I am not interested in George Fox Evangelical Seminary producing good ministry leaders (pursuant to its mission). I am interested in the seminary applying the principles of Jim Collins’ Good to Great to its Doctor of Ministry program. If we as students were content to be part of good ministries, we would not be investing three years and tens of thousands of dollars in rigorous academic studies. We are investing in what will help us help our ministries move from Good to Great.
I am interested in applying this same desire to Cornerstone School of Ministry in Corvallis, Oregon. I want to see a good school become a great school. A major piece of that greatness will be successfully training international students to lead with greatness when they return to their home countries.
Collins writes, “This book is…ultimately about one thing: the timeless principles of good to great. It’s about how you take a good organization and turn it into one that produces sustained great results, using whatever definition of results best applies to your organisation.” 
Collins states that a primary element in Good to Great is having a Level 5 leader. I’m sure I’m not the only one who wondered if I was/am such a leader. But this question quickly changed to thinking of Jesus as Level 5 leader. Did He not possess both personal humility and professional will? He became obedient to the point of being a servant. He also demonstrated decisiveness in His chastising religious leaders, and bringing a new and shocking group of leaders onto the bus.
What will the Level 5 leader of Cornerstone look like? This will be a conversation focus for Dr. Adam Poole, CSOM director, and myself in the coming months.
Further, as we discuss moving Cornerstone from Good to Great we will need to discuss the metrics by which we measure greatness. As Collins asks, “What do we mean by great results?” 
Is our metric, “All students will produce ‘A’ quality work?” Or might our metric be “In six years we will send trained ministry leaders into 6 different countries? Both of these outcomes are good. But how do we measure if we’ve produced leaders of and for great ministries in other countries? I find no quick answer at this time. I believe this quandary must occupy our thinking for years to come. We must ask international students, “What do you need to be a successful leader in your culture?”
Following Collins’ advice, we must think about the right people to have involved running and teaching in Cornerstone. In a ministry where teachers are given a token honorarium, rendering them virtually volunteers, “Early Assessment” is difficult. Ministries like this must guard against the desperation mentality of “getting anyone we can who is willing to teach.
However, since we want teachers and leaders who first demonstrate Christ-like character it is encouraging to read, “In determining the ‘the right people,’ the good to great companies placed greater weight on character attributes than on specific educational background, practical skills, specialized knowledge, or work experience.”  Surely this does fit within the value system of a Christian school. We agree with Collins: “Whether someone is the ‘right person’ has more to do with character traits and innate capabilities than with specific knowledge, background, or skills.” 
It is also very helpful to read about great organizations finding the intersect of three circles: What you are deeply passionate about, What you can be the best in the world at, What drives your economic engine (or what drives your resource engine).  This book serves as a starting point for important conversations with Cornerstone leaders to clarify the three circles.
I am vitally interested in discovering what we can be best at. I believe we can begin our conversation by saying that we are interested in creating an international learning community which prepares all participants for cross-cultural ministry.
There is also encouragement to be found in the picture of the Flywheel “Good to great comes about by a cumulative process – step by step, action by action, decision by decisions, turn by turn of the flywheel – that adds up to sustained and spectacular results.”  Over and over Scripture supports the notion of small beginnings, as when Jesus spoke of the mustard seed. So we just keep pushing on that flywheel, knowing that or labor in the Lord is never in vain.
As I think of helping Cornerstone School of Ministry move from Good to Great, I know that each academic essay, each field research report contribute to the dissertation. Each effort in the academic discipline is one more push on the flywheel. The D. Min. and the dissertation will contribute to momentum in our efforts to train international students at Cornerstone.
 Jim Collins, Good to Great, (New York, NY: Harper Collins, 2001) 15.
 Jim Collins, Good to Great and the Social Sectors, (2005), 7.
 Collins, Good to Great, 51
 Ibid., 64.
 Collins, Jim. Good to Great, 96. Good to Great and the Social Sectors, 18.
 Collins, Good to Great, 165.