Take part in God’s work with ministry partners
The CPL program explores Christian Public Leadership by attending to leadership in the midst of particular communities and their distinct contextual realities. In this course, students will expand their leadership capacity by leading and being in dialogue with a particular ministry context. With this ministry context as their primary conversation partner, students will critically reflect on themselves as leaders, discover the communal nature of leadership, explore different spiritual practices, and develop their own leadership practices. Particular attention will be given to praxis, contextualization, and integrative approaches to ministry which will all be connected to student’s degree program or concentration of study. Students will examine assumptions about God, communities, and neighbor in their particular contexts.
There are four consecutive semesters of CPL. In partnership with the faculty, precept group leaders, and contextual site mentors, each of the four sections will focus on a particular topic:
- Who am I as a Christian Public Leader? (SG0501)
- Being Public Leaders in a Public Church (SG0502)
- Systems and Leading Change (FE0523)
- Lifelong Learners and Leaders (FE0524).
Who participates in CPL?
All M.A. and M.Div. candidates must complete SG0501 and SG0502 as Signature courses consecutively in the first and second semester of their degree program. In order to accommodate varying student schedules, SG0501 is therefore offered both Fall and Spring term and SG0502 is offered both Spring and Summer term.
M.A. and M.Div. candidates in certain Leadership concentrations will go on to complete FE0523 and FE0524 as core components of their degree. All other M.A. and M.Div. candidates may complete FE0523 and FE0524 as electives. FE0523 and FE0524 are therefore offered in Fall and Spring terms respectively.
Pre-Fall 2016: All four courses of Christian Public Leader are required for four consecutive semesters for M.A. candidates with Leadership concentrations (Children Youth and Family and Congregational and Community Care) and M.Div. candidates in Children Youth and Family. All other M.A. and M.Div. students may take FE 0523 and FE 0524 as an elective course. Students should consult with their judicatory body (i.e., their candidacy committee) to determine contextual requirements.
Note: The CPL program assumes that, supported by the faculty and precept group leaders, a seminarian will participate in a contextual site at an average of five hours/week or twenty hours/month on a volunteer basis. If the seminarian participates at a greater number of hours per week or month, Christian Public Leader sites offer compensation. Contextual Learning recommended guidelines are $11.00 – $12.00 per hour.
How do I learn more about CPL?
- Mentors: Visit the For Mentors page for details; please check with Contextual Learning for information about this semester’s placement process (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Students: Visit the For Students page for details; please check with Contextual Learning and/or review your SG 0501, SG 0502, FE 0523, and/or FE 0524 coursepages for this semester’s placement process.
Expectations for CPL participants
The Contextual Learning Office is here to support and challenge you as you engage theological and practical questions, develop your vocational identity, and practice your skills as a leader. An intentional, thoughtful placement between a supportive mentor and a committed student can set the tone for a lifetime of Christian public leadership!
|Your commitment as a seminarian|
|Complete our CPL placement process: August 15: Many sites are offering to host all kinds of new students! Beginning August 15, these public sites will be posted on our Site List. If you’re looking for a particular kind of placement (for example, a long-term placement for your Children, Youth and Family concentration), this is where to go. Do you already have a site in mind for your Contextual work? Are you a DL student already serving in a context? Touch base with your chosen mentor, and have them complete the Mentor CPL Application Form. September 7: First day of class. All Mentor CPL Application Forms are due. October 2: Learning Agreements are due. Participate in SG 0501 – FE 0524 with your classroom and/or precept group. Work with your mentor to determine your goals, achieve your goals, and reflect on your progress. Set time aside for a weekly or biweekly meeting to talk through your work together. Be respectful of your mentor by setting clear expectations for your time. It will be helpful for you to have some structure for your experience, of course, but it will be essential for your mentor to know what to expect. You are a learning student, not a staff member or director. You are serving with your mentor, your site, and your community in order to learn what it means to be a Christian public leader in a congregation or or community-based organization. You are not there to work on, fix, or take ownership over that community. Rather, take the opportunity to observe, ask questions, listen, and lead when invited.|
|Possible goals of your work in context|
|Vocation Developing a sense of God’s mission within yourself, your contexts, and your communities Developing a capacity for deep, intentional listening within yourself, your contexts, and your communities Lifting out your heart’s greatest joys in the context of the world’s greatest needs Recognizing and developing your own strengths, gifts, and experiences Defining and highlighting your own limits, growing edges, and lack of experience Developing emotional and spiritual, health, and well-being Working on thoughtful servant leadership, humility, and resilience Identities Exploring the shape, contour, and origins of your theologies and personal worldviews Learning to critically examine those theologies and personal worldviews in order to better understand the Other and build a wider frame of reference in Christian public leadership Developing a sense of what it means to engage pastoral, community-based, and/or other types of professional leadership, especially through one-on-one examples Developing a sense of what it means to engage in teaching, writing, communications, pastoral care, mission development, youth leadership, social work, arts, and/or other types of professional roles, especially through one-on-one examples Witnessing how your mentor lives into their own emotional and spiritual health and well-being Skills Building a knowledge base of theology, language, behavior that enhances the worth and dignity of others: Understanding theology as a foundation for intercultural relationships with others Developing skills of empathy and verbal/non-verbal communication with others Crafting attitudes of curiosity, respect, and openness toward others Learning how to engage in respectful silence and learning Taking on the skills of a professional pastor: Preaching Teaching Leading worship Planning services and events Providing pastoral care Engaging in visitation Connecting with the congregation’s contexts and communities Evangelizing by personal, theological, and ethical example Understanding issues of stewardship and financial administration Taking on the skills of a professional community-based leader: Coordinating programs Supporting stewardship and writing grants Working on marketing and publicity Mapping assets and building networks Facilitating service-learning Reaching out to campus settings Building partnerships with congregations Learning to teach, write, publicize, develop mission work, support youth, provide social services, make art, etc. Developing healthy models of emotional and spiritual well-being Ensuring that your skills can support you as an emerging, valuable Christian public leader|
|Learning agreement and reflection questions|
|Seminarians are responsible for sharing a learning agreement and reflection questions with your mentor directly. Check your Sg 0501, SG 0502, or FE 0524 coursepage for the appropriate learning agreement and reflection questions documents.|