Student Spotlight: Rachel Choi

Q&A with a Master of Arts in Christian Leadership student

What is your name, and what are you currently doing (occupation/career-wise)?

My name is Rachel Choi, and I am both a GCD alum and grad student! I currently stay busy with two jobs. For my main career, I have the privilege of being the owner (plus artistic director and one of the teachers) of Alpha & Omega Dance Academy, LLC. On the side I work with Manna Church Fay/Ft. Bragg as a copy/editor and site administrator!

Why did you decide to become a student with GCD?

I decided to pursue my bachelor’s at GCD about a semester after graduating from theExperience College Internship with my Certificate in Christian Leadership and Certificate in Missions Leadership in 2011. I had the unique opportunity to be one of the first interns; it’s no joke that the directors called my class “guinea pigs” because we helped worked out all the kinks! After theExperience, I had a different plan for my collegiate journey, but that next semester I found myself at a fork in the road. I saw how much I had already changed spiritually and emotionally, as well as all the ways I practically grew in leadership through theExperience. And through God’s leading and the advice of trusted authorities and mentors in my life, I decided to redirect course and stay at GCD.

How has your time with GCD helped you with where you are at right now?

Two of the best ways GCD personally helped me was in public communication and specific, practical leadership skills, such as vision-casting, leading a meeting, planning/executing an event, team delegation/accountability/conflict resolution, and much more. With a team of over 20 at AODA, everything I learned about leading a team helped me get started on the right foot!

Would you recommend GCD to other aspiring business owners?

I would definitely recommend GCD’s leadership degree and/or certificate to aspiring or current business owners, especially if they are followers of Christ and wish to learn leadership through the model Jesus provides! Granted, if you need to learn how to balance books, fill out tax forms, set up HR, and start a website, etc, these courses probably won’t provide all the ins-and-outs you’re looking for. But honestly, I never took a class for any of that; I did my own research, talked to a lot of people who knew what they were doing, and worked hard — I mean HARD. But you know what I couldn’t have gleaned from just doing my own research that GCD provided? How to be a Christ-like leader. How to be servant-hearted, authentic, and transformational. How to communicate better. How to cast a vision and give direction, discipline, encouragement, and counsel. And I know for sure I would not have been able to bear the weight of the responsibility that comes with leading, had I not received the spiritual, emotional, practical, and knowledgeable training from GCD.

Student Spotlight: I was in prison and you came to me

Critical Thinking and Problem Solving for Leadership

Today we are in need of leaders who can think critically and effectively solve problems. This may seem elementary, but in reality it’s hard to find. According to Garrette, Sibony, and Phelps at Forbes, “Organizations need effective problem solvers, but they’re telling us our business schools and universities are failing to meet this need. Such training is critical because, for most of us, problem solving doesn’t come naturally.” We, at GCD, have decided we want to actively attack this subject-matter by training our students, today’s leaders, to think critically and actively solve problems!

How do we do this? One, by integrating these topics within our current classes; two, by having instructors that are skilled in these areas; three, and newly added, have a class that specifically addresses this need. We are offering a NEW class in fall of 2018>> Critical Thinking and Problem Solving for Leadership. This course emphasizes the development of skills to include creative thinking, problem solving, decision making, strategy formation, and effective analysis for effective leadership in both the marketplace and social sectors. Students will also learn to evaluate their own ideas and to develop skill in communicating their points of view effectively.

This course will be taught by Marcia Johnson and will be offered both live, on-campus at our main campus, and online. Mrs. Johnson has over twenty years of experience in the development and implementation of employee training programs, designed to help both the individual employee and the overall organization be successful at meeting the many demands on their time and energy, through becoming better, more efficient leaders, supervisors, and individual contributors.

It is time for us as leaders to be effective problem solvers, and this may mean to change our thinking. Albert Einstein said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” Come and join other emerging leaders as we discover new viewpoints and learn how to develop these skills to maximize our influence with others!

To register for Critical Thinking and Problem Solving for Leadership click HERE.

Or if you are not a student at GCD but would like to take this course, click HERE to start an application.

Author: Stefanie Ertel

Transformational Leadership from a Christian Perspective

Transformational Leadership from a Christian Perspective

 transformational-leadership-from-a-christian-perspective

What is transformational Leadership?

