GRADUALISM, PART VIII. . .

Greenleaf writes:

If seminaries would first create Centers for the Study of a Theology of Institutions, and then establish an Institute of Chairing, they could begin by convening seminar groups of existing chairpersons in order that the ‘state of the art’ of contemporary chairing could be assessed. 

 With this perspective (and a little inventiveness) courses for current chairpersons or newly appointed ones could be established, in seminaries.  With this resource of experience, gradually to expand the content of these courses until enough is learned about what contemporary chairing might be to begin to formulate a theology of chairing. 

 From this knowledge base, it may then be possible to move to seminars for undergraduates and graduate students on the leadership opportunities in chairing so that a vision of a better society might begin to be shared with young people in their formative years. 

 With this involvement, seminaries might begin to attract the quality of students who, as later pastor-leaders, will help bring churches into a more vital culture-shaping role.

 What is envisioned here is not just a stirring of the waters, a new fad that will soon be replaced by a newer fad, but the start of movement toward a profound change for the better in the structure of society in which trustees and directors emerge as people of great strength and influence as originators and purveyors of visions that give direction and purpose to our legions of institutions.

 …the chair of these processes will be seen as one of the leaders in shaping the future course of our economy and our culture.  The consummation of these achievements will be slow and deliberate.  Only the start is suggested here.

 The spirit nurturing of trustees and chairpersons may come to be a major mission for churches, supported by seminaries that may become important conceptual resources for the advancement of our civilization. . . .

 An overriding vision for seminaries may be reaching for the opportunity to become what the root meaning of their name implies: seminal, the place of all places from which seminal ideas emerge.  When seminaries become oriented to seminal ideas, a core concern may come to be grappling with the means for building greatness in both people and institutions as the focus of a long sustained effort that would establish seminaries as the prime generators of visions in a vision-starved society.  Gradualism at its best.

 

 

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