Training and Workshops

Teaching, Equipping, Empowering

Upcoming Training, Workshops, Seminars …

Leadership Chatuge Community Builders 2021, Class IV: August 26 – November 11, 2021

Attention Leaders, Emerging Leaders, and Entrepreneurs who want to help build thriving communities! Whether you work or serve in business, government, education, the arts, nonprofits, or you’re preparing for your next vocational or career move, Leadership Chatuge Community Builders can equip and support you, providing a solid foundation to be a more knowledgeable and effective leader in our rural mountain community. Topics include: personal leadership styles, regional economic development and opportunities, local history and Appalachian culture, community supports, understanding social determinants of health, and much more. Highlights include speakers who are experts in their fields, networking opportunities, resources, and engaging presentations. Becoming more knowledgeable in these areas will prepare and equip participants to serve more effectively and confidently as community builders.

    • For adults and high school students in Clay and Cherokee counties (NC) and Towns County, GA
    • Class size limited for optimal instruction and interaction.
    • 12 weeks; Thursdays, 4:30-7:30pm; at Hinton Rural Life Center, Hayesville, NC
    • Tuition Cost: $375; includes speakers, weekly dinners, and supplies; some partial scholarships are available.
    • Applications due August 13, 2021.  On-line registration will close at midnight on August 6.
    • Applications will be accepted starting June 1, 2021.  Click here for on-line registration.
    • If  you wish to be a sponsor of Leadership Chatuge, click here.

For information on scholarships, to obtain an application, or for more information, email .


Life in the Garden: Mindfulness, Grace, & the Power of Presence

Weekend Conference & Retreat, November 5-7, 2021

Registration Opens April 15. More information and registration link posted here.

Presenter and Workshop Leader: Terry Hershey*

The Garden is a place of relaxation, reflection and restoration. It is a sanctuary and a container for wishes, dreams, and the fruit of hard labor. The garden teaches us to cherish the world in which we live. It is no surprise to find the garden central in many discussions about personal and spiritual growth. Time spent in gardens, whether as gardener or visitor, can offer healing for mind, body, and soul. The Garden is a place we can learn about life, faith, and prayer. The Life in the Garden Conference & Retreat is a time to celebrate gardens and gardeners and the role of gardens and gardening in our spiritual journey. The weekend will feature presentations, indoor and outdoor workshops, and the “learning lab” of creating and working in the Sanctuary Gardens of Hinton Rural Life Center. There will also be time for rest, rocking chairs, enjoying the scenic views of Lake Chatuge and the Appalachian Mountains, walking the Labyrinth and trails, and more.

Event leader is Terry Hershey, writer, speaker, ordained minister, gardener, and author of This Is the Life, Sanctuary, The Gift of Enough, Soul Gardening, and more. Learn more about Terry and his blog, Sabbath Moment, at .

Registration fee includes program, supplies, and meals. Accommodations will be booked separately, based on lodging preferences and availability. Options include: Lodge rooms, Hermitage cabins, Sells Cottage, McCall House, and Lakeside Retreat House.

Mental Health First Aid Training

Contact Hinton Center to schedule a training session for adults in your community, church, school, or other organization to learn how to recognize signs of a mental health crisis or issue and be equipped to respond appropriately in offering support and connecting individuals with the help needed. Two courses are available: Adult MHFA and Youth MHFA (for parents/guardians and adults who work with youth, such as teachers, coaches, church youth leaders, etc.).

Training options include virtual, on-site, and combination; Hinton staff can offer training at Hinton Rural Life Center in Hayesville, NC, or at your location (host covers travel//lodging expenses). For details, see the flyers below and/or email .

MHFA_Adult flyer

MHFA_Youth flyer

Youth Leadership Chatuge (YLC)

Youth Leadership Chatuge hopes to resume in Fall 2021. Students enrolled in the Spring 2020 class will be contacted regarding a 2021 start date and course details, depending on COVID-19 guidelines.

What Is Youth Leadership Chatuge?

The purpose of Youth Leadership Chatuge is to develop leadership skills of middle school youth assessed to have innate leadership abilities so that they are — and feel — equipped, empowered, and encouraged to be servant leaders in their spheres
of influence, resulting in positive and recognizable impacts.

Youth Leadership Chatuge is a 9-week leadership training program for middle school youth
offered after school, at the school, once a week. Each session is 90 minutes. Participants are accepted into the program, based on applications and assessments for giftedness in organizational leadership. The course is led by Karen Kluever, of Hinton Center, with the help of community volunteers. It consists of a series of hands-on, small group activities that focus on specific leadership abilities. Students take turns serving as team leaders; activities are followed by small group discussion.

YLC General Info

Details for the Fall 2021 semester of  Youth Leadership Chatuge will be coming late spring or summer of 2021.

Hinton Resources Available by Link or Order …

Free Webinar Video: “Wesley, Racism, and Anti-Slavery”

Click HERE

From the early days of his ministry, Methodism founder John Wesley was a staunch abolitionist. Professing that all humans are made in the image of God, he worked continually to end slavery, offer salvation to all, and spread scriptural holiness. This webinar, led by Dr. Jonathan LeMaster-Smith*, explores how Wesley’s anit-slavery writings can inform and inspire our anti-racist work today.


Free Webinar Video: “How Methodists Respond to Disease & Pandemic  Through Music, Art, & Poetry”

Click HERE 

Throughout their history, Methodists have responded in many ways to diseases and outbreaks. This  webinar, led by Dr. Jonathan LeMaster-Smith*, focuses on their responses through song, poetry, art, and craft, inspiring participants to reflect on artistic responses to our current pandemic crisis.

Webinar Series

Bird Feeders and Pie Pans: Pandemic, Faith & the Rural Community

Order HERE.

This digital, 5-session resource (on a USB drive) includes videos of the live webinars, PowerPoint presentations,  pdfs of the PowerPoint slides, and a discussion guide. Use for small group study, Sunday school class, or other ministry team program.

Just as there are multiple, creative responses to birds in gardens, rural folk have the potential to respond to their COVID-19 realities and the fallout from this disease. Dr. Jonathan LeMaster-Smith*  explores those realities and guides participants in considering some uniquely Christian and rural ways in which to respond.

*Dr. Jonathan LeMaster-Smith has undergraduate and master’s degrees in Christian Education from Pfeiffer University and a PhD from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Christian Education and Congregational Studies, with a focus on rural ministry. He is an online instructor for Garrett and Wesley Theological Seminary and teaches Rural Ministry certification courses through Jonathan lives outside of Hickory, North Carolina.