This week we are delighted—giddy, actually—to welcome our new Vice President for Coaching and Training, the Rev. Dr. Aqueelah Ligonde! Dr. Ligonde (“Q,” for short) is no stranger to Ministry Incubators. She has been one of our lead innovation coaches since 2016 and has taught at numerous Hatchathons. Aqueelah is a trained International Coaching Federation coach and will develop our new coaches’ training process as well as oversee all of Ministry Incubators’ training and coaching operations going forward.

Aqueelah hails from Dayton, Ohio, where her pastor challenged her to start a camp while she was still a teenager. Aqueelah, being Aqueelah, not only started a camp: she started an institution (it’s still happening). After graduating from the College of Wooster, she headed to McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago and became ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA). She has served as a pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica, Queens, and First Presbyterian Church of Far Rockaway.

But wait: there’s more.

Aqueelah works closely with all kinds of youth ministry. You’ll find her preaching at denominational youth conferences and leading workshops at the Princeton Forum for Youth Ministry, serving as a research fellow for Princeton’s (Institute for Youth Ministry) Log College Project, as an innovation coach for The Zoe Project’s Young Adult Innovation Hub, and as the Senior Coach of the Trenton Design Incubator. She coaches for Ministry Architects as well.

But here’s what really matters.

No one who works with Aqueelah forgets her megawatt smile, her effortless gift for empathy and encouragement, her ability to “get real” as a coach while at the same time making that honesty feel like privilege to receive (and just wait till you hear this woman preach!). She and her husband Mike have been to almost all the continents. She has ridden an elephant, walked a cheetah, petted a tiger, snorkeled with stingrays. She has binge-watched Ted Lasso. She sends Mother’s Day texts to her friends. In short, the Rev. Dr. Aqueelah Ligonde is a world-class human, and we cannot wait for you to meet her and learn from her. We could not be more honored, or more excited, that she has chosen to help lead Ministry Incubators into its next chapter!

(If you want to send Aqueelah a hip-hip-hooray, you’ll find her here: aqueelah@ministryincubators.com.)

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