programme: “It was all totally invaluable and I wouldn’t change a thing.” “Informative, challenging, reflective, resourcing, encouraging, enabling and empowering.” “It will be hard to hold me back on things I will do!  I need to go back, reflect, pray, discern the next steps.  But as a ‘way of doing and being’, it’s been brilliant to take that away.”

Participants gain a Cliff College Certificate by completing the required assessment work following the teaching week. Successful students will be invited to the Cliff College graduation ceremony. Students can choose not to do the assessment work by ‘auditing’ the course.


Cliff College Certificate in Women in Leadership: Monday 8th – Friday 12th June 2020

The cost of the teaching week is £435.00, which includes all teaching materials, tutorial support, board and accommodation in single en-suite rooms.

A non refundable deposit of £75.00 secures your place and is payable on your acceptance of the place offered. The balance of fees should be paid on arrival or before.

We are delighted that Methodist Women in Britain have offered some bursary funding towards this course. Contact MWiB for more details of the bursary or direct to finance@mwib.org.uk

For booking or more details contact: shortcourse@cliffcollege.ac.uk  / 01246 584203

Cliff College is a registered charity: No. 529386

Call: +44 (0) 1246 584200


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