Lifeline Ministries to RLDS Welcome to Lifeline Ministries to RLDS...  
  Chapter 4   
 

Position Papers Chapter 4

 

SOME PRELIMINARY OBSERVATIONS CONCERNING LEADERSHIP EDUCATION

An adequate plan for leadership education is indispensable to the effective interpretation and implementation of any program in the field. It has become clear in the early discussions of the Curriculum Consultation Committee that a program for promoting and introducing the new church school curriculum throughout the church will play a critical role in the effective use of the curriculum.

This is particularly true in light of the implications carried in the paper A Philosophy and Design for Christian Education. It is difficult to conceive how any curriculum founded on the rationale explicated in this paper can be received and used effectively without a comprehensive plan for leadership education. Both from the educational and ministerial perspectives, the new curriculum will call for a coordinated support from field administrators, religious education directors, and teaching personnel.

It is recommended that particular measures should be devised to provide the following:

  1. Early and close coordination with stake presidents and regional administrators, with the following objectives in view,

    1. to enable field administrators to become acquainted with the educational and theological rational underlying the development of the new curriculum

    2. to enable the administrators to be in a position to interpret the curriculum adequately in their respective areas of jurisdiction

 

  1.  
    1. to encourage the view that the curriculum is not the separate program of the Religious Education Department, but rather the program of the church

    2. to enable administrators to recognize the integral relationship between the curriculum and the total spectrum of congregational life

  1. The appointment of representatives from stakes and districts who are given opportunity for consultation and instruction on the new curriculum. This would aim at making available in every stake at least one person who has had first-hand exposure to the aims and methods of the curriculum, and who can serve as a consultant in the various field areas.

The United Church of Christ, in preparing for the introduction of its new curriculum in 1960, developed a system featuring Christian Education Associates. These persons were appointed from the various areas by the local administrators and attended a week long seminar in one or more central location. They were provided with materials illuminating the curriculum and then were able to act as consultants in their home areas. Subsequent weekend institutes with the associates were held at lower levels of organization to maintain impetus.

It would not appear to be beyond the realms of possibility to look toward some similar project. Stake and Regional Administrators could be encouraged to appoint persons in stakes and districts to serve in this capacity. It is possible that travel costs in attending a central location could be provided by the respective stake or district budgets and that certain other expenses while in residence could be met locally.

It is possible that several locations could be established (perhaps one on the West Coast, one in the Midwest and one toward the East Coast) for holding institutes for the consultants, so that travel might be reduced.

 

Members from the Church School Division staff would be made available for the limited extent of field work that this system would require.

The suggestion outlined above would seem to serve at least two direct advantages: First, it would provide each stake or district with a person, presumably of some professional training or experience, apart from the "administration," who could extend the promotion of the curriculum into the field. Second, it would provide a corps of people with ability to understand and interpret the purpose and methodology of the curriculum at the local level, these persons having some formal recognition as consultants.

The development of some such group of trained persons is seen to be particularly important in view of the fact that members of the Church School Division can hardly expect to be free from editorial responsibilities to undertake extensive field work in promotion and training during the time when it will most urgently be needed.

Assuming that the preceding two measures have been provided, it would then appear profitable for stake and regional officers to plan for area workshops at which local church school administrators and teachers can be introduced to the curriculum. Instructional teams could be provided by bringing in the Associates from adjacent stakes or districts. It is to be anticipated that curriculum materials would be available by this time, and that specific promotional materials would be available through the Priesthood and Leaders Journal or such magazines as may assume its responsibilities in the field of leadership education.

The foregoing strongly suggests the need for coordination of the leadership education program from the Department of Religious Education. An executive officer in the Church School Division specifically assigned to leadership education would be responsible for:

 

  1.  
    1. working in close relationship with the Curriculum Committee to interpret the new curriculum in leadership materials for distribution in the field

    2. working with field administrators in basic planning for leadership institutes

    3. establishing working relations with church school personnel in the local areas

    4. carrying editorial responsibility for a church school journal, should this be the direction in which leadership procedures move

It is clear that the effective prosecution of a leadership education program, critical to the life of the new curriculum, calls for specific needs in terms of personnel and budget in the next inter-Conference period. Consequently, budget requests from the Church School Division for 1968-69 will reflect this concern. At the same time the Church School Division will look upon the addition of a staff member to serve in this field as having urgent priority.



 
Lifeline Ministries to RLDS