Student’s Personal Interests:
One of the first things to spark my interest at the CapeTown Advance was making the connection with my amazing LGP8 cohort. The diversity and quality of each individual impressed me and the quick connection I made with many of them blew me away. In a very short time, I felt bonded to these strangers to my delightful surprise. There was so much I wanted to learn from and discuss with them and I felt an immediate comradery with them on the DMin journey. (more…)
Who is Kristin Hamilton?
“She’s a bossy little thing; always telling everyone how it could be done better. She is naughty and talks too much, but don’t let her catch you being mean to her friends. She is a fierce protector and she can get real mean.” – Mrs. Chicka, kindergarten teacher
Kristin lives out loud, travels without a map whenever possible, and loves working to make broken systems whole. She passionately defends those who are considered “less than,” and has a way too optimistic view of the world that is often hidden behind a thin layer of cynicism. This all makes her hugely popular with people comfortable in the status quo (not).
Growing up in an unusually multi-cultural family in eastern Washington, Kristin didn’t realize the song, “Jesus Loves the Little Children of the World” wasn’t about every family. It simply made sense that the Kingdom of God is multi-colored, multi-faceted, and incredibly diverse. Learning at the feet of her grandmothers, women who were passionate about missions and serving the community, there was no doubt in her mind that God’s love is for everyone.
As a third-generation church minister, Kristin learned that not every church or Christian viewed all people with welcome arms. While working for the State of Washington and serving in the church, she noticed that the secular workplace was often more loving and accepting of people than the church. In 2003, She made the “mistake” of asking God to break her heart over the things that break God’s heart, which started her on a wild ride.
Kristin quit her job and returned to school to quench the thirst for learning more about the ways of God. While in school, she taught government and upper level Bible classes to high school students at a small, Christian school. It was her hope that she could be a voice for embracing the multi-faceted Kingdom among her students. She learned that students were thirsty for this message, but that the messiness of it put her at odds with some administrators, parents, and pastors. This caused a crisis for Kristin as she was not sure how to continue with the message without burning out.
In 2010, Kristin felt God call her to work on her own spiritual formation before entering the fray. She enrolled at Northwest Nazarene University in the Master of Spiritual Formation program and began to meet with a spiritual director. In those two years, Kristin noticed that God was beginning to untangle her spiritual “knots” and was calling her to a new depth. It seemed like a call to activism, but she felt so ill-equipped even with her shiny new master’s degree. Conversations and a whole lot of prayer led her to enroll at George Fox Evangelical Seminary to pursue her Master of Divinity. Four years, a move to Portland, and one heck of a roller coaster ride later, she had clarity about the vocation God was giving her. In her journal she wrote, “I exist to persuade the church to fight for equality and systemic justice for all people and leave the ‘sorting’ to Jesus.”
The Doctor of Ministry in Leadership and Global Perspectives at Portland Seminary is the perfect fit for this self-proclaimed lion-hearted advocate. Kristin loves learning and is soaking in everything she can about leadership, love for people, and smashing systemic injustice. When asked what the future holds, Kristin happily responds, “I have no clue! I am just walking this road one step at a time. The whole thing has been pretty wild so far, and I tend to mess things up when I plan the trip, so I’m going to take the Spirit’s lead.”
Trisha Welstad: Apprentice, wife, mother, pastor, entrepreneur, friend, and random creative. Trisha is passionate about investing in others to see them become all God has created them to be. Her roles combined with her passion create a scope for her life and work in Oregon.
As an apprentice, Trisha seeks to live her life following Jesus, learning what it means to be a disciple and disciple-maker. Apprenticing is her method of both following and leading: growing through relationship by watching, listening, doing, assessing, and teaching others through the same. (more…)
Growing up on the island of Fiji has allowed me to appreciate not only good beaches and pineapple but also a love for a multi-cultural life. Being a pastor’s kid and a missionary’s kid confirmed for me that ministry was not something that I wanted my life to involve. God has an incredible sense of humor, allowed me to struggle, make bargains and eventually come to accept the call to ministry that I had tried so hard to run from. I did not want to pastor a church, nor preach. I did not want to work as a missionary in some village overseas. As many of you already know, God gives us the desires of our hearts. He allowed me to love preaching, to love people in my church and then to openly hear his voice calling me to mentor creatively in an overseas context. (more…)
FIRST YEAR-IN-REVIEW STORY
In the year 2016, a passage to a global experience was opened for me. I didn’t know what was ahead but I took a chance and entered. My acceptance into the Leadership Global Perspective Doctor of Ministry Program at George Fox Seminary (Portland) was an honor. I found the advisors and academic team to be authentic in Christian love. They demonstrate and show Christian love to everyone. They are shepherds over the Cohorts by providing guidelines, direction, understanding, encouragement, knowledge, and wisdom…. (more…)
When departing Cape Town, I was processing all of our rich adventures in learning. I was stretched wonderfully by this traveling Advance! I was especially trying to focus in on what I learned about racial reconciliation. I was pleasantly surprised to find this little spot at the CPT airport called the “Reconciliation Room” which was tucked away in the basement. Not sure what exactly the room is for, but a picture popped into my head of two people in an argument being shuffled away to this room to work out their differences. I pondered what a better world it would be if everyone had a little room where anyone with a problem could go to and work out their disagreements. Immediately, I thought to myself, “Why don’t we have more of these rooms around the world?” Like in our schools, at the grocery store, next to the courthouse, even in CHURCH! (more…)
AMERICA the home of the free! All people are equal! Justice for All! The leader of the World!
