M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust

Faith-Based Board Leadership & Development Program

Equipping Christian nonprofit boards to raise their performance

Board Leadership & Development

The Murdock Trust Faith-Based Board Leadership and Development Program equips nonprofit Christian organizations to fulfill their unique missions by building board capacity.

Strong institutions are led by strong boards. This training program provides concrete, practical, and proven tools to equip CEO’s, board chairs, and board members to address the most strategic issues, challenges, and opportunities of board leadership. This unique faith-based training experience has been researched and developed by a team of experienced coaches and faculty assembled by the Murdock Trust.

Helping You Build Capacity and Sustainability

  • Learn the four pillars of a high performing board including governance, culture, sustainability, and strategic planning
  • Clarify the board’s role and the CEO’s role—eliminate fuzzy responsibilities and create positive synergy
  • Maximize the most critical relationship: the board chair and the CEO
  • Become a board increasingly characterized by spiritually discerned decisions
  • Leverage the four phases of board development: cultivation, recruitment, orientation, and engagement
  • Establish dashboard metrics to monitor the health of an organization
  • Identify the strategic next steps and benchmarks needed to create a sustainable future
  • Align your mission, vision, and values with measurable results and goals
  • Think carefully about the organizational future including succession planning and transitions
  • Set the engagement bar high and foster a culture of continuous learning

Program Basics

Over the course of six months, the Faith-Based Board Leadership and Development Program will equip you to fulfill the unique mission of your nonprofit Christian organization.

Organizations will receive four days of training over two sessions scheduled in February and March, as well as approximately 16 hours of customized coaching (includes coach preparation time). Often this coaching allotment is broken up into calls between the coach and the organization before session 1, between session 1 and 2, and following session 2, with a visit by the coach to the organization this spring/summer. Most often the coach can spend a day with the organization, allowing for travel and prep time. The Trust will cover all transportation fees of the coach to the organization for one trip.

The 2023 cohort will meet together on February 7-8, 2023 (virtual) and March 14-15, 2023 (in-person).

Your assigned coach will suggest how you might allocate your 16 hours of customized coaching over the program’s 4 phases:

  • Phase 1: Baseline survey and coaching connection (prior to Session one)
  • Phase 2: Session one via Zoom | February 7-8, 2023 | 9:00am-3:00pm PT each day
  • Phase 3: Session two in-person | March 14-15, 2023 | Day 1: 10:00am-8:00pm Day 2: 8:00am-2:30pm
  • Phase 4: Completion of Top 5 Strategic Next Steps and coach site visit

Participation Fee and Requirements

“The board-CEO relationship is the soul of the Christ-centered organization. It connects leaders to followers, communicates vision and mission to the body, and sets the tone for the organization.”

Stewards of a Sacred Trust: CEO Selection, Transition and Development for Boards of Christ-centered Organizations, David L. McKenna

To participate, your organization must commit to the following:

The executive director/CEO, the board chair/future board chair, and one other board member must participate in both sessions (February and March) and work with your coach on mutually agreed-upon dates.

In addition to the three participants described above, each organization may invite additional board members (up to 10 participants total) to attend the first virtual session in February.

The second session in March will be in person and must have a minimum of three and a maximum of four participants attend (the executive director/CEO, the board chair/future board chair, and one or two other board members).

  1. Participants must complete all readings and assignments before, during, and after the sessions
  2. Participants will be expected to complete three assessments related to the program: the first will be conducted prior to the first session in February, the second will be completed immediately after the second session in March, and the third will be completed one year later (March)
  3. A program fee of $1,200 per organization is due upon registration which covers all session materials, two training sessions, meals, two days of customized coaching, and hotel costs for the March session. Travel to Vancouver, WA for the March session is the responsibility of the organization.


Organizations need to complete an application of interest to be considered for the upcoming cohort.

  • Applications will be made available in mid-June. To receive an application, please contact us at boardleadership@murdocktrust.org.
  • Applications are due by July 15th, 2022
  • Decisions about acceptance into the next cohort are made in early October 2022

Questions? Contact us at boardleadership@murdocktrust.org or 360-694-8415.

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The Trust guides nonprofit organizations through every level of their development through grants and other resources.

The Trust has a wealth of knowledge and experience that can make all the difference to you and your organization.