An intensive coaching skills course for Church leaders integrating antiracist practices, heightened identity awareness, and change theory. The training will be co-led by Coach Approach Skills Training (CAST), Crossroads Antiracism Training, and NEXT Church. Topics will include: power analysis, continuum/change theory, racial identity development, approaches to coaching, group and team coaching, and moving individuals/teams toward change and transformation. The training results in 60 hours required for credentialing through the International Coaching Federation (ICF). Overall, the training will be 75+ total hours of learning, including work outside of group sessions, resulting in a combined CAST and NEXT Church certificate. 

Participants commit to individually and communally integrating learning to disrupt systems of white supremacy as they lay the foundation for their own work as coaches. Participants will be expected to consistently disrupt their default practices and implement an intersectional approach, both individually and in communal contents.

Rev. Shawna Bowman is an artist and pastor doing ministry with the creative and justice-seeking folks at Friendship Presbyterian Church in Chicago. Shawna is Co-founder of Creation Lab, an Arts Incubator and Co-op Studio at the intersection of creativity, spirituality and prophetic imagination in Edgewater. Shawna is also Affiliate Faculty and Associate Director of Field Ed & Experiential Education at McCormick Theological Seminary and serves on the Board of Directors at The Night Ministry. They are an organizer and facilitator with Crossroads, also providing support to Chicago Regional Organizing for Antiracism (Chicago ROAR).

pronouns: they/them

Chris Holmes is an ordained United Methodist minister, who served congregations in Maryland for 26 years and then worked as a regional judicatory leader. As a PCC coach he works with congregational leaders, pastors and denominational leaders. He leads The Holmes Coaching Group as well as the Academy of Artful Leadership, and is co-owner of the ICF approved coach training program “Coach Approach Skills Training”. He is also author of The Art of Coaching Clergy: A Handbook for Church Leaders, Clergy and Coaches. Chris is a founding member of the Maryland Chapter of the International Coach Federation with over 2000 hour of coaching leaders. He and his wife, Margaret, have three grown children and Chris is an accomplished watercolor artist.

pronouns: he/him

Jessica Vazquez Torres is a proven leader with 20 years-experience in antiracism, anti-oppression, and cultural competency workshop development and facilitation. She is deeply committed to dismantling the socially constituted structures and cultural dynamics that marginalize and minoritize People of Color, Queer, and immigrant communities and limit their access to the resources they need to thrive. Jessica, a 1.5-Generation ESL Queer Latina of Puerto Rican descent, holds a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from the University of Central Florida, a Master of Divinity from Christian Theological Seminary, and a Master of Theological Studies from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University. She has co-authored a four-session adult study on the history of racism in the United States. Jessica has presented at the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Studies annual meeting as well as during the gathering of the Society for Christian Ethics. Her papers were titled: “The Suffering that Pulls Us Together & Pulls Us Apart: Moral Injury, Race, and the Challenge of Solidarity in Social Justice Work” (2019), “Does Moral Injury Have a Color? On Moral Injury and Race in the United States” (2014), “Race and Virtue: The Practice and Ethics of Race Based Caucusing” (2012). When not on a plane, Jessica attempts to become a bread baker, cultivates community with her spouse Laura, walks (sometimes for exercise), and sings songs badly with full abandon.

pronouns: she/her

George is a Professional Certified Coach, passionate about equipping leaders and strengthening relationships across cultures and continents. Certified by the International Coach Federation since 2008 he is the owner of Howard Coaching Group, through which he coaches pastors and leaders in the multiple denominations, Not-for-Profit organizations, business, and higher education.

He is the co-author and co-owner of the Coach Approach Skill Training which has trained over 1,500 coaches. Through CAST, coaches have been trained across the United States and at Africa University in Zimbabwe.

