Who is Aaron?
Aaron is a working priest. Working priests are men and women throughout the world who pastor churches and hold jobs and receive an income outside of the church. This photograph explains that. Taken in Uganda while on a visit to bond with his 18 year old son, train church planters, deepen friendships, catalog and encourage Ugandan Vineyards, and conduct research for his doctoral program in Global Leadership, this picture truly is worth a whole bucket full of words. This picture happened because of who Aaron is, husband, father, pastor, teacher, student, and friend of Jesus. (more…)
What a year to say the least. What has surprised me the most is that with all that has been going on I have been able to stay up with the program. I have taken on a lot more responsibility and some times I wonder if that is the right idea at this time. But I feel like it’s my job to take on this extra responsibility. It kind of adds spice to the whole thing. (more…)
Author’s note. In place of visual elements, I have opted for audio only. As one who deals with the reality of diminished vision myself, I am keenly aware of the challenges faced by people who have diminished or no sight. I thought it to be a worthy endeavor to capture a few little pieces of this sound-rich world and share them in the context of this synthesis. (more…)
In a few months I’ll turn 50, a number that is high enough to mean I’ve crested the hill and I’m proceeding down the other side. Why in the world would one take on another responsibility, another degree, when the majority of my professional life is already behind me? What’s the point? Adding to such tension is the all around angst that has for me always come with academics: some people are better equipped for and enjoy academia than I am. I came into this Doctoral program with such tensions and the weeks prior to the first Advance in Cape town only served to amp up the stress. I can still remember my first Amazon order with Bayard’s book on “How to talk about books you haven’t read” with its postmodern perspective and suggestions that seemed ethically ambiguous at best and unrealistic – was this some kind of joke? Pink’s writing didn’t calm any nerves – while ethnography sounds cool, something I’d enjoy, but her vocabulary was so academic I had to constantly go to my dictionary to sort through a paragraph. What in the world had I signed up for – heading to my first advance I was seriously considering withdrawing from this program. (more…)
Bricolage, by definition, is forming something through the use of various materials or ideas, seemingly unrelated at first, but then creates a new understanding through their connection. It’s a new word for me, a “loanword” from the French, used for various disciplines. With the revelation of the word, I find a way to articulate my experience this year with the readings, coursework, and interaction among my cohort. A patchwork of materials, seemingly unrelated, form me through a transformative process. The ongoing integration creates something new in me, while built on what is, through the various disciplines of theology, evangelism, culture, leadership, and virtue ethics. I’m a piece of artwork, a bricolage, shaped by the interaction of knowledge, head-to-heart dialogue, and community.
We often say that life goes by too quickly. This past year has been a challenge in terms of time and capacity, but it is also an opportunity for growth and discovery. We all enter any program of study to move forward in our life journey. Most of us entered this doctoral journey not knowing how the program would shape us, but understanding that change would be involved. When I began the program, I knew that the Lord was moving in my life and the life of my family. One of my favorite new words that I learned this year is “liminal,” which indicates the state of transition or being both in the old realm and at the threshold of something new. I know that my doctoral journey is shaping and sharpening me, and I can see that the Lord is molding my skills and knowledge for His work. (more…)
I headed to Hong Kong with a different perspective than our Cape Town advance. My heart and mind was filled with expectation of being with dear friends. I knew we’d be learning and experiencing fantastic things but it paled in comparison with the camaraderie and intellectual stimulation of friends—if not family—crazy uncle and all.
“Anticipation” is rather healthy word to describe embarking on a DMin. “Guarded Anticipation” is more descriptive of the reality of beginning a DMin at a school that you have never visited in person but only spoken to a few of the professors. “Ecstatic Anticipation” is present reality after one year of being at George Fox Seminary and a part of the LGP6 cohort.
