Strategic Storytelling for Movements

The next course begins April 1, 2021. The early registration discount is available until March 18. Register here. Sign up to receive notification of future course offerings here


“Tell someone to do something, and you change their life–for a day; tell someone a story and you change their life.” NT Wright

If you want to change a person’s obedience, you must change their imagination. Paul Ricoeur



Stories have power to change destinies. They invite people seeking spiritual answers to look at life and spiritual matters in disruptive ways. To become true followers of Jesus, seeking people must imagine a new identity for themselves and their community. Effective stories are the first key to using media for disciple-making strategies. They serve as a "hook" to begin a conversation and a journey with others toward a new life in Christ. Field workers and content creators must integrate the media stories they find or create with ministry strategies.


Course Description

Strategic Storytelling for Movements is a five-week, mentored online course that will accelerate your media strategy through the power of story and focus your stories on effective strategy.


Who is This Course For?

  • Mission practitioners, especially among unreached peoples, who want to find or create media content to support their kingdom-multiplication strategies.
  • Content creators who want to partner with others to make more fruitful content available to the field.
  • Leaders seeking to be more effective in using story to support church planting and disciple-making movements.


What You'll Get From This Course

  • Join the groundswell of strategy-directed storytelling that catalyzes movements of reproducing disciples among the unreached. 
  • A heart for storytelling and its strategic application in disciple-making movements.
  • An understanding of what makes stories strategic (or not).
  • A firm grasp on the characteristics of stories that serve a Media-To-Movements Strategy
  • Templates for finding existing stories or creating your own.
  • Inspiration from storytelling that has impacted some of the world’s most difficult-to-reach people.
  • Connections with expert instructors and like-minded peers around the world.
  • A strategic storytelling plan to apply to your ministry immediately.
  • Skills to train others in strategic storytelling.
  • Be prayed for each week by a dedicated prayer partner.
  • Qualifying students are eligible for a one-third (33%) tuition discount in a Masters or PhD program at Biola University’s Cook School of Intercultural Studies.


Do I Need to Be Familiar with Media to Movements? 

  • It would be helpful, but not necessary to be familiar with media-to-movement philosophy to derive the maximum benefit from this course. 
  • Media To Movements is a strategy to identify and engage spiritual seekers with the goal of creating a movement of reproducing disciples. 
  • Our Foundations of Media to Movements is offered in mid-February, May and in mid-September. A 25% discount is available for those who sign up for both courses at the same time. See below for more details.
  • If you are unable to take the Foundations of Media to Movements course, we recommend the free, one hour course is available at Kingdom Training.


Course Outcomes by Module

1. Why Strategic Storytelling?

  • Understand how story content integrates into Media-To-Movements (MTM) strategies.
  • Identify the role you and your team play in an MTM strategy.
  • Discover tangible applications of strategic storytelling in your local context.

2. What is Unique (or Not) About These Stories?

  • Understand how the Spirit of God uses strategic stories to draw seekers into conversation and discipleship.
  • Learn the four elements that make stories work to support MTM strategies
  • Begin to create or find stories for specific personas and ministry outcomes.

3. Six Characteristics of Strategic Stories for Movements

  • Learn six key characteristics of strategic stories for movements
  • Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of story content you have used in your ministry context.

4. Strategic Story Case Studies

  • Identify creative strategies and approaches from examples in restricted access contexts.
  • Discover where and how your stories connect with your audience in different phases of a media-to-movement funnel.

5. Develop Your Plan

  • Learn how to find existing stories that may serve your strategy so you don't have to create your own.
  • Develop a plan to create or adapt stories for deeper audience engagement in a media strategy.


Course Logistics

  • A five-week, mentored experience beginning Thursday, April 1, 2021 at 7:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time (UTC -7.00, use this time zone converter). Live course dates and start times: April 1, April 8, April 15, April 22, April 29.
  • One hour weekly live classroom: After registration, you will receive a link for our Zoom video conferencing service that will require a plug-in for your computer. You may also download the Zoom app from the iTunes store or Google Play for a mobile device, but we strongly recommend using a computer for the best learning experience.
    • In this course, we provide new content material for each week in advance. Students should read new content articles, watch videos, etc. before our live class meeting. This gives us a chance to highlight and interact with the new content and apply it to our ministries.
      A typical live session will look like this. (All times are Pacific Time.)
      0650 - 0700 (optional pre-class chat)
      0700 - 0720 Pray. Review of previous week's assignments, questions, student examples, and discussion.
      0720 - 0755 Highlights from current week's material, discussion of new content, and case studies
      0755 - 0800 Wrap up and initial Q&A. Pray
      0800 - 0815 (optional) post-class Q&A and discussion
  • Flipped Classroom: Some modules will have a pre-recorded lecture. It is expected that each student will have viewed the lecture prior to the live classroom. This facilitates maximum interaction with the instructor around the course material as well as with other students.
  • Two hours of independent work: (reading, videos, projects) will be expected each week for a total of 3 hours per week.
  • Web classroom: (using Moodle) with materials, mentored discussion boards, and practical application assignments at each stage.
  • Cost: You can use a credit card or PayPal account. An early registration discount is available. An additional discount is available to non-Westerners. Your registration is only guaranteed once you have paid for the course. To benefit from the team discount, you must get a promotional code by emailing Carissa Sheehan (be sure to tell her which of the three categories below your team falls into). Here is the explanation of our three-tiered tuition rationale.

$260 Standard ($240 per person if two or more register together as a team).

$220 “Majority world” individuals WORKING WITH a “Western” organization that can help cover the cost ($180 per person if two or more register together as a team).

$90 “Majority world” individuals NOT WORKING WITH a “Western” organization. Limited to five per cohort ($50 per person if two or more register together).

An additional "early registration" discount of $20 is available to those who register and pay by March 18, 2021 (14 days before the course start date). For example, if you qualify for the standard registration of $260 but register with a teammate and register before the early date, your cost would be $200 per person.

Two Course Bundle Discount of 25%: Our Foundations of Media to Movements course is offered after to this course beginning May 13, 2021. A 25% discount is available if you sign up for both courses at the same time. When registering, select the appropriate payment category in one of the last three "bundle" options. This will register you for both the Foundations of Media to Movements and Strategic Storytelling courses. You will not need to register on the Foundations course page. If you register for the two course-bundle after February 18, you will automatically be placed in the September 2021 cohort for the Foundations course. You will still be in the April 2020 Strategic Storytelling course.

Because we hold ourselves to a high standard, we are happy to offer a refund for anyone dissatisfied with the course. Here is our commitment to excellence.

  • Registration: Register here.
  • Take the course as a team: The class will make the most impact if students take the course in small teams (2 or more students) to enable collaboration and immediate application in their ministry context.
  • To receive a certificate of completion:
    • Attend 4 of 5 live sessions. These sessions will be recorded for later review.
    • Do the preparation reading and viewing for each module.
    • Complete all independent practice assignments for each module.