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Centre for Church Development & Leadership

An essential conviction for all church development ministry is the affirmation that God is active in the world and invites us to participate in the movement of God’s renewing and reconciling love towards people and all of creation. Church development ministries are a particular response to the call of God to participate in this ‘missio dei’, or mission of God.

Church development ministries participate in the building up of the body of Christ, in a variety of ways nurturing hope and trust in God, and a commitment to establish signs of God’s realm of love and justice. In particular, church development ministries seek to shape or alter the direction of existing ministries, and create new ministries, to better serve God’s mission within the particular time and setting in which we find ourselves.

Council’s Role In Church Development Ministries

Toronto United Church Council has a long history of leading and enabling church development ministry in the region. Today, within its wide-reaching vocation of ‘connecting resources with ministry’, Council brings a variety of resources to church development ministries including:

  • Consultation and facilitation for: visioning planning, Ministry Articulation Profile development, exploring new expressions and models of ministry, amalgamations and regional ministry developments, best uses of properties for mission and income.
  • Fresh insights into emerging approaches to ministry development borne from extensive experience in earlier approaches to church development.
  • Leadership support, training and skill-building through highly interactive and experiential workshops and coaching.
  • Providing creative capital financing for the built and land resources needed for church development projects.

Our Commitment is to:

  • Local communities of faith as partners in God’s mission of renewing and reconciling the world;
  • Resourcing a ‘mixed economy’ of church that recognizes that both traditional forms of church and new contextual ministries are required to engage in the mission of God, and that each connects with groups of people that the other cannot reach – but that for both, the priority is to enable new people to experience the love of God in word and deed.

Examples of Projects:

  • Living Presence Ministry, mixed economy missional ministry development
  • Trinity United Church Newmarket, vision planning
  • Bathurst Street United, visioning for missional ministry development
  • Toronto Southeast Presbytery, congregational Ministry Articulation Profile (MAP) project: development & implementation
  • East End United Regional Ministry development
  • Lutheran churches in Hamilton, amalgamation investigation
  • Toronto Conference, team ministry training and support project
  • Southwest Presbytery, governance review; executive committee support
  • St Timothy Anglican Church, property consultation
  • Northern Waters Presbytery, branding and church communications workshop
  • Diocese of British Columbia, keynote presenter at clergy conference on leadership
  • Empowering By-standers: and antibullying workshop for congregational leaders

Staff Team:

JANET MARSHALL, Director of the Centre for Church Development and Leadership, brings over 25 years’ experience working with congregations and judicatories across Canada to cultivate change-oriented strategic visions rooted in context-based best practices. This includes helping the churches seed new missional expressions of ministry, and find new futures in vision-focused amalgamations and regional ministries. She is a highly skilled and trusted facilitator of complex and difficult projects and decision-making processes.

RON EWART, Executive Director of TUCC since 2014, is a United Church minister with 35 years experience of ministry in a wide range of settings in Europe and North America. Ron has served in university and military chaplaincy, the development of ethnic congregations, as a world mission educator, and since 2005 in congregational consultancy.

KATJA BRITTAIN, Consultant, is educated in management and theology. She brings experience to her work on property assessments for mission and income from both the public and private sectors. Her expertise in managing change projects is a particular gift when working with church leaders. She enables organisations to achieve their growth objectives.

The work of the Centre is guided by a team of creative people who have a rich and varied experience in congregational development in a wide variety of settings, both at the local and national level.  The current members of the Steering Group are Linda Butler, Elizabeth Cunningham, Bonnie Greene, Catherine Hions, Pam Lock, Henry Poutiainen, and Linda Wheler.

For more details, contact Janet Marshall at or at 905-771-5124 / 1-800-235-8822 ext 25.


The Toronto United Church Council works with the church community to connect resources with ministry. Offering access to professional advice, financial support and leadership development, Council helps our church address the social and spiritual challenges of the day.