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….
The London Leadership Advance
On our Leadership Advances, the academic team provided us a well-rounded program with dynamic speakers and safe environment. It was not a mission trip but a trip with a mission. We listened and interacted with leaders of non-profit organizations doing great work in the community, leaders who were trailblazers in Christian leadership, and leaders of higher academic learning. Hearing the stories and advice from the Cohorts before we were personal and essential to our bonding and success in the program. Forever resting in my memory was the experience of the tours, food, and entertainment with the Cohorts. My overall experience defines the phrase, Knowledge is Power! For example:
- Listen to the people you serve to learn their needs thereby expanding your organization
- You should smell like the sheep you serve
- Partnerships with others can be essential to your growth
- Non-profit communication terms are different in a For-Profit world
- Leaders must have patience, empathy and good communication skills
The First Year of DMIN Leadership Global Perspective
- Weekly Reading
- Weekly Chats
- Weekly Book Perspective Blogs
- Learning Plans
If at first, you don’t succeed, try, try again. Being overwhelmed by the syllabus and managing nonprofit programs, I prayed for structure. I then remembered what steps I utilized when studying for my Master of Divinity program and immediately implemented. The Spring semester, I added to my workload my seasonal job managing a tax site. This proved to be a task heavier than I realized but I survived. After tax season, I realized the DMIN program and non-profit is important to me and my future ministry in Christ, so I resigned in June from my full-time seasonal position. I’ve learned as a leader, one needs to focus and identify what is significant to be successful overall.
The strategic assignments of our weekly readings were developing, encouraging and intimidating for me at times. We began with books that discussed how we read, provided ways to effectively read volumes of information and how to discuss information as one who was knowledgeable in the topic. There were books on leadership tools and styles essential for one to consider and possess to be effective in their business and with their employees (volunteers). With us visiting London, we studied their culture and history of the country. This was to assist us in our awareness of London’s current development.
The weekly chats were for the most part inspiring and enlightening. We discussed the books we read and also how certain books impacted our lives. Those discussions really affected me as I learned what I was doing well in some areas of leadership but had plenty of room for opportunity to nurture new ideas. In one session I was able to identify an event in my childhood that had a negative effect on my school life.
The weekly blogs were tasking at times and fun. We were able to express ourselves as well as insert pictures, videos, etc. The Cohort 7’s were imaginative, spiritually, as well as scholastic. We encouraged and challenged each other to improve ourselves and to search within for the best within us. I love the Cohort team concept!
The Personal Leadership Development Plan and the Module Development Leadership Plan were developed to help us develop ourselves and our dissertation. Now that was a surprise. I thought I would be doing this in my second year. The process of using advisors was a great asset to the process in assisting you in narrowing your focus. I thought I had it after the first semester, but with our readings and summer session conversations, I have modified my focus. I am looking forward to the finished product and a better me.
The development plan process encouraged me to set my goals and timeline to paper. I had to strategical steps to achievable goals. At various points in this process, I had to include actions beyond my comfort zone within the steps of my goals to support the growth of the organization.
Overall, this year my knowledge and life experiences have expanded based on the platform of this doctoral program. I appreciate the art of reading about cultures leadership and spiritual interpretations different and similar to my views and life experiences. I am confident that my challenges and successes as a participant in this awesome program will be my engine in advancing my ministry towards one God will be pleased with for its service to the community.