We are a Lutheran organization founded in 2002. The mission of the Karpenko Institute for Nurturing and Developing Leadership Excellence (KINDLE) can be summed up in these words:

KINDLE fosters and multiplies Christ-like servant leaders to enhance the ministry of congregations in their communities and the world.

Grounded in Scripture

If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death– even death on a cross! Philippians 2:1-8 (Emphasis Added)

Core Values

  • Christ-Centered
    We are anchored in Jesus Christ and aspire to serve Him, His mission, and His body, the Church, in all that we do.
  • Christ-like Servant Leaders
    We value Christ-like servant leaders who help others:  celebrate their baptismal identity; grow more Christ-like, manifesting the grace-filled marks of obedience, well-being, leadership, and community; and foster and multiply generations of Christ-like servant leaders in their congregations, homes, workplaces, communities, and the world.
  • Congregation-Based Ministry
    We affirm the congregation as a primary facet of the mission of Christ in the world and endeavor to enhance the ministry of congregations.
  • Excellence
    We understand excellence as a dynamic of “being” as well as “doing” and seek to be a learning organization, enabling visibly evident innovative development of Christ-like servant leaders.
  • Leadership Legacy
    We are committed to and we expect our Associates to foster ongoing processes that develop generations of Christ-like servant leaders.
  • Personal Wellness
    We are committed to a lifestyle that models and encourages wellness in all aspects of life.
  • Priesthood of All Believers
    We affirm the priesthood of all believers and thus promote the ministry of the laity within their congregations, homes, workplaces, communities, and the world.
  • Second Chair Ministry Leaders
    We identify and affirm the critical role that second chair ministry leaders play in congregations.  They serve in paid and unpaid capacities, and include laity, ordained clergy, commissioned workers and practitioners, bi-vocational, and others who provide significant leadership in ministry, but who are not the lead or senior pastor.  We are committed to providing encouragement, support, and training opportunities for these leaders to foster and multiply the capacity of developing Christ-like servant leaders.
  • The Ministry of Directors of Christian Education (DCEs)
    We value the historic contribution in KINDLE’s founding, the unique training, the spirit, character, and role of this public ministry.