Last week, the ten participants of the Leadership Development Module came to the doorstep of Huron College as strangers. Ten days later, the dinner table rings with the laughter of friendship, the circle resonates with the music of shared song, the members of the group are trusted with sacred stories, personal wisdom is revealed, new insights are absorbed. CCS’s Ted Dodd feels blessed to be a part of this journey.
Ted is currently facilitating the 2-week LDM in London, Ontario, along with co-facilitator Kathy Douglas. What does Ted love about the LDM?
“This educational process develops self-awareness through personality indicators, goal setting, and identification of learning. It also fosters communal connection and team work through norms that emphasize an honouring of difference and respect for diversity.
The sessions typically engage body and soul in experiential learning that is creative, participatory, and even, fun. This hands-on approach is coupled with intentional reflective exercises: journaling, theological and biblical connection, social analysis, scholarly reading.
The participants enter into a learning environment that nurtures an atmosphere of support and mutual encouragement. The safety of the circle enables risking and growth. Alongside the gentle acceptance and relational care, the heavy schedule demands hard work and rigourous involvement.
The LDM aims to empower people for leadership and ministry. Taking the LDM on the road, broadens the potential audience. Some of the students will carry on in our full diploma program for diaconal ministry. Some will move into the United Church’s Designated Lay Ministry stream. Some are here to discern their next steps as they develop their skills and gifts. Throughout it all, the power of non-competitive mutuality in learning opens people to the spirit working in their lives and touches their souls with new possibilities.
Kathy Douglas, co-facilitating with me, says “The LDM is a powerful reminder of the importance of this kind of learning in my life.”