The Appreciating Church approach to AI training has been developmental and organic, reviewing and learning as the project developed.
Since the start of the process in Spring 2014, the training programme has engaged more than 200 people across the partner denominations and beyond.
This experience has led to the emergence of the following programme which continues to be refined:
Participation in an Introduction to Appreciative Inquiry workshop held online or face to face in four sessions over a total of two days, facilitated by an accredited Appreciating Church practitioner.
Six to nine months of AI practice, during which the participant is able to keep in touch with their AI mentor.
Participation in a Deepening Your AI Practice course, held online over a period of months. Each participant brings with them an AI project of some kind which they work on with others as part of a community of practice.
Opportunities for further practice, including acting as an apprentice trainer/facilitator for Introduction to Appreciative Inquiry before taking the lead role as co-trainer
Apprentice to an accredited trainer for Deepening Your AI Practice, and then lead sessions as a co-trainer.
The Appreciating Church certification process is currently under development in conjunction with the International Academy for Appreciative Inquiry jointly established by Appreciating People and Alder Advice. Plans include awarding certificates for professional development as an Appreciating Church trainer/facilitator.
- Participation in the Introduction to Appreciative Inquiry workshop, as Module One of the IAAI programme
- Completion of the Deepening your Appreciative Inquiry Practice programme as Module Two of the IAAI programme
- Completion of the apprenticeship processes for facilitating Modules One and Two
The IAAI certificates of competence in the different areas will be awarded through observation and discussion of practice with IAAI-accredited practitioners.
This programme is subject to being reshaped by new ideas, as highlighted in the next section.
Further developments under consideration:
Recent AI experience has highlighted the need for three further elements.
- The importance of creating and introducing a practical one-day workshop on developing appreciative questions and protocols. This is likely to take place during the AI practical experience period between Taste of AI and Developing your AI practice. This workshop opportunity is currently under development, and will be made available in due course.
- The value in requiring the submission of an AI project example of practice as a precursor to participation in the Deepening Your AI Practice course. Successful completion of the course will include presenting these examples of Appreciative Inquiry practice on this web site.
- The creation of a very practical and accessible one day AI experience workshop for church people “wishing to put their toe in the water”. This workshop would be accompanied by a practical AI booklet with simple AI exercises for use in church settings. This workshop and accompanying workbook is currently under consideration and is likely to include a Welsh edition.