University of Lynchburg and a group of local ministers and activists are organizing a leadership institute to help leaders of local congregations strengthen communities and work together on problems of poverty and violence.
The Leadership Institute for Faith-Based Community Engagement will meet monthly beginning September 10. The classes will cover topics including the fundamentals of leadership, effective teams, change leadership, outreach to families in at-risk situations, the philosophy of Martin Luther King Jr., and more. Participants will work together on a capstone project that involves making a plan for solving a problem in the community.
Dr. Owen Cardwell, pastor of New Canaan International Church in Richmond, initiated discussions of the faith-based leadership program and worked with LC faculty to find other interested ministers and develop the program.
“Faith leaders have a unique position that enables them to help individuals and communities solve pressing problems,” said Dr. John Walker, chair of University of Lynchburg’s Leadership Studies program. “We designed this program to allow ministers and pastors to develop skills and relationships that will help improve the lives of people in their congregations and the community. By applying proven leadership practices to community activism, they will serve more effectively.”
The need for the program has been more evident in recent weeks as communities around the nation have reeled with violence, said Pat Price, a community activist and program coordinator in LC’s Multicultural Services office. “Many churches believe strongly in making the world a more peaceful, safer place,” she said. “This program is designed to help ministers and other leaders from faith-based organizations be more effective change agents and peacemakers.”
Faculty include Price, Dr. Walker; Dr. Cardwell; Dr. Carl Hutcherson Jr., pastor of First Baptist church of South Lynchburg and former Lynchburg Mayor; Dr. Roger Jones, dean of LC’s School of Education, Leadership Studies, and Counseling; Dr. Paula Lichiello, assistant professor of Leadership Studies; and Treney Tweedy, Lynchburg’s vice-mayor. Dr. Virgil Wood, who was a pastor in Lynchburg during the Civil Rights Movement, will also participate through a live video conference.
Institute class dates are September 10, October 1, November 5, December 3, January 7, and February 18.
Tuition for the institute is $600, which can be made in two installments. More information and the registration form can be downloaded here. Participants must register and pay tuition by August 19 to reserve a space in the institute.