Clergy Coaching

Be True to Your Calling

Are you challenged to grow?                                                           
Is your congregation on the move? 
Do you learn from difficult situations?  
Do you communicate a clear and effective vision?

Maximize Your Ministry 

You can benefit from an experienced and objective perspective. My approach to coaching clergy is more practical than Spiritual Direction and more focused than Life Coaching. It is a tool to help you discern your vision and transform your values into achievable goals. No matter your denomination or setting, my professional clergy coaching will help you become a more grounded, confident and articulate spiritual leader.

Ministry can be overwhelming. No one has all of the skills and knowledge that are demanded of clergy today. And no one is harder on us than we are, ourselves. After all, we became clergy to serve others.  We do not want to disappoint them or fail in our promise to God. Yet it can be hard to find a discreet, objective, and dependable advisor we can trust to help and encourage our best work.

Clergy Coaching gives you a partner dedicated to your success and fulfillment.I'm motivated by the frustrations and challenges I've experienced in my ministry. By the time I reached out for help, the patterns were set.  But I am not unique. I realized that we can all benefit from structured, dedicated coaching. As an experienced parish minister and a licensed clinical social worker, I have the background and experience to help religious professionals improve in their specific tasks: to understand the dynamics of congregational systems, staff relations, and the work of the board; to grasp the many styles and sizes of congregations; and to stress the importance of boundaries, ethics, and a good sense of humor. You do not need to go it alone.  

How it works

We ususally start with a broad picture of your ministry.  In the standard initial/trial session I help you define your goals in the foundational areas of ministry practice, such as pastoral care, outreach, congregational dynamics, worship and finances.  You determine the content and direction of our sessions, so we will adapt these categories to fit your needs and specific setting. Of course, if you have a specific need or crisis, we can focus on that. My role is to ask questions to help you refine your goals by listening for key phrases and feelings and then highlighting your values. We work together to transform your challenges into opportunities for learning and growth for you and your congregation. 

Coaching is a team effort. Before each session you must prepare your own agenda and call ready to focus on your goals. You must also be willing to follow your dreams into new directions. In other words, you have to be ready to change. This isn't easy, but through our coaching sessions you'll find it easier to become the inspired and courageous leader you want to be.

You may wish to have weekly phone sessions to help develop and commit to your tasks. Or you may be good at sticking to your plans and want monthly coaching to help you further your goals. Perhaps you are in a crisis situation and need perspective and reassurance right now. No problem. Coaching allows for this flexibility. My only goal is to help you to be true to your calling and to serve with love and respect. Needless to say, all sessions are completely confidential. No one in your congregation or your denomination is involved. 

Our initial session is priced at a trial fee of $75. Simply email me at and we can set up a time for you to call me that suits us both. No traveling is required! You can talk from home or the office. If you want to continue to work with me, you can schedule follow-up sessions for $100, or four for $350. All appointments are payable online using the buttons at the bottom of the page. You may also email me if you have further questions about the process or direction of the coaching. I'm happy to discuss the possibilities by phone at 774-216-0216. You may call between 10am-10pm Eastern Standard Time. 

Who I am

I am a Unitarian Universalist minister with Christian and Jewish roots. I served a creative and challenging congregation for eleven years and have worked as an interim minister and a religious education consultant.  I received my Masters in Divinity from Howard University in 1998 and a Masters in Social Work from the University of Maryland in 1987, working with the elderly, the chronically ill and people with AIDS, and in a day treatment program with mentally ill adults. I have received a certificate from the Fowler-Wainwright Institute of Professional Life Coaching. I have taken courses from the Alban Institute and studied genograms at the Catholic University. I have also received training on Conflict Transformation. I have been interviewed by the New York Times, the LA Times, and apeared on French radio, as well as the South African version of "Meet the Press." One of my sermons, on Liberation Theology, was selected to be translated into Spanish by a UU fellowship in Barcelona. I have also preached in several Unitarian churches in England.

In 2007, I was asked to design a workshop on “Humor in Ministry” for a ministers' retreat. It is a playful, instructive and interactive program that blends theory with analysis and some fun theater games, and it's available for clergy retreats and seminars. Please email me for an outline and further information.

Let's Get Started!

Here are your options: 

Rev. Alison Hyder

MDiv, LICSW, Certified Life Coach



4-session plan


all sorts of options

Single session