Seven Concepts on Leadership

By Israel Galindo, Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning

The concept of leadership has seen its own evolution. What constitutes a leader and leadership in fields of study and in various contexts have changed over the decades. Over the years some concepts have proven more helpful, and more accurate, than others. But I think the fundamental reality of what constitutes effective leadership has always been the same. Having said that, we must confess the caveat with that sentence is in how one defines effective leadership. If leadership is about getting the job done, then that’s one thing. If leadership is about promoting integrity and health, then it’s another. Continue reading Seven Concepts on Leadership

Inauguration Sermon: Welcome One Another

Given by Leanne Van Dyk upon her inauguration as the tenth president of Columbia Theological Seminary on October 28, 2015. Full text previously published at Duke Divinity School’s Faith & Leadership online magazine.

Based on Romans 15:7; 16:1-16.

“Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.” “Welcome” is one of those wonderful, warm words that convey comfort and coziness. There is really nothing ambiguous or paradoxical about “welcome.” Oh, there is some gentle ribbing now and then. Robert Frost’s famous quip “Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in” pokes a bit of fun at welcome. But it is a word with a fine reputation. “Welcome one another, therefore” — that feels good.

And it should feel good. Continue reading Inauguration Sermon: Welcome One Another

Breathing into Advent

By Sarah Walker Cleaveland, MDiv ’07

In our family, the hustle and bustle of the holiday season has begun early as Adam and I each struggle to prepare for Advent in new ways without the benefit of much advance preparation. The church I’m serving just called a new Senior Pastor, so the church staff is running headlong into Advent trying to both keep ongoing ministries afloat, learn how to work with one another, and also create meaningful worship and formation opportunities for Advent, in the course of three weeks—as if the first Christmas season in my first call were not crazy-making enough!

Meanwhile, Adam is finding his way as a “tent-making” pastor and artist—balancing multiple part-time jobs while also creating a new Advent resource for churches and families. (The illustration above is from his Illustrated Children’s Moments Advent series!) And, of course, we’re still adjusting to what our lives look like in this season. Plus, you know, a three-year-old. Continue reading Breathing into Advent

Breaking Boundaries

By Carrie Weatherford, MDiv ’16, Director of Children and Family Ministries at Roswell Presbyterian Church

The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him,
    the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
    the spirit of counsel and might,
    the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.

Isaiah 11:2 (NRSV)

Through August and September, I was able to gather around a small table with a group of really special people. Usually, it was a table right outside the Broyles Leadership Center in the courtyard. I am pretty sure that if our same group had gathered at a restaurant, people might wonder how we all came to be together. Continue reading Breaking Boundaries

Is Transformation Possible?

By Margaret J. Marcuson

I’ve been hearing a lot about “church transformation” lately: many church denominations have transformational initiatives, to help turn around declining congregations. There’s a lot of pressure on clergy leaders to produce results, especially numerical growth. The pressure exists elsewhere, too: a recent survey of CEO turnover by Booz Allen Hamilton found that in 1995 one in eight departing CEOs was forced from office, but by 2006, nearly one in three left involuntarily. (The Oregonian, June 11, 2007). Booz Allen suggests this is performance-related turnover, as corporate boards want to see results in company sales and stock prices. Continue reading Is Transformation Possible?


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