My eighth grade English class was a life changer for me. My English teacher told us that we were black and the white man viewed us as low class and ignorant. She told us that we were not ignorant and we had the ability to be great leaders, business owners, and even President of the United States of America. I have shared this with my Co-Horts in previous chats. That class year was the pivotal point in my life that sparked my need to get what I desired from this world. So I set my mind to be the first Negro to attend a White high school near my area. Well, I was among the second group of Negros to attend, because integration took effect the year before my high school year. I was aware of the Civil Rights Movement with Dr. Martin Luther King and the Black Panther Movement. My Founding Pastor, Rev. Dr. William A. Lawson, was involved with King and ministered to the Black Panthers. (more…)
Starting Point (Personal Interests)
As a child, and certainly into early adulthood, I was possessed of a decided lack of tolerance for ambiguity:
- I distinctly remember my mother often giving me what she called ‘advance organizers’, verbal cues about what was going to happen in the future, so that I could be adequately prepared for whatever was coming next, good or bad.
- In the Dr’s office, I could never stand to look away when I was about to get a shot – like they always tell children to do – not knowing exactly when the pinch of the needle was coming was far worse than the pinch itself. (this is still true!)
- Like many in my generation, the Star Wars saga had a formational place in my childhood: I had a viscerally negative reaction to the Obi-wan Kenobi telling Luke Skywalker in The Empire Strikes Back that what he had toll him about Darth Vader killing his father was ‘True, from a certain point of view’. I remember this still, because I had such a difficult time reconciling what, in my view at the time, was a clear lie to Luke, with my love and respect for Obi-Wan….. ‘How could he lie?’ I really didn’t understand.
- I was a serious rule-follower as a child and even as a teenager, not mostly because I was so good or morally upright, but because it was physically uncomfortable for me to break the rules. (more…)
The “Cape Town Advance” was a requirement for students in Portland Seminary’s Doctor of Ministry in Leadership and Global Perspectives program. A group of more than 60 gathered together in South Africa for a wide variety of cross-cultural experiences and seminars.
Photography is a powerful communication tool. Below are 19 black and white images that are a window into the 2017 Cape Town Advance. (more…)
It seems like is was forever ago that I boarded a plane to go to Hong Kong. Fortunately, I knew I was meeting friends in this foreign country to start a new journey. One we had agreed to do together. But we were going to be meeting new people, meeting new professors and new advisors. This was the start of a new adventure to become a doctor of leadership and global perspectives. Who knew what in the world that meant? I remember getting off the plane in Hong Kong and seeing things in English and was really surprised at how easy it was to navigate to the city center and take in the sights and sounds of this new place for me in the world. (more…)
Nominated for numerous awards throughout his music career, Garfield is a versatile composer and musician who studied Professional Music at Berklee College of Music. His years of experiences has led to his current vocation on the music staff at Christian Life Center in Fort Lauderdale, FL, where he oversees the orchestra as composer and conductor. He is also the music department developer for the new church campuses.
(All photography by Pablo Morales) About a year ago I was flying to Hong Kong to start a new stage in my education. Since then, the many concepts learned in my doctoral program have helped me gain better understanding as I lead Ethnos Bible Church. Deepening my understanding of God, of my context, and of myself have sharpened some of my perspectives in pastoral leadership. So far my studies have helped me grow in those three areas. I had never done a self-assessment to learn about my personality type or leadership style. I had never studied the repercussions of a capitalist system or reflected on the local implications of globalization. Previous to my research I did not understand the American struggle with segregation and its impact on the dynamics of a multiethnic ministry. Now words like “consumer culture” and “glocal” are part of my vocabulary. (more…)
In light of my ministry context, I have been looking for a doctoral program that could provide me with three things: deeper studies in leadership dynamics in the context of globalization, a program that would not only emphasize knowledge but community, and interaction with a broader body of Christians outside my denominational circles. When I left Dallas to meet my cohort in Hong Kong, I did not know what to expect. In many ways I was leaving my comfort zone to start a new journey in my life, and I hoped that I would not end up regretting it. This trip was going to be the moment of truth—Would this program fit my ministry needs? (more…)
Who is Jason Kennedy? Hailing from Texas, but rooting for the Oklahoma Sooners, Jason Kennedy is the youngest of 3 children born to Dean and Sandie Kennedy. Jason grew up in a nuclear family where his mother and father have never divorced and instilled a work ethic into him. The Kennedy’s were pretty typical in their lower middle class neighborhood in Mesquite, Texas (a suburb outside of Dallas) devoting themselves to work, family and God. (more…)