Who Is Christian Coaches Network International?

Christian Coaches Network International is the leading credentialing agency in the field of professional Christian coaching. We exist to empower, equip, and connect Christian coaches and people interested in becoming a Christian Coach. Our mission is to provide education, community, and resources to Christian Coaches worldwide.   Since 1998, CCNI has advocated and promoted the highest standards of excellence and ethics in professional practice. As such, CCNI recognizes and promotes faith-based coach training programs built on the solid concepts of this emerging discipline. CCNI credentials coaches who meet the rigor of professionalism and honor the role of faith in their professional practice. CCNI also helps individual coaches stay connected to the information they need to succeed in their profession and their business.

What Is Christian Coaching?

Coaching is partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.”  (International Coaching Federation)

Christian coaching is a professional relationship focused on empowering a person or group to effect change, create new awareness, move into action, and step into abundant Christian life in business and in personal areas.

Christian coaching is an approach to the practice of professional coaching, whether focused on personal or professional growth, which integrates the biblical worldview when working with clients to recognize their potential and effect personal change. The biblical worldview is given priority over existing theories of human nature, motivation, personal change, growth and development, and frames the perspectives by which coaching is offered.

As Christian Coaches, we shift from a humanistic philosophy to one based on God’s presence dwelling in us and through us.

The centerpiece of Christian coaching is the client’s awareness of where God is leading him or her. Therefore, the expression of faith can at times be as important as the skill of coaching itself. With this perspective in mind, we support the following definitions for Christian Coaching:

A Christian coach employs the skills of professional coaching to enable clients to effect change, create new awareness, and move into action, while keeping in mind the bigger picture of humanity as taught by a biblical worldview.

Since clientele vary in their walks of life and perspectives on faith, the coach chooses frameworks that best suit the client’s agenda. The biblical perspective remains the lens from which the coach views the client, but the integration of that perspective is sensitively adapted to the individuality of the client.

The primary distinction in Christian coaching is based in the precept that God seeks active involvement in the lives of humans.  Christian coaching enables the coach to:

  • invite the Holy Spirit into the conversation in a three way partnership;
  • ask the Holy Spirit to guide the coaching conversation;
  • directly ask questions pertaining to the integration of faith;
  • encourage the client to consider God’s will and plan;
  • allow the expression of the client’s faith to grow;
  • challenge the client to view life from a biblical perspective;
  • create awareness, design  actions, and formulate  solutions using scriptural references; and,
  • encourage the client’s transformation into the image of Christ.

Click here to read a detailed description of Christian Coaching distinctions.

How CCNI Supports Christian Coaches

Christian Coaches Network International welcomes Bible believing coaches who profess the Lordship of Jesus Christ and aspire to live according to His teachings. As a group, we aim to focus on shared beliefs and values, while supporting one another in professional association.

Click the links to view CCNI’s What We Believe Statement  , CCNI Christian Coaching Competencies, and our CCNI Ethics Policy. The statements in these documents are the foundation upon which the senior leadership of Christian Coaches Network International stands.

Meet the CCNI Team

Melodee Claassen CCGC

Melodee Claassen CCGC

Operations Manager

Tahneesha Smith

Tahneesha Smith

Social Media Coordinator

Meet the CCNI Board of Directors

Kelly McClelland, CCMC, CJSS

Kelly McClelland, CCMC, CJSS


Warm greetings in the Lord from Orlando, Florida! In 2009 the early sense of a season of transition and change began stirring in my spirit. A returning missionary’s testimony was how God nudged me into exploring the coaching industry. In 2010, after completing my first round of coach training, I launched Transition Time Coach, LLC to serve missionaries, ministers and non-profit staff in the midst of career transitions. One of the first things I did was save enough from those first few paying clients to enable me to join Christian Coaches Network International (CCNI)! I felt a deep desire to connect with other like-minded believers who were practicing faith-based coaching. In our organization, I found friends, resources, and willing mentors to help me build my own practice.

