Professional Development

Upcoming educational programs

Below are listed future educational programs hosted by RCC; be certain to also check out the chapter pages for additional in-person and educational sessions.

Thursday, June 20 at 2 p.m. EST – 

Pew & you: How to access and use Pew Research Center data on religion

Join us June 20 as two experts from Pew Research Center – Achsah Callahan and Anna Schiller – share insight into the types of information and religious research Pew conducts, the best ways to access their religion data, and details about their methodology and research.

Achsah Callahan (left photo) is a communications manager at Pew Research Center. She joined the Center in 2022 and works to connect journalists, organizations and the general public with data on religion in the US and around the world. She is bas ed in the DC area and has worked in nonprofit communications for the past decade.

Anna Schiller (right photo) is an associate director at Pew Research Center. She leads a team of strategic communications professionals tasked with disseminating the Center’s research, maintain relationships with the media and promote the Center’s brand. She has worked in public affairs and media relations for almost two decades.


Religion Communicators Council is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Religion Communicators Council’s Zoom Meeting
Time: Jun 20, 2024 01:45 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 816 1792 5998
Passcode: 026988

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Wednesday, July 24 at 3 p.m. EST – 

Video blogging and telling your story

 Join us as Rev. Donna Frischknecht Jackson discusses her video blog – what’s she has learned, how she has grown in subscribers and how she shares her “crazy adventures living in Mucks and chasing after cows.”  Click here for her YouTube channel.

Zoom link will be sharer closer to the event date.

APR Accreditation

Visit our APR Accreditation page to learn more about this voluntary designation and accreditation program available to RCC members from the Universal Accreditation Board.

Personal Learning Resources

Looking to build new knowledge, skills, and abilities? Or want to refresh ones you haven’t used in awhile? Below are several trusted resources to help you grow — personally and professionally.

From courses to degrees, Coursera offers 100% online learning from the world’s best universities and companies on a wide variety of topics. Many individual courses are free. Consider the offerings in their Marketing, Leadership and Management, and Personal Development libraries.

LinkedIn Learning

Learn business, creative, and technology skills online from industry experts. An on-demand video learning library with more than 14,000 courses, LinkedIn Learning is available as part of a premium subscription. A free one-month trial is available.

Google Analytics Academy

Does your organization use Google Analytics? Google Analytics Academy guides you through a free online program to improve your data collection and analysis skills with this measurement tool. Complete their online program and you can earn your Google Analytics Certification for free as well.

Past Professional Development Webinars

Past Recorded Webinars and Convention Presentations


Shared below are our most recent educational development webinars;  click here to go to our YouTube channel, with videos of past webinars, convention presentations and Wilbur awards



Wednesday, May 29 

“Our Members’ Best – DeRose-Hinkhouse Winners Discuss Their Entries”

A panel of  four RCC members who were honored during our 2024 annual conference  by being selected as DeRose-Hinkhouse “best in category” winners discussed their entries, what they learned and shared some tips on how to prepare your entry for next year.

Panelists are:

  • Brian Kaylor, Editor & President for Word&Way – DeRose Hinkhouse winner in the specialized writing category
  • Aaron Kreader, Designer/Illustrator for Brilliant Star Magazine – DeRose Hinkhouse winner in the artwork category
  • Kristen Opalinski, Manager for Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Relations for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America – and DeRose Hinkhouse  winnner in two categories: the speciality publications and design
  • Brad Pomerance, Host/Senior VP of News & Programming for Jewish Life Television/JLTV – DeRose Hinkhouse winner in the news & magazine broadcasts category

Click here to view the video on the RCC YouTube channel.





Tuesday, April 23   “Great Communication – How to move people, attract attention, and use research to help you do so even more effectively”

 Jeff Goldstein, president of ACUPOLL Precision Reserarch, Inc., shared an in-depth view of using measurement and evaluation to improve the effectiveness of your communication efforts. He coverd four sections:

1) influcing rhinking and feeling; 2) attracting attention; 3) stories that stick and change behavior; 4) research that makes a difference

Jeff discussed the differences between System 1 and System 2 processing. System 1 is “fast thinking – the automatic, implusive , reflexive and reactive, non-conscious; often driven by habits and/or emotional reaction, mental associations and mental shortcuts. System 2 thinking is “rational, conscious, requires attention, is controllable with effort, conserves energy, logical, goal-seeking, used for math, evaluations or comparisons, for explanations and rationalization.”

He noted that the best approaches address both System 1 and System 2 types of responses, saying “We should strive to feed both the rider and the elephant.”

