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2 November 2016 | Binfield, UK [Victor Hulbert]

A part-time Masters degree that only started in June 2016 is already making a difference across Unions within the Trans-European Division. A mixture of Union and Conference leaders, along with some local pastors, are taking three years to learn and develop new leadership styles under a programme led by Erich Baumgartner and Randy Siebold of Andrews University.

“I didn’t really know what to expect,” states Victor Marley, Family Ministries and Youth director for the Norwegian Union Conference. He was wanting to do some studies in the area of leadership but confesses, “what we’ve got here is actually the whole spiritual dimension and we’re able to talk as colleagues about situations that we have in common in regard to church work and church leadership which is really relevant and really great.”

MA Leadership

Marianne Kolkmann, recently elected as Executive Secretary in Denmark, appreciates that it is a very practical degree. She particularly likes the emphasis on the ‘adaptive’ leadership styles.

Personal mentoring is an important part of the programme. Eric talking with Bertold Hibner, Lithuanian PresidentBertold Hibner, President of the Lithuania Conference is already putting into practice what he has learnt. He recently shared some of the principles at a ministerial families retreat. He says that the programme is already helping him understand his co-workers better – and is helping him personally to develop his skills.

The MA in leadership is a very practical programme, based on and tailored to the needs of each participant related to the work they are already doing in their home territory. It is that practical element that keeps them motivated in a busy work schedule – as well as the comradery that is clearly developing in the group.

Eric Baumgartner (left) and Randy SieboldLlew Edwards, until recently Ministerial Association director for the British Union Conference, acted as an advisor to the group during a four-day session in the last week of October. He reflected that “it’s been such encouraging fun.”

He then explained that his excitement has been from seeing so many of those on the course light up with ‘wow’ and ‘ah ha’ moments as they encountered new ideas and skills. With a new intake starting next year (and an application deadline looming) he is convinced as to its value and would like to see more Conference and Union leaders enrolled. “I believe change and growth would happen much more strongly if the leaders are leading in leadership,” he said.

Group hug & prayer before they return to their home countries

That is the underlying purpose of the whole programme, according to TED President, Raafat Kamal. “We need to be training and visioning leadership across the TED and I am so pleased for this initiative,” he said. “Watching the way this first cohort is developing encourages me that we made exactly the right choice to introduce the programme here.”

To find out more about the programme, how to apply, and who is eligible to participate, visit the Newbold College website. The deadline for applications for the second cohort is 17 February 2017 with orientation and classes starting  24 May. [tedNEWS]

See also: Newbold launches post-graduate leadership degree (February 2017)


tedNEWS Staff: Victor Hulbert, director; Esti Pujic, editor
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