Kaleo Center Action Learning Cohort

Click here to apply!

What would it mean to nourish your skills in a supportive learning community working towards justice?

Are you a community activist seeking a circle of practice that can support your leadership and development in the work of justice? Or are you a clergy or spiritual leader who feels the call to a more just world? Are you able to engage and mobilize your spiritual community effectively in the healing of the world? Do you ever spin your wheels, unsure of how to lead toward justice with the complex challenges that surround you?

You’re in good company. The pressing call for social transformation – and for the skills, tools, community, spiritual foundation to make it happen – is why Kaleo Center came into being a decade ago. We serve as a powerful wellspring to help heal the wounds of injustice, and to create the world of shared liberation that our many faith traditions and traditions of spiritual practice envision.

Joining a community of practice.

The Kaleo Center Action Learning Cohort offers a structured, nine-month program for faith-leaders and spiritual activists who seek to discern, build, deepen and sustain their leadership for justice. Cohort members will take on real problems in real time in a supportive environment that prioritizes shared learning. Each session involves a collaborative consultation around actual challenges that group members are facing.

Invest in your leadership, and in the leadership of your peers.

Many of us come to the work of justice out of a sense of being called, out of our own experiences facing oppression, and out of profound feeling of connection to others. Paradoxically, justice work can also leave us feeling lonely and isolated as we face demands that, in the moment, may seem impossible. Many of us simply struggle on, doing our best without an intentional system of support or leadership development.

What isaction learning”?

The Action Learning Cohort offers a structured format where faith leaders and activists can deepen their leadership and the leadership of those around them. Action learning involves real people resolving and taking action on real problems in real time in supportive environment that prioritizes shared learning and group support. Each session involves a collaborative consultation around actual challenges that group members are facing in their work. The basic elements for ac tion learning include an important and urgent problem, a diverse group of six to 10 people, a reflective inquiry process, implemented action, a commitment to learning and the guidance of an action learning coach who helps the team members reflect on what they are learning and how they are solving problems.

Grounded in the power of open-ended questions, Action Learning elicits insight, wisdom, and practical decisions that address the actual opportunities and challenges that you are experiencing in your work. While many programs ask participants to build or take on a new project or campaign, this Cohort offers participants a cohort of support for the work you are already doing. The Action Learning Cohort provides a supportive environment to address the leadership challenges you are currently facing while developing the leadership skills required for the long haul.

Class Sessions

Classes will be held once a month at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities 767 Eustis St., Suite 140, St. Paul, MN 55114, close to buses and the Green light rail line. The course and cohort will be limited to 8 participants. Monthly class sessions are 3 1/2 hours and will be scheduled according to the full group’s schedule and availability. Participants outside of the Twin Cities can video conference into the class sessions. We will also host a once-a-month 90 minute video conference check-in between classroom sessions. Participants should plant to dedicate 5 -7 hours per month to the cohort, which includes class time, check-ins, and personal reflection.

The 2019-2020 Kaleo Center Action Learning Cohort beings September 12th, and we would love for you to be a part of it. Applications are now open, and can be completed by clicking here. Applications are considered as they are received and limited to 8 participants. Applications close on September 1.


The cost of the full nine-month Kaleo Center Action Learning Cohort is $1,200, with a sliding scale available based on ability to pay. If you want to participate but do not have funds for the full tuition, please let us know – we would be happy to work with you to make sure that you can be part of the Cohort. To register for the cohort, please complete a brief application from by clicking here.


The class is directed by Steve Newcom, Founding Director – Kaleo Center for Faith, Justice & Social Transformation. In 2008 Steve received an Archibald Bush Foundation Leadership Fellowship to explore the intersection of theological education and social justice which led to the creation of the Kaleo Center in 2010. Steve created the concentration in social transformation at United Seminary and served as its initial program director for 2 1/2 years. Prior to his fellowship, Steve served as Executive Director of the Headwaters Foundation for Justice for eighteen years. At 66, Steve is a ‘fellow traveler’ in his own encore career, balancing advancing justice in the world and accompanying his six grandchildren of many hues in a world which prefers whiteness. Steve received his Doctorate of Ministry from United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, with a dissertation focusing on the theological and practical applications of social transformation as a lens for justice-based praxis.

About Kaleo Center for Faith, Justice & Social Transformation

Kaleo Center for Faith, Justice & Social Transformation offers a home for movement-building grounded in our diverse faith and spiritual traditions. We are pro-LGBT/Queer and put racial justice and dismantling systemic oppression at the heart of what we do. Our work includes:

  • Igniting the prophetic and spiritual imagination of people working towards justice and liberation.
  • Organizing people of faith to act in solidarity with front-line struggles for collective liberation.
  • Training leaders across spiritual communities in the practical skills of social transformation.
  • Building a national field of social transformation within theological education.

We rely on the commitment and generosity of our donors to act boldly in the world towards justice. If you would like to make a one-time contribution to support Kaleo Center’s work, or if you would like to become a sustaining member with a monthly contribution of any amount that is meaningful to you, please click here

Kaleo Center for Faith, Justice and Social Transformation is a self-sustaining, sponsored project of United theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. As our fiscal sponsor, United accepts tax-exempt contributions on our behalf and holds them in a designated fund used solely for the work of Kaleo. We are deeply appreciative of their support and our shared mission of faithful transformation of the world. By hosting and providing infrastructure support, United dramatically reduces our administrative overhead allowing every contributed dollar to have a greater impact.

Welcome to Kaleo Center