Some of you may know me from our 2014 eSummit where I was the tech guy helping Marcie behind the webinars. It is fun to keep the chat window going during webinars. I’m happy to be assisting again for Maximize 2016 eSummit and hope we can connect there. As a new member of the board and leadership team, I pray my 45+ years of military, business, cross-cultural, and ministry experience will be helpful to CCNI as we build and expand our community worldwide.

L. Marie Trotter, PCC, CPLC

L. Marie Trotter, PCC, CPLC

President Elect

L. Marie Trotter is a business writer, book and magazine publishing expert, speaker, radio host, and trained life coach. For over 15 years, she has worked as a writer and editor of well-planned and effective commercials, catalogs, magazines, and books for individuals, for-profits, tax-exempts, and governments. She is the publisher and editor-in-chief of WHOLE magazine and the publisher and writer of Bless His Name Cards and More.

Marie received her coach training through Erickson College, and she is a PCC member of the International Coach Federation. Her coaching niches are author and book development, community and organizational capacity building, leadership development, and communications. Marie is the founder of L.A.M.P. Sessions (Leadership Accountability Mentorship and Prayer), which connects and trains Christian women in leadership. She earned a BA in Professional and Technical Writing from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and a MS in Leadership and Ethics from John Brown University

Michael J. Marx, MBA, EdD, PCC

Michael J. Marx, MBA, EdD, PCC

Immediate Past President

Dr. Michael J. Marx is a Professional Certified Coach (ICF) and a Certified Professional Life Coach (PCCI). He specializes in executive, business, and life coaching. A gifted teacher, Michael holds a BA from ORU, an MBA from Louisiana State, and an EdD in Adult Education from Regent University. His passion is adult learning and he serves on the faculties of the Concordia University (teaching International Business and International Finance) as well as the Professional Christian Coaching Institute. Michael J. Marx is your contact for ethical issues and interests in establishing a chapter in the U.S. or globally.

Michael and his wife, Joy, lived in Germany for 23 years where they worked as “tent making missionaries.” When they returned to the U.S. in 2012, they traveled throughout North America in an RV and are currently living in Colorado. Their dog “Angel” writes a blog about their adventures at www.travelswithangel.wordpress.com.

A strong advocate for professionalism in Christian coaching, Michael has served on the ICF Global Ethics & Standards Committee and currently is active establishing systems for coaches to receive support on ethical issues. A noted expert on one-to-one communication, his doctoral dissertation analyzes the promotion of learning in mentoring and coaching.

Mary-Margaret Armstrong, CAE, CMP

Mary-Margaret Armstrong, CAE, CMP


Mary-Margaret (“MM”) Armstrong, a native North Carolinian, has over 20 years’ experience with a myriad of areas including business consulting, business management, non-profit association management, and event planning. After working within healthcare in various operational and management roles, she ventured into meeting planning where she sourced and executed 100s of meetings for clients in the pharmaceutical industry. From there, she moved into a sales and consulting capacity for a national meeting planners network group bringing in over a million dollars in sales. In 2005, she, along with several other executive women volunteers, founded the Research Triangle Park, NC chapter of Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) which provides services to over 6000 members. In 2007, she joined the HBA as a full time staff member, managing 14 domestic and 1 international chapter boards as well as half of the organization’s staff, and held the position of Vice President, Membership and Education. In 2013, she launched CertainInsights, a business consulting company that provides strategic planning in areas of operations, marketing, and prioritization.

MM is a graduate of UNC-Wilmington with a BA in Political Science and has achieved both the CMP and CAE designations. Along with her experience in the association industry as well as event planning, she is especially skilled at building effective client and colleague relationships, developing strategy, improving process and efficiency, providing critical assessment and problem solving, imparting strong organizational techniques and follow through acumen. She is a driven performer keenly focused on organizational and leadership goals and outcomes as well as individual professional growth.