Previously he was the director of Global Coaching & Strategic Initiatives at Global Ministries. Prior to that he helped establish and lead the UM Church for All People and Community Development for All People, a community housing development board, in Columbus OH where he established a national training program to help leaders develop relationships, services, and programs with marginalized people in their communities.

pronouns: he/him

The Rev. Shannon Weston is a preacher, a teacher, and a lover of all things bright and beautiful. She is an accredited Associate Certified Coach from the International Coaching Federation and works with The Holmes Coaching Group as an Associate Coach and Trainer for CAST (Coach Approach Skills Training).

Shannon has served two decades as pastor in the PCUSA and is currently the Pastor and Head of Staff of Ashland Presbyterian Church outside of Baltimore. She co-hosts the Pub Theology podcast, a weekly conversation on life and faith.

Shannon holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of Louisville, a Master of Divinity from Louisville Seminary, and will soon receive a Doctor of Ministry from St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore.

Shannon lives with her husband Derrick in a northern suburb of Baltimore. Together they raise their four children, a dog, a cat, and an insurmountable number of plants.

pronouns: she/her

Rev. Larissa Kwong Abazia is a regular speaker and preacher at conferences, retreats, meetings, and in congregations. She is a skilled coach that assists individuals and groups to act transformationally. She believes that creating safe, courageous spaces allows for growth and change.

Larissa earned her undergraduate degree at Rutgers University and M.Div. at Princeton Theological Seminary. Her ministry has included chaplaincy, seminary administration, and congregational ministry in Chicago (IL), Greenwich (CT), Queens (NY), and throughout New Jersey. Throughout her life and career, Larissa has been dedicated to racial and gender justice. This work brought her to denominational leadership in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), including serving as the Vice Moderator to the 221st General Assembly. She is a board member for the Collective Foundation and More Light Presbyterians, a consultant with the Vandersall Collective, and founder of Courageous Spaces.

pronouns: she/her


Registration is limited to 26 participants to foster community and allow for high quality training. The total cost of registration is $3000 and will include:

  • full cost of credentialed training by professionals
  • registration to the NEXT Church National Gathering
  • combined CAST and NEXT Church certificate upon completion

In addition, all participants are required to purchase the book Co-Active Coaching.

All participants must be fully vaccinated for the in-person portion of the training. Read more about our COVID protocol for the National Gathering.

Payments can be paid in full or in quarter installments. At least one quarter payment must be made in order to register. Quarter installments can be paid as your budget and funding becomes available. All four quarter payments must be received by March 1, 2022.

Because of the limited spaces in the training, please note there are no refunds on payments.


Due to an overwhelming response, registration and the waitlist are now closed. Sign up here to be informed about future trainings and opportunities.

Due to overwhelming interest and because of our deep commitment to train coaches of color and create a space where antiracism work can happen in a diverse learning environment, we are requesting interested participants sign up on our waitlist.



Cultivating coaches of color is a priority for this training. Therefore we have partnered with the Presbyterian Mission Agency to provide equity funds. People of Color applicants are welcomed to apply up to a 100% subsidy through Presbyterian Mission Agency. For more information and to apply please contact Alexandra Zareth,


Trainings and caucus gatherings will take place over zoom, as well as in-person training at the NEXT Church National Gathering. Being present at trainings is required in order to receive the accredited certificate at the completion. Participants may miss up to one 6-hour session and watch the recording as a make-up. Attendance at the National Gathering is required.

Feb 21 & 23

Introduction, Communal Commitments, and Racial Identity Formation

12-6pm EST

March 21 & 23

Introduction to Coaching

12-6pm EST

March 28

Caucus Gatherings

6:30-8pm EST

April 4 & 6

Deepening Coaching Techniques

12-6pm EST

April 25

Caucus Gatherings

6:30-8pm EST

May 15-19

National Gathering – Group/Team Coaching

Sunday @ 5pm EST – Thursday @ 12 EST

June 13 & 15

Integration, Implementation, and Next Steps

12-6pm EST


NEXT Church
Crossroads Antiracism Organizing & Training
Coach Approach Skill Training


  • Contact Larissa Kwong Abazia

    NEXT Church Coaching Training Coordinator