January 9, 2020
This J-Term, students are learning about Christian leadership through two very different courses.
In Room 123, President & Dean Dr. Stephen Roy is teaching Philosophy of Ministry, a course that addresses the practice of ministry in a changing cultural environment. Among other things, students are learning how they, as leaders, can help fellow believers navigate shifting societal landscapes and be effective witnesses for Christ. Their learning in this area is being aided by a number of guest speakers who have been sharing about various issues and opportunities in contemporary ministry.
In nearby Room 122, Adjunct Professor Ashley Hibbard is teaching Historical Books, which examines the Old Testament books of Joshua through Esther. During the last four days, Hibbard says, the class has returned again and again to the topic of leadership, particularly bad leadership.
A number of the historical books, of course, have much to say about leaders and their unrighteous deeds. One of the most obvious is Judges, which tells of some serious leadership failures and their dire consequences. In narratives such as these Hibbard has found fascinating opportunities for instruction. For example, she observes, “You don’t get good leadership out of bad character.”
The historical books also have some examples of commendable leadership. King David, Hibbard notes, is not a model of virtue but does show remarkable humility and take responsibility for his actions. She observes as well that he becomes the standard for later kings.
Together, these two courses offer valuable guidance about leadership. The Historical Books course discusses biblical examples and offers principles for godly leadership, and Philosophy of Ministry addresses the application of theory in real-life ministry contexts.
While students are not able to take both of these courses at the same time, there are plenty of opportunities for the course content to interact. During the break times, students in both classes congregate in the Lounge and elsewhere, and the campus is filled with the noise of discussion. Conversation will carry on over months and years as students develop strong relationships. Furthermore, in the future, students may enrol in the course they are not taking this week, allowing them even more opportunities to explore and learn about Christian leadership.
The weeklong J-Term will conclude tomorrow, as will the in-class portions of these intensive courses. The Winter semester will begin next Monday.
Also taking place this J-Term is an Addictions Counselling module, taught by Dr. Jan Dinsmore Czechowsky and Dr. Jurgen Czechowsky.