Transformational Leadership is a type of leadership used to grow and transform a community. It is a process where a leader can connect and interact with their followers and transform their lives by increasing the level of morality and motivation. This type of leader focuses on the  mission of the organization by motivating their followers through role modeling the vision, challenging each individual to grow and ask questions, considering the needs of the individual, and inspiring the employees through motivation to reach their fullest potential. Often this type of leader is charismatic and enthusiastic since they are focused and passionate about the mission of the organization. In the Christian world, an example of a transformational leader would be a worship pastor who motivates the worship team to improve their skills with different ways of rehearsing or performing. A transformational leader would be someone who encourages a person to become better for the sake of the whole team, like a mentor or an accountability partner.

A transformational leader is a good listener who does not judge your situation but encourages you to keep going and tells you to never give up. This is a leader who is focused on the mission, calling, and vision of the organization.

In Manna Church and Grace College of Divinity (GCD) we are blessed to have different transformational leaders who encourage us, the youth, to work hard for our dreams and to not give up on them. They motivate us to not quit and keep pushing through until we reach our calling as a group and as individuals as well.

A great example of a transformational leader from the Scriptures is Abraham; was one of the best transformational leaders in the Bible. He became a great transformational leader by creating a vision, having courage and confidence, caring about people, and having a strong sense of justice.  The founder of the Experience, Shawn Withy-Allen, GCD and Manna Church’s Christian internship program, often says, “Teamwork makes the dream work.

Ever since Jesus’s time we have had transformational leaders. Let’s be transformational by actively advancing the Kingdom of God in both our personal and professional lives while inspiring others (transforming them) to do the same. If you want to learn more about leadership and how to become a transformational leader, you can do so here at GCD through the Associate of Christian LeadershipBachelor of Christian Leadership, or the Master’s of Christian Leadership Programs.

 

What makes up a Christian Leader?

What makes up a Christian Leader?

What is a Christian Leader?

 

 Successful leadership is not about being tough or soft, sensitive or assertive, but about a set of attributes. First and foremost is character”      — Warren Benni

    At some point in your life you will be required to lead something or someone. It may be a group project in school or an assignment in the workplace. Whatever it may be, you will have a defining moment to step up and be a leader. To do this effectively you must know 5 key traits of a fruitful Christian leader

Traits that a fruitful Christian leader needs are:

  •  Positivity/optimism—– hopefulness and confidence of the future

  •  Integrity— doing what is right when no one is looking

  •  Communication— the ability to convey a message clearly

  •  Confidence—-a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities

  •  Humility—- modest, not arrogant or prideful, not lacking in self confidence (humility is not to be confused with insecurity)

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”
               — Abraham Lincoln
 

WHY DO WE NEED THESE CHARACTERISTICS TO BE GOOD LEADERS?

    To keep your team on the right path you must be optimistic even in the face of opposition. When you are thrown a curveball you react in a positive manner to keep your team spirits high. As a leader you must be the one most excited about your project and vision. Your team’s energy is always one level below your own.

    You must also have integrity. As a leader you will be held to higher standards, you will be living in a glass bowl. If you do not have a good moral compass and sense of integrity then you will not be respected. Without integrity your promises hold little value.

    Confidence is key to leading. To cast a vision or purpose effectively you must have confidence in yourself and the direction you are going. At the same time humility is essential. Without humility confidence simply becomes pride or arrogance. No one wants to follow an arrogant leader. Humility however does not mean that you must be insecure. You may acknowledge your skills and talents without bragging about them. Arrogance and insecurity have no place in leadership.

     Philippians 2:3–
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves

    Finally you must have good communication. Everyday you use different communication skills. Whether it is through phone calls, social media, or face to face you will communicate with someone everyday. Good communication is helpful when you are trying to accomplish a task or cast vision to a group. Without the necessary communication skills you will lead everyone into chaos and nothing will be accomplished.

    1 Timothy 4:12–
Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. 

    Anyone can and will be a leader. You will face a situation when your character will be tested and you will be required to lead. In such situations these 5 basic character traits will be a key foundation for your success.

“No man can climb out beyond the limitations of his own character.” 
                     — John Morle

Written by Belle Szalkowski