SEMINARY: SPECIALIZATION & ELECTIVE LEARNING

Power Change & Conflict Management

Completed Thursday, February 3, 2018

This course focused the difference between power, management and leadership. It also focused on how to effectively manage change and resolve conflicts on your team in a manner that increases trust and promotes unity on your team. This course was so multi-faceted. It was difficult to focus. It feels like this course was designed to encompass all of the logistics of management and reframe it into leadership.

My largest take away from this course is, power (in a traditional sense) is really the downfall to effective leadership. This course did a very good job of distinguishing the difference between leadership, management, and power. Power: you do it because I told you so. Management: Logistics, operations, and responsibilities. Leadership: mutual benefit, relationships, servitude and teamwork.

This course influenced my ministry in unmeasurable ways. Without realizing it, my style has always been power and management over leadership. Understanding servant leadership and its implementation will be vital to the success of my ministry. I have already had the opportunity to see how the lack of servant leadership impairs my relationships with team members and hinders ministry. This course has left me knowing that my ministry mission and commitment to leadership must be servant leadership first. Without servant leadership, ministry is prone to fail.

Intergenerational Leadership

Completed Thursday, October 12, 2018

This course focused on the life events of each generation that is currently living. The life events of each generation influence who they are, how they react to leadership, management, and power. It also influences their values, skills and life views. Understanding these aspects of generations allows you to effectively lead individuals in order to effectively lead a strong team.

My largest take away from this course: I am not a fan of my generation. I don’t fit in because I do not believe that everything will come easy and it SHOWS when I attempt to lead my own generation. I consistently meet opposition when leading my own generation and those younger than myself. I especially meet resistance when I speak in a straightforward and sometimes brutally honest way. For some reason my generation struggles with self-reflection, victimization, and accountability. And, I struggle with nudges toward those virtutes and relentlessly shine glaring lights on flaws and areas of improvement needed. It highlights my own improvements needed.

Communication & Leadership

Completed Thursday, March 11, 2019

This course focused on the basics of understanding communication. Communication includes verbal communication, nonverbal communication, and written communication. This course also taught us about our own communication styles and evaluated our communication styles and habits against the communication basics included in this course.

One of my top 5 strengths is Communication. I considered myself to be an effective but cautious communicator. However, for as cautious of a communicator as I am, I’m really only an average communicator. I need to work on ensuring that I understand and received the message as intended before I speak.

Overall, this course really helped me see my hidden communication flaws and evaluate how those flaws need to be repaired into to prevent a hinderance to my leadership. I think this type of reflection is so important and vital to healthy leadership. A healthy leader needs to be able to acknowledge flaws, receive feedback, and formulate methods for improvement.

Strategic Leadership

Completed Thursday, October 10, 2019

This course focused in how to strategically make decisions to advance your ministry. This course focused on ministry evaluation and assessing needs and opportunities for growth. We dug a bit further and discussed team development and business development in relation to our current ministry contexts.

Our current ministry context was the focal point of this course and we applied each concept learned to our current reality. My ministry context while taking this course was not a healthy context in any aspect. So, it was very easy to assess where my ministry context lacked strength, needed improvement and apply the concepts in this course. In fact, the evaluations that I walked through in this course affirmed my gut feelings about my ministry context and ultimately influenced my decision to leave my agency due to the conflicts I experienced between my context and my personal ministry values.

This course affirmed who I am and my desires for leadership. It also taught me how to use my strengths in a leadership specific setting, rather than in an Average Joe/Teammate position. The biggest impact for me by far was the way it solidified my values to the point that I was willing to walk away from an income, without a backup plan, in order to uphold my beliefs and my values pertaining to what a ministry should be. A ministry lacks value if it doesn’t uphold our Christian values and violates personal values.

Paul: Ministry and Theology

Completed Thursday, October 17, 2018

This course took an in depth look at Paul’s epistles and the known background of Paul as a Pharisee in order to illustrate Paul’s theology and understanding of the gospel. Paul is one of the greatest influences and instructors on how to live in a Christian Community and set ourselves apart as Christians in a sinful world.

This course really taught me how to frame the gospel in relation to our present world. Taking the skills that we learned in Bible as Christian Scripture and Paul’s theology really helped me understand Paul’s message and God’s intention for our world today. I think this is vital for ministry leaders because without being able to understand the gospel in its historical context, you will surely misinterpret its application for today’s circumstances.

This course was a five-day intensive for me. It was a heavy five days due to the amount of reading and theology presented. However, it was a very unique opportunity to experience this course in a community of believers. The opportunity to study Scripture and discuss theology with our community really helped to provide a context and application for Paul’s theology in our respective ministries.

Spiritual Practices

Completed Thursday, March 12, 2020

This course was spent learning and practicing all spiritual practices. It also taught us about competing, rival, and secular liturgies that compete for our time and attention. Finally, it helped us develop a plan and a rhythm for spiritual practices in our lives. These are all vital to successful spiritual leadership.

The study of rival and secular liturgies really enlightened me in this course. Really, it forced me to admit things that I already knew and examine my heart and my habits. It also showed me how easy it is to make room when you embrace your priorities.

The course’s overall impact centered in helping me understand what practices most aligned with my Sacred Pathways and my strengths as a leader. While all spiritual practices are important for a well-rounded faith life, understanding which practices most align with your natural tendencies and strengths allow you to maximize your practices while putting forth consistent effort to deepen all practices. I think this course was vital to ensuring the development of a healthy lifelong ministry.

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