Last week I flew to Pennsylvania to participate in my department’s (Church & Ministry Leadership) one-day faculty retreat. We went to a beautiful farmhouse somewhere in southern PA — even Siri got confused — for a day of vision casting, community building, and personal soul care. It was great to reconnect with my colleagues since I usually operate on my own island in Indy. It was also encouraging to hear our new department chair, Dr. Rick Rhoads, outline the vision, ethos and core values of our department.
Vision: Crafting spiritually formed ministry leaders for an interconnected world.
Ethos: “Who we are and how we live together is what we teach.”
Core Values: Shape how we do team.
- Disciple Making. We live out of a desire to be discipled and to desire others.
- Spiritual Health. We commit to live out spiritually healthy rhythms and boundaries both personally and as a team.
- Conflict Resolution. We resolve conflict from a position of humility, grace, and emotional health.
- Globally Minded. We think globally yet live locally while serving our neighbor in the digital age.
- Truth Telling. We lead and serve from a position of authenticity and honesty.
- Lead Out of Family. We recognize personal limits and seasons for ourselves and teammates.
- Team Partnership. We support one another and speak well of our teammates and colleagues.
- Reflective Practitioner. We practice ongoing research, innovative thinking, and collaboration for the benefit of the local and global church.
Having heard stories of friends’ experiences on other faculty retreats, I am blessed to be part of such a great group of teachers and leaders.
Does your organization or team have a clearly articulated vision, ethos and core values?
Last spring, I decided to put together a document that explains my teaching philosophy & practice to students in my classes. Here’s what I came up with:
Teaching Philosophy & Practice
Dr. Angie Ward
Welcome to my class! I look forward to getting to know you better in the weeks ahead. I love what I do and am grateful to be able to teach at LBC | Capital. Past students have said that my classes are challenging, they learn a lot, and we have a blast during the on-campus residency. I hope you will have a similar experience.
To help you succeed, I’ve outlined my philosophy, expectations and commitments below.
- I start out each class assuming you are able to do “A” work. Everyone starts with a clean slate no matter how they did in a prior class with me.
- I expect you to work hard. This is graduate school, in an accelerated format. We are cramming a normal 15-week course into only six weeks. That means there is absolutely no time for any of us to procrastinate.
- I expect you to take responsibility for all deadlines and due dates. I will not hold it against you personally for turning in late work but you will receive a late penalty as described in the course syllabus.
- Please communicate with me as soon as possible about any conflicts or issues that may arise that would affect your ability to complete coursework as assigned. I am quick to give grace to those who demonstrate proactive communication. In other words, in this case it is much easier to get permission than forgiveness!
- Good writing matters as much as the content of your work! I expect graduate-level writing. Proofread, have someone else proofread, use the spelling and grammar checks, follow the APA Style Manual. Consult the Purdue Online Writing Center (OWL, https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/) and the book “Stylish Academic Writing” to improve your writing. Poor writing will negatively impact your grade.
- Due to the condensed nature of blended courses, attendance for both days of the two-day residency are expected and required to pass the course. Exceptions will only be granted for extenuating circumstances.
- My commitments to you:
- I will treat you with respect regardless of your gender, age, ethnicity, political or theological perspective, or sports rooting loyalty. However, if you are a Duke fan I may have to pray for God’s help with this.
- I will come to class (both online and on-campus) prepared and ready to give you 100%.
- I will respond promptly to your communication. Guaranteed response time is within 24 hours but normally I will reply within hours or sometimes minutes.
- I will also grade and return your work promptly and with comments that are intended to help you learn and grow for future assignments, classes and ministry. I generally grade smaller assignments (e.g. journals) within 48 hours and larger papers/projects within a week.
- If I don’t know the answer to a question, I will do my best to find out.
- I will give the same amount of dedication to the course that I expect from you, in other words 100%.
Again, I’m glad to have you in class!
This fall, I will be teaching or facilitating three courses for Capital Seminary & Graduate School:
- MIN 507 Leadership Development & Team Building. This will be with our cohort of MAM-Church Planting students in Boca Raton, FL. Yay, Boca. Yuck, in August. I should have thought that through before taking the assignment. 🙂
- LSP 906 Leadership & Management Theory. This is a doctoral course for students in the first year of our PhD Leadership program. I will be facilitating the online portion and preparing to take the course completely next fall.
- MIN 507 Leadership Development & Team Building. The second go-’round of this course will be with our strong cohort right here in Indy. I’m really looking forward to the concentrated classroom time with this group.
In addition, I will be attending the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit, participating in our Church & Ministry Leadership department retreat, and working with several PhD and DMin students on their dissertations and theses. I will also be leading several other leadership development events for One Mission Society here in Greenwood.
Full speed ahead into fall!
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to lead a “Lunch and Learn” session at One Mission Society (OMS), which is headquartered right here in Greenwood. I talked about “The Art of Leadership” with about 15 staff members ranging from summer interns to executive-level directors. Response was positive and we now have monthly sessions on the calendar through the Fall.
If you’re interested in having me do something like this for your organization, please contact me and let me know how I can help you!
As of July 1, I will be voluntarily transitioning to a faculty-only role at Capital Seminary & Graduate School and handing off my Associate Dean/administrative responsibilities. I have learned a lot as an academic administrator the last 18 months but I am looking forward to focusing on teaching and writing, which are my greater strengths. I am grateful for the opportunity to continue to serve Capital and the Church & Ministry Leadership department at Lancaster Bible College.
One of the biggest benefits of this transition is that I will have time to start blogging regularly again. For a season, there were more urgent work and family needs that required my time and attention. I look forward to returning to a regular writing rhythm. Thanks for sticking with me during my absence!