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The Urban Church Planters Cohort is a 9-month coaching experience for lead pastors and spouses serving in the heart of major U.S. cities.


Churches in the heart of major cities have unique challenges. This experience offers insights from expert voices as well as the opportunity to share and glean best practices from fellow urban pastors.


The coaching cohort is limited to 10 lead pastors and spouses who have already planted a church in an urban, downtown, or cultural arts environment in a major U.S. city.

  • Begins fall 2024

  • 9 Month cohort


  • Monthly 90-min coaching calL

  • washington dc experience on
    Oct. 16-18, 2024 with Pastor mark batterson & Pastors stephen & Karen Blandino



You’ll participate in nine 90-minute monthly coaching sessions with Stephen Blandino and special leadership guests. Each Zoom session addresses practical topics such as personal growth, funding vision, discipleship, team development, and more…all with a focus on urban planters and churches (Sept 2024–May 2025).

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You’ll attend a private, in-person training experience with 10 urban planters/spouses October 16-18, 2024 in Washington D.C. This coaching experience features teaching with Dr. Mark Batterson from National Community Church and Stephen & Karen Blandino. All training will take place at the Capital Turnaround.

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Your registration includes two nights at the Homewood Suites Capitol-Navy Yard in Washington D.C. In addition, all meals, special site-seeing visits, a tour of the Capital Turnaround, and ground transportation are included in your experience.


You’ll receive books, tips, and practical resources to help you maximize your personal growth, increase your ministry impact, and accelerate your leadership growth.

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You and your spouse will build relationships and journey together with 10 urban church planters serving in the heart of major U.S. cities.

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While this incredible coaching cohort is valued at $3,000, your cost is only $495 per couple + travel to the event in Washington D.C. Your fee includes 9 monthly online coaching sessions, D.C. training event, site-seeing visits, all meals, tour of The Capital Turnaround, and two nights at the Homewood Suites Capitol-Navy Yard in Washington D.C. To allow for focused coaching and discussion, childcare is not provided.


The Urban Church Planters Cohort will feature a variety of guests in our monthly coaching calls. Stephen Blandino will facilitate the online coaching sessions with special guests, and Stephen and Karen will facilitate sessions and best practice discussions at the live event in Washington D.C.

Stephen & Karen Blandino

Lead Pastors

7 City Church

Stephen and Karen Blandino planted 7 City Church in 2012 near downtown Fort Worth, Texas with a vision to see cities transformed by equipping people to know Christ, experience community, and influence culture. Stephen is a leadership coach and the author of five books including Stop Chasing Easy, Do Good Works, and Creating Your Church’s Culture. Karen is a licensed professional counselor and has her own counseling practice in Fort Worth. Stephen and Karen have one daughter and son-in-law, Ashley and Dylan, and two grandsons, Elijah & Wyatt.

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Dr. Mark Batterson

Lead Pastor

National Community Church

Pastor Mark & Lora Batterson planted National Community Church in 1996 with a core group of 19 people. Today NCC has multiple locations and owns and operates the Capital Turnaround, Ebenezers Coffeehouse, The Miracle Theater, and the DC Dream Center. Mark is the New York Times bestselling author of more than 20 books including Please, Sorry, Thanks, Win the Day, Chase the Lion, and The Circle Maker. Mark and Lora have three children: Parker, Summer, and Josiah. During the live event in Washington D.C., you’ll learn from Pastor Mark in an intimate environment with 10 church planters.

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The Urban Church Planters Cohort is sponsored by 7 City Church. Stephen and Karen Blandino planted 7 City near downtown Fort Worth, Texas (the 13th largest city in the U.S.). Stephen, Karen, and 7 City Church have a passion to invest in urban church planters around the U.S.


In addition, Pastor Mark Batterson and National Community Church generously provide the Capital Turnaround to host the D.C. experience. The Capital Turnaround is an incredible, state-of-the-art space that will inspire you to dream of the possibilities in your urban context.


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Jake & Jacky Wirth
Mix Church, Milwaukee, WI

“Looking back at our experience in Washington D.C., and in the monthly coaching calls, we can't find enough words to express how grateful we are for everything Pastor Blandino and 7 City Church afforded us. In comparison to church conferences (of which we still love), the cohort and coaching calls gave us the rare opportunity to receive insight and encouragement specific to the needs and context of our church, all while developing relationships with other pastors in similar situations. We would never decline the opportunity to be a part of this cohort and neither should you.” 

Miguel & Meagan Guerreiro
Center Church, Kansas City, MO

“We have done so many conferences and courses to prepare for urban church planting, but none have been as valuable as this cohort. The instruction is elite. But what distinguishes this cohort from other trainings are the relationships; most urban church planters find the experience isolating, but through this cohort we have developed a community of co-laborers who understand and love each other.”

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Stephen & Priscilla Perumalla
The Grace Place, New York City

“We have benefited immensely from the Urban Church Planters Cohort. The community is invaluable. The content is always relevant, Christ-centered, and we’ve been able to immediately implement what we’ve learned. Pastor Stephen and Karen Blandino really care about the pastors in this cohort and it shows in the intentionality in which everything is planned.” 

David & Randall Araujo
The Heart, Los Angeles, CA

“We have absolutely loved being part of the Urban Church Planters Cohort. Planting in the city brings unique challenges. To partner alongside other pastors who have planted in a similar setting and gain knowledge from one another was a priceless gift. We have gained so much wisdom and practical skills from Pastor Stephen, Karen, and all the other leaders they have partnered with that we’ve been able to instantly implement into our church. One of the highlights of this cohort was travelling to Washington D.C., learning from Pastor Mark Batterson at National Community Church, and seeing his church model as an effective way to impact the city. We would highly recommend joining this cohort if you have planted a church in an urban setting.” 

Space is very limited for the Urban Church Planters Cohort. You must apply for this experience. Once your application is approved, you will pay $495 to secure your spot. Because only ten spaces are available, we highly recommend you apply as soon as possible.

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