Jeff then explained that scheme disruption commands attention and that they can be the source for uniqueness. By applying to a product or service, it can make it stand out. Six principles Jeff shared that indicate an idea will be remembers and have lasting impact are: 1) simple; 2) unexpected; 3) concrete; 4) credible; 5) emotion-based; 6)  story structure

 Click here for the webinar video.

Click here for Jeff’s PowerPoint slide deck: RCC Great Communication Presentation




Tuesday, March 12 –  “Emerging Trends in Social Media”

Katie Allred, founder of, leads an online community of 30K+ church leaders from all over the world. When she isn’t doing that, you can find her teaching at different universities, speaking at conferences, and writing at Katie is a thought leader in marketing, business, and Christian leadership.

Click here to view the video on RCC’s YouTube channel.

And below, a note from Katie:

Dear Attendees,

I hope this message finds you well and buzzing with new ideas after our recent journey through the ever-evolving world of Social Media Trends in 2024. I am profoundly grateful for your engagement, insightful questions, and the vibrant conversation that followed. Your enthusiasm and curiosity made the session not only informative but truly inspirational.

As promised, I am thrilled to share with you an exclusive link to my upcoming AI class tailored specifically for those of us in the church and ministry sectors: AI for Churches Cohorts. This unique opportunity is designed to delve deeper into how AI can transform our outreach, engagement, and community building efforts. I believe it could be a game-changer for your ministry, and I can’t wait to explore this frontier together.

For those of you who might have missed out on some parts of the webinar or want to revisit certain discussions, fret not! We are currently working on compiling the highlights and key takeaways, which will be shared with you soon.

In addition, I would like to extend a personal invitation to stay connected and continue our conversation through various channels. Whether you’re looking for more insights into social media trends, need help with your church’s or organization’s website, social media, or SEO, or simply wish to join a community of like-minded individuals, I’m here for you. Here’s how you can reach out or follow along:

And, if you’re not already a part of it, I highly encourage you to join our vibrant Facebook group, where we continue to share resources, support each other, and grow together.

Your feedback, stories, and insights are what fuel my passion for this work, so please don’t hesitate to reach out, reply to this email, or connect on any of the platforms above. I’m here to support you in making a greater impact through your ministry.

Thank you once again for your participation and for making our webinar a memorable experience. Here’s to taking our learning to new heights and making a profound difference in the communities we serve.

Warm regards,

Katie Allred



January series hosted by EPIC (Exploring the Pandemic Impact on Congregations)

Hartford Institute researchers shared a series of webinars to help viewer to better understand the challenges and possibilities for congregations and pastors to thrive. Hosted by EPIC (Exploring the Pandemic Impact on Congregations), each week explored the latest church research and insights for beginning the ministry year full of optimism and direction. Sessions included: 

  • Multifaith Patterns – An exploration of the variety of ways faith groups have responded to the challenges of the pandemic. Co-sponsored with Faith Communities Today.
  • Latino, Black & Multiracial Church Dynamics – A deep dive into the distinctive patterns and dynamics of Black, Latino and Multiracial churches.
  • Technological Innovation – Discussion on how the technological changes of the past few years are reshaping congregational life.

For details and for videos of the free sessions: EPIC Series


RCCongress 2020 Recorded Webinars


Backpack Journalism: Multi-Platform Story Creation with Gregg Brekke, Visual journalist and Executive Director of the Associated Church Press

Pew Research – The Decline of Christianity in the United States: An Update on America’s Changing Religious Landscape with Dr. Gregory A. Smith, Associate Director of Research, Pew Research Center

ΘeoCon (Thee-Oh-Con): Where Theology Meets Pop Culture! with Rev. Shayna J. Watson, Canon Pastor at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Cathedral in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Religion Writing: From Pitch to Publication with Adelle Banks, Production Editor and National Reporter, Religion News Service

Content is Everything. What is YOUR Strategy to Use it? with Lou Ann Sabatier, Principal and Lead Consultant at Sabatier Consulting

Creating a Third Space: Communicating Across Religious and Cultural Boundaries Through the Arts with Dr. Patrick M. Beldio, Teacher, scholar, and artist

Pew Research – Americans’ Views on Religion’s Role in Society and Politics with Claire Gecewicz, Research Associate at Pew Research Center

Storytelling and Media Arts that Spread a Vital Faith with Rev. Dr. Ron King, Founder and Director of Sidebar Stories, and Ken Medema, Musician, Composer, Founder of Brier Patch Music and Ken Medema Music