Spirit-Led Solutions through Human-Centered Design

Address Adaptive Challenges with Discernment and Creativity

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Each member of your congregation or community is fearfully and wonderfully made, and every challenge you face together is commensurately complex. How can you gain a deep understanding of the needs and stories of these diverse humans around you—and use that understanding to seek spirit-led solutions to the multilayered problems that arise in your community?

Come join us as we dive deep beneath the surface, exploring the art of human-centered design for faithful application in our uniquely challenging ministry environments. Together, we’ll walk through techniques for discerning people’s needs, fostering empathy, igniting creative problem-solving, and embracing an iterative design process. These compelling and expertly guided modules provide practical exercises and real-world examples meticulously tailored to a faith community setting. You’ll be equipped to use human-centered design principles to faithfully build your own implementation plan for creating change or addressing a challenge in your setting!

What You'll Learn

  • Understand the Individual and the Group: Practice techniques for gathering insights from the diverse and unique people within your congregation.
  • Cultivate Empathy: Develop a discerning and empathetic mindset that deeply hears the needs and challenges of the community.
  • Foster Creative Problem-Solving: Learn to approach challenges from various angles and develop solutions that blend tradition and innovation.
  • Navigate Faith-Based Challenges: Combine discernment and critical thinking to tackle the obstacles faced in faith and ministry environments.
  • Implement Iterative Design: Embrace continuous improvement by gathering feedback, refining your ideas, and creating impactful changes.
  • Enhance Community Impact: Design complex, people-centered initiatives that address real needs and resonate beyond the church walls.

About this Course

  • Modules


  • Learning Elements


  • Videos


  • Practices & Activities


  • Time

6 hours, 30 minutes

  • Price


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Here's What's Inside...

Get oriented to the course, meet your instructor, download the interactive handbook, and more.

In this module, you will:

  • Develop working definitions of systems thinking, adaptive vs. technical problems, and human centered design.
  • Celebrate the image of God in ourselves and others.
  • Choose a problem that you want to work with as you continue through the course.

In this module, you will:

  • Understand the role of empathy in the design process.
  • Practice strategies for developing empathy.
  • Choose a problem that you want to work with as you continue through the course.

In this module, you will:

  • Learn to think in terms of systems and unseen variables.
  • Develop a strategic definition of your problem.
  • Consider the cost of this work.

In this module, you will:

  • Generate possibilities for addressing your problem.
  • Practice creative thinking.
  • Develop an idea for prototyping.

In this module, you will:

  • Learn the value of prototyping and testing.
  • Develop an appreciation for the iterative process.
  • Create and test a prototype to address your problem.

In this module, you will:

  • Commit your project to God.
  • Practice iteration.
  • Design a preliminary implementation plan.
  • Take a first step into implementation.

Find out your next steps as you complete the course and how to stay connected with your group. You'll also be able to submit feedback about your course.

You'll Learn How to Shift Ministry Models
Person holding tablet moving sticky notes on a clear glass window

Effective ministry requires discernment, skill, and an openness to change—today more than ever. As our world continues to shift around us, it becomes increasingly necessary for us to build our own capacities to listen and respond adaptively to the unique needs and challenges of our diverse congregations and communities. Human-centered design is the toolbox you need to grapple with adaptive challenges and start re-designing your approach to ministries with a focus on empathy, creativity, and resonant impact across populations!

Gain Instant Access

Here's everything you get for just $55:

  • Engaging Videos: Enjoy interactive videos hosted by experienced facilitators, guiding you through a deep exploration of human-centered design principles and applications.
  • Practical Exercises: Apply your learning through hands-on exercises that mirror the scenarios faced in faith environments.
  • Case Studies: Gain insights from real-life adaptive challenges faced (and solved!) by churches and communities like yours.
  • Community Forums: Collaborate with like-minded participants, share ideas, and learn from diverse perspectives, fostering a supportive learning community.
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Meet Your Instructor

  • Dr. Ramon Pastrano IV

    Dr. Ramón Pastrano is a founder and board member of Twin Cities-based ImpactLives, Inc., and founder of ThirdSphere LLC, a center for transformational leadership in cultural competence, social innovation, and entrepreneurship. Pastrano earned his Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications/Media Studies from Briar Cliff University. His advanced degrees include a Master of Science in Management from the U.S. Naval Supply Corps School, a Master of Arts in Theological Studies from Bethel Seminary, and a Doctorate in Global Contextual Leadership from Bethel University. After 15 years as a surgical consultant and medical device specialist with Ethicon, Medtronic, and Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, Pastrano has received numerous awards, including the Doctor Act Award, presented by TRANS4M Council for Research and Innovation in Switzerland. This award is given in recognition for outstanding achievement in Social Innovation. Pastrano has traveled extensively for leadership engagement and humanitarian efforts throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. As a graduate of the U.S. Naval Supply Corps School, he also served as a Commanding Officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve.

Connect as you learn

Connect inside the Faith+Lead Learning Lab

Learning happens best when you do it together with folks who are on the same journey as you are.

That's why our private social network, the Faith+Lead Learning Lab, hosts conversations about course content with other learners, instructors, TAs, and community leaders.

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Study together with a small group or congregation

Want to bring Spirit-Led Solutions through Human-Centered Design to your Bible study, small group, or even your entire congregation?

Choose "Enroll a Group" at checkout and select how many people you'd like to provide access to the course. You can go through the course together in-person, watch lessons together via Zoom, or even create a private group in the Learning Lab where participants can connect asynchronously.

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