Several local city leaders are participating in a Niagara University course on transformational urban leadership, including, clockwise from top-left, Bishop Darius Pridgen, the Rev. Al Warner, Hon. Anthony Masiello, Nick Sinatra, Sundra Ryce, and Dr. Ray Bakke.

Several well-known local city leaders are coming together to present a Niagara University Continuing Education offering on transformational urban leadership.

The 15-week course, which begins Sept. 6, is designed to acquaint participants with the historical, religious and sociocultural dynamics that affect the quality of life, inform theology and challenge the manner in which ministry is conducted in urban neighborhoods.

The lead instructor is the Rev. Al Warner, founder of Set Free Inc., a networking ministry that connects leaders to build relationships and strategize for city transformation. He possesses a master’s degree in urbanology from the Northern Baptist Theological Seminary and has served as a pastor in local churches for more than 30 years, including a term as a missionary to Hong Kong. Warner is currently the chaplain for the Buffalo Common Council and seven local businesses.

Joining Warner in delivering the course’s content will be Bishop Darius Pridgen, Buffalo Common Council president and True Bethel Baptist Church pastor; Dr. Ray Bakke, author of A Theology as Big as the City; Hon. Anthony Masiello, former mayor of Buffalo; Nick Sinatra, president and founder of Sinatra & Co.; and Sundra Ryce, president and CEO of SLR Contracting.

Educating Transformational Urban Leaders will take place weekly (Tuesdays, Sept. 6-Dec. 13, 6-8:30 p.m.; one class will occur Saturday, Oct. 15) at the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, 640 Ellicott St., Buffalo.

Registration is $995. Three Niagara University undergraduate credit hours will be awarded upon completion of the course.

Pre-registration is required. To register and/or learn more, please contact Niagara University’s Office of Continuing Education by phone at 716.286.8181 or via email at ude.aragain@ec. Additional information is available online at