Cathy Lee, ACC, CCC

Cathy Lee, ACC, CCC

Director, Memebership

I launched Cathy Lee Coaching in 2014 while still in coach training and pursuing credentialing with ICF and CCNI (encouraging some of you to ‘just do it!’). Today I serve both business and ministry leaders, with a special focus on missionaries serving on foreign fields.

I’ve enjoyed a diverse career, filling leadership roles in a variety of organizations. For many years, I led a large business unit for a global leader of data, analytics and software solutions, serving Fortune 500 companies in the US and UK. As an entrepreneur, I began my own business consultancy in 2010 with executive coaching, organizational training and public speaking. It was also a privilege to serve many years on the leadership staff of my church.

I’m an avid reader and continual learner, and love travel and landscape photography. In addition to living in Germany for several years, a few of my travel destinations include Canada, Mexico, South America, India and Antarctica. My husband, John and I have been married 35 years.

Karen Kornik, CPLC

Karen Kornik, CPLC


Raised in an entrepreneur environment, Karen enjoys owning a business and loves working with numbers. She and her husband Sheldon of 25 years live in Dauphin, Manitoba Canada where their business, White Dove Water Company & Laundromat has been flourishing since 2006.

Karen has been a Treasurer for her church for the past 7 years and also has served as treasurer for a few businesses. Karen serves as a Deacon in her church and is a Leader for the Mercy & Mission team. She received her CPLC (Certified Professional Life Coach) and ACC (Associate Certified Coach) with IFC and plans to transition slowly into starting up her coaching business.

She and Sheldon have two children who are both attending University and a very special grandson, Braxon. When time permits, Karen enjoys running half Marathons in different cities and meeting people from all over the world.

Angela Herrington, LSCC

Angela Herrington, LSCC

Director, Strategy

Life and Digital Strategy Coach for Christian Entrepreneurs, Angela J Herrington, teaches her clients how to tap into the power of digital marketing. She specializes in developing sales funnels and social media strategies for out of the box coaches and solopreneurs who want to make a difference in their communities. In three years she has built multiple social media and blogging platforms that reach over 400,000 people in 40+ countries each month.

Angela is a Lark’s Song Certified Life Coach and a dynamic speaker who creates enormous value for her audience. She is known for crushing complex topics down to bite sized pieces and sending her audience home with actionable steps to apply their learning. A true Gen Xer-Angela loves thinking outside the box, combining things that are seemingly unrelated, and helping women create a unique life that perfectly suits their soul. She recently retired her husband from his day job and achieved her long time dream of working side by side every day.

As the founder of Broken Beautiful BOLD Women’s Ministry, AngelaJHerrington.com, and the XGen Christian Women’s Leadership Project, Angela receives rave reviews at women’s ministry events, writer’s conferences, and small business workshops.

Angela, her husband, and five children live in her home state of Indiana. Angela sits on the Board of Directors for Christian Coaches International and is Vice Chair of the Carey Services Board of Directors. She holds a BA in Biblical Studies from Indiana Wesleyan and a Master’s in Leadership from Wesley Seminary. Angela’s short story “The Turkey Trail“ was published in the collection Naturally Yours: Stories About Indiana’s State Parks and Reservoirs.


Paul D. Olmstead

Paul D. Olmstead

Director, Educational Enrichment and Point of Need Coaching

My wife and I are missionaries with New Tribes Mission, and I serve as NTM’s Training Facilitator and Coach for our new and veteran missionaries raising support to go to/back to their field of service. My wife, Susan, serves as an Administrative Assistant in Personnel.

I am excited to join CCNI’s Board of Directors. I view it as an excellent opportunity to give back to the CCNI community. A community that has helped me better understand Coaching in general, and Ministry Coaching specifically over the past three years.

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Our volunteers are leaders. If you desire be a voice in the industry and help shape the strategic direction of CCNI consider sharing your talent in one of these areas:

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