Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Synod of Lakes and Prairies
Presbyterian Foundation
Board of Pensions

Next Church
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance
Stewardship Kaleidoscope

Presbyterian Clearwater Forest

Lakeshore Center at Okoboji

The Academy
The Academy, a series of 11 courses designed to develop well-equipped, thoughtful people to better serve councils in a variety of capacities, offers classes during Synod School at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa. Described as a unique, cohort-based learning community, The Academy offers participants an opportunity to grow in faith and knowledge, grow as a leader, and have more opportunities to serve God as needed. A new cohort begins each year at Synod School, while subsequent learning takes place in online and in-person settings. The Academy is a joint effort of and underwritten by the presbyteries of Minnesota Valleys, North Central Iowa and Prospect Hill, and the Synod of Lakes and Prairies.

Minnesota Council of Churches
The Ministry Lab (formerly known as Resource Center for Churches)
Green Lake Bible Camp

The Academy

The Academy is a series of classes designed for those who want to grow in their faith and knowledge; grow as a leader; serve God in new ways and opportunities; engage in meaningful continuing education; and learn from the best of teachers. The Academy develops well equipped, thoughtful individuals to better serve the congregations and councils in a variety of ways. Many use this training on their journey toward becoming Commissioned Pastors, others for their own enrichment. Completion of the 11 courses fulfills the educational requirements to become a CP/CRE in the participating presbyteries.

A flyer describing the program can be downloaded here: 2023 Brochure

The Academy developed out of conversations between the presbyteries of Minnesota Valleys, North Central Iowa and Prospect Hill and the Synod of Lakes and Prairies, where each presbytery had its own training for Commissioned Ruling Elders. Presbytery leaders determined that if they worked together, they could not only address the growing needs for Commissioned Pastors but also recruit nationally known instructors to enhance the program. A task force of the visioning group developed a curriculum of 11 classes that would meet the educational expectations of each participating presbytery.

Sponsoring presbyteries: East Iowa, Minnesota Valleys, Missouri River Valley, North Central Iowa, Northern Waters and Prospect Hill.

Become a sponsoring presbytery to enhance and enrich the learning opportunities! For more information, contact Deb DeMeester, Director of Leadership Development, at