CHRISTIAN PUBLIC LEADER expectations

IMPORTANT NOTE

The following material is oriented for the CPL program for MDivs. Looking for expectations for the CPL program for MAs? Click here!

Summary

Christian Public Leader is a short-term, part-time contextual education placement. Here, students can explore academic and theological questions in a real-world environment in dialog with contextual site educators. This program partners effectively with other tagged courses that require a contextual/immersion experience in a congregation- or community-based organization. Additionally, with this context as their primary conversation partner, students will critically reflect on themselves as leaders, discover the communal nature of leadership, and develop their own leadership practices. As brief, part-time mentorship experiences, Christian Public Leader placements help students:

  • Integrate academic and theological questions in a real-world way, generally alongside Luther Seminary coursework.

  • Engage the guidance of a Christian public leader and develop themselves as Christian public leaders for the future.

  • Encounter the daily struggles and joys of life at a congregation or community-based organization.

  • Experiment with putting social and ethical commitments into practice through real-life projects.

  • Develop the interpersonal, planning, execution, and assessment skills that are critical aspects of other required Contextual Learning courses, such as Clinical Pastoral Education and Internship.

While CPL placements are short and part-time, they are significant formative experiences. Mentors, we thank you for taking up the responsibility and joy of this work. Students, we are 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!

expectations for ALL mentors

Practical Details to Remember

  • Submit the Mentor Christian Public Leader Application Form by August 15, 2014.

  • Check your email to confirm your placement by September 10, 2014.

  • Join the seminarian(s) at the Christian Public Leader Launch Event, hosted in-person on campus or streaming online, on September 12, 2014.

  • Work with the seminarian(s) on their Learning Agreement, due within the first two weeks of their placement.

  • Work with the seminarian(s) on their Reflective Assessment, due at the end of each semester.

  • In between the Learning Agreement and the Reflective Assessment, you are also invited to partake in the seminarian(s)' elective text study and conversation prompts.

Your Commitments as a Mentor

  • Work with the seminarian(s) to determine their goals.

    • What theological and practical issues might they address?

    • What identities/roles might they experience?

    • What skills, tips, and tricks they might learn while serving with you, your site, and your community?

  • Work with the seminarian(s) to clarify how they might achieve their goals, and how you, your site, and your community can support and encourage them in that work. Examples may include:

    • If the seminarian(s) would like to work on preaching, make sure you both understand when they might deliver their first sermon in front of the group. Set a date, be prepared to offer support prior to the sermon, and offer constructive feedback after the sermon.

    • If the seminarian(s) would like to experience/understand the identity of a nonprofit executive director, make sure you both agree on some job-shadowing experiences that they might complete with you.

    • If the seminarian(s) would like to practice some stewardship or financial administration, make sure you both agree on their attendance at relevant committee meetings.

  • Set time aside for a weekly or biweekly meeting to talk through their progress.

  • Support the seminarian(s) by setting clear expectations for their time. It will be helpful for you to know what to expect, of course, but it will be essential for them to have some structure for their experience.

    • Please note that they are expected to spend a minimum of five hours per week with you and your site.

    • If you need to require attendance at particular times/events, please ensure that the seminarian(s) knows this!

    • At the same time, please be respectful of their schedule. They are students. Major papers, exams, or other obligations will need to be completed. Please treat the seminarian(s) with generosity, grace, and understanding.

  • Treat them as a learning student, not as inexpensive help for the pulpit or office. They are serving with you, your site, and your community to learn what it means to be a Christian public leader in a congregation or community-based organization. Set a good example, and treat their learning experience with respect.

expectations for ALL sEMINARIANS

Practical Details to Remember

  • If you have a mentor in mind, please ensure that they submit the Mentor Christian Public Leader Application Form by August 15, 2014.

  • Don’t forget to submit your Preferences Form by September 8, 2014.

  • Check your email to confirm your placement by September 10, 2014.

  • Join your mentor at the Christian Public Leader Launch Event, hosted in-person on campus or streaming online, on September 12, 2014.

  • Work with your mentor on your Learning Agreement, due within the first two weeks of your placement.

  • Work with your mentor to facilitate submission of the Reflective Assessment, due at the end of each semester.

  • In between the Learning Agreement and the Reflective Assessment, you are also invited to partake in the Christian Public Leader program’s elective text study! Details on this will be available at the launch event and via email during the semester.

Your Commitments as a Seminarian

  • Work with your mentor to determine your goals.

    • What do you need to learn on this placement?

    • What theological and practical issues do you need to lift out and work with?

    • What identities/roles might you benefit from experiencing?

    • What skills do you want to learn while serving with this mentor, site, and community?

  • Work with your mentor to clarify how you might achieve your goals, and how your mentor can support and encourage you in that work. Examples may include:

    • If you would like to work on preaching, make sure you both understand when you might deliver your first sermon in front of the group. Set a date, engage your mentor's support prior to the sermon, and accept their constructive feedback after the sermon.

    • If you would like to practice the identity of a nonprofit executive director, make sure you both agree on some job-shadowing experiences that you could complete with your mentor.

    • If you would like to practice some stewardship or financial administration, make sure you both agree on your attendance at relevant committee meetings.

  • Set time aside for a weekly or biweekly meeting to talk through your progress.

  • 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.

    • Please note that you are expected to spend five hours per week at your placement.

    • If your mentor requires your attendance at particular times/events, please make sure you know this and can arrange to be present.

    • Be communicative about the demands on your time. We understand that major papers, exams, or other obligations will need to be completed. Please communicate conflicts as they arise to your mentor; be respectful of their time commitment and leadership in your learning.

  • 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.

expectations for ALL SITES

  • Welcome the seminarian(s)! They are here to learn, and nothing welcomes a new student better than open arms. Include a note in your bulletin, your newsletter, your email list, or some other public space, and make sure to introduce them to the communities and clients you serve.

  • Make sure they know where to go. While they will not require an office space per se, make sure they know where to go to work quietly, and make sure they get a proper tour of your space and surroundings.

  • Encourage their ideas. The Christian Public Leader program is a fun way to try out new things, listen and learn in a new setting, and lead in new ways. It may involve getting messy and making mistakes. Thank you for supporting them in the entirety of this learning experience.

  • You are welcome to provide constructive feedback on their projects or sermons, but please do not provide destructive comments on their personhood or identity.

 

LOOKING FOR TEACHING CONGREGATIONS?

View Teaching Congregations expectations here.