September 1, 2013
Zen Center’s Leadership Program to Go on Hiatus for 2013-2014

The Leadership Program of San Francisco Zen Center (Zen Center) was launched in 2009 to educate and prepare members to serve in leadership roles and on the board. In addition to specific project work, participants met to discuss the challenges, structure and function of Zen Center. As the oldest and largest Soto Zen monastic practice center outside of Asia, Zen Center’s particular characteristics blend the qualities of nonprofit organizations and other American religious institutions with features such as residential practice, which are unique to a small set of institutions world-wide. The board has found that Zen Center’s leaders are most effective and engaged when they are supported with intimate knowledge of the organization’s unique features.

As we near completion of the fourth class of this yearlong program, the board has decided to suspend the program for a year in order to evaluate how the program is functioning, as well as to update our processes for ensuring a robust pipeline for leadership positions at Zen Center. During this time, we will re-purpose some of the processes and resources we have developed for the Leadership Program as a separate orientation program for new board members.

The board welcomes contact with Zen Center members who are looking for leadership opportunities in our community. If you or a practitioner you know has finance, development, programs, marketing, board development and/or other relevant expertise, or if you have feedback or questions on this topic, please contact Brian McCaffrey at, or Gretchen Rau at