It is amazing how fast these past two years have gone by. When I started the George Fox DMIN LGP program I wasn’t sure if I could make it. Now I’m not sure how I made it this far in ministry without this program. This program has broadened my ministry approach and given me a greater footing and security as I lead those around me.
When choosing the George Fox DMIN program I was looking for a school that would provide an affordable and excellent education. I was looking for a program that guiding me towards forming my own beliefs instead of just telling me what to believe. I was also looking for a program that would be challenging and help me in my current role as a Pastor.
If just one thing has surprised me about this program, it has been the closeness one can feel towards their Cohort and other students from the weekly blogs/chats and the yearly face-to-face meetings. My Cohort has truly become a group of trusted brothers and sisters running a common journey. Not just a journey of education but a journey in growing closer to Jesus and helping our communities around us to do the same. We are on the same team, we help each other, we pray for each other, and we challenge each other in love. As Steve Scott was quoted as saying in William Dyrness’ book, “Unless we are moving forward in seeking the genuine transformation of culture, then we are standing still and it is transforming us.” The brothers and sisters I have joined in this DMIN program are doing just that, trying to be transformers of culture instead of being transformed by it. I’m thankful to be a part of this family.
One of my favorite books that we have read this year is A Failure of Nerve by Edwin Friedman. Friedman’s book has changed me as a leader. Friedman doesn’t encourage us towards a cookie cutter, step by step approach to leadership. It isn’t about how and what I do, but instead Freidman has given me eyes and words to the “who” kind of leader I want to be. Friedman refers to this as a self-differentiated leader and he says a self-differentiated leader is one that has, “…capacity to be a non-anxious presence, a challenging presence, a well-defined presence, and a paradoxical presence. Differentiation is not about being coercive, manipulative, reactive, pursuing or invasive, but being rooted in the leader’s own sense of self rather than focused on that of his or her followers.” Friedman goes on to explain how differentiation is an emotional concept, not a cerebral one and how it has less to do with a person’s behavior than with his or her emotional being. This reading has led me down the path of research emotional well-being in leaders and has had a significant impact on my own leadership as well.
It’s impossible to summarize in one post what this George Fox DMIN LGP program has meant to me. These past two years have been life changing and I can’t recommend enough that those seeking a quality, challenging, leadership focused doctorate program to join the DMIN LGP.
 William A. Dyrness, Visual Faith: Art, Theology, and Worship in Dialogue (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2001), 24.
 Edwin H. Friedman, A Failure of Nerve: Leadership in the Age of the Quick Fix (New York: SEABURY BOOKS, 2007), 183.