Every time you change institutions you have to “feel out” what the expectations for you as a student and what are the expectations of the staff back to the student. Will this be experience be strictly academic and sterile or will it seek to embrace a holistic approach to the whole person – spiritually, emotionally, relationally, and educationally? (more…)
Time Flies in a Doctoral Program
One year down and two more to go on this fast paced journey of doctoral work. As I approached this time last year, there were many things changing in my life. We were interviewing for a new position and anticipating a cross-country move, getting our house ready to sell, and preparing our kids for a new adventure. On top of all of this, I had entered into a doctoral program. While I was convinced that I needed to pursue this educational goal, I was not sure if I had what it took to finish the program. Truth be told, I am still not convinced that I have the right stuff to finish. (more…)
Who is Jason Kennedy? Hailing from Texas, but rooting for the Oklahoma Sooners, Jason Kennedy is the youngest of 3 children born to Dean and Sandie Kennedy. Jason grew up in a nuclear family where his mother and father have never divorced and instilled a work ethic into him. The Kennedy’s were pretty typical in their lower middle class neighborhood in Mesquite, Texas (a suburb outside of Dallas) devoting themselves to work, family and God. (more…)
Launching fireworks is one of my favorite ways to celebrate our country’s Declaration of Independence. With The 4th just a couple of days away, I can’t stop thinking about an important Chinese holiday called National Day. I learned about National Day last October 1st, while witnessing the largest fireworks show in the world. This Doctorate of Ministry in Leadership and Global Perspectives Program is a God given gift to me. That night, sipping wine and eating expensive cheeses while feeling the boom of the colorful explosions on the penthouse balcony of the Mariners Hotel overlooking Victoria Bay, is just one of many experiences this past year that have helped transform my life and leadership. (more…)
(All photography by Pablo Morales) About a year ago I was flying to Hong Kong to start a new stage in my education. Since then, the many concepts learned in my doctoral program have helped me gain better understanding as I lead Ethnos Bible Church. Deepening my understanding of God, of my context, and of myself have sharpened some of my perspectives in pastoral leadership. So far my studies have helped me grow in those three areas. I had never done a self-assessment to learn about my personality type or leadership style. I had never studied the repercussions of a capitalist system or reflected on the local implications of globalization. Previous to my research I did not understand the American struggle with segregation and its impact on the dynamics of a multiethnic ministry. Now words like “consumer culture” and “glocal” are part of my vocabulary. (more…)
It seems like is was forever ago that I boarded a plane to go to Hong Kong. Fortunately, I knew I was meeting friends in this foreign country to start a new journey. One we had agreed to do together. But we were going to be meeting new people, meeting new professors and new advisors. This was the start of a new adventure to become a doctor of leadership and global perspectives. Who knew what in the world that meant? I remember getting off the plane in Hong Kong and seeing things in English and was really surprised at how easy it was to navigate to the city center and take in the sights and sounds of this new place for me in the world. (more…)
A hinge-pin. That’s the best word I can think of to describe the last two years’ work in the DMin, Leadership with Global Perspectives. A hinge-pin for my life and vocational ministry. This program is the swing point from what was into what will be. And more specifically, the last year has been the hinge-pin’s hinge-pin, tightening my focus even further. The reality of a shrinking/flattening globe has been foregrounded into clear focus in ways that I could have never forecast when I began considering this program three years ago. There are a few specific areas to which I will direct some comments. (more…)
In the midst of political turmoil, religious upheaval and economic uncertainty, I’m brought before the presence of God – I’m brought to a place of identity – a place of surrender. As the world spins and my generation convenes on the steps of cathedrals and coffee shops, I’m challenged to lean into the cries of my culture and understand their heartbeat. Steven Bevans, author of Models of Contextual Theology, reveals, “Christianity, if it is to be faithful to its deepest roots and to its most basic instinct, must continue God’s incarnation in Jesus by becoming contextual.” In the midst of societal degeneration, leadership deterioration and church failure, I have been challenged to be the contextual incarnation of Christ. (more…)
At the close of one year of the Doctor of Ministry, Leadership Global Perspective studies, I think back to how elated I was when I got accepted into George Fox Evangelical Seminary. Since I don’t fit the usual profile of the candidates for this program, I am especially grateful to the faculty for affording me the opportunity to participate in this exceedingly innovative program. It enables me to swim in the same deep waters of the well-accomplished, highly esteemed, big fish of my cohort 6. But, they are also gracious and do not gobble me up, but gently move me along with them. I acknowledge that it is only by the grace of God that I got accepted into this program, and it is only by the grace of God that I will be successful in earning my doctoral degree. The journey thus far, has been exhilarating, challenging, thought-proving, and humbling.
Well, my first calendar year of this doctoral program is complete. Each semester was a little different but strategic in preparing us for the next semester. I knew so much about Hong Kong (theoretically) before visiting, and as I write this blog, I feel like I have already visited London. Everyone is qualified to be in the program because of our previous graduate degree or degrees. However, we quickly learned that the more we learn, the more we realize that we do not know. (more…)
It is amazing how fast these past two years have gone by. When I started the George Fox DMIN LGP program I wasn’t sure if I could make it. Now I’m not sure how I made it this far in ministry without this program. This program has broadened my ministry approach and given me a greater footing and security as I lead those around me.
When choosing the George Fox DMIN program I was looking for a school that would provide an affordable and excellent education. I was looking for a program that guiding me towards forming my own beliefs instead of just telling me what to believe. I was also looking for a program that would be challenging and help me in my current role as a Pastor. (more…)