This past September I completed the Masters of Arts in Global Leadership program at Fuller. Due to Covid, the graduation ceremonies were postponed, and diplomas mailed out. I wasn’t sure where we would be, so I gave my parents Canadian address for delivery … and it arrived today!

Going back to school wasn’t something intended to do, but the Lord knew exactly what I needed, and when I needed it. This journey has been, as my family can attest, a process of deep personal formation. Much more than an academic exercise or gathering of good data, but an awakening of sorts to a new way of learning, with others, and a posture towards self-discovery and vulnerability that was much needed. I have been applying my learning throughout my journey with the dear folks at Lighthouse in areas of missiology, theology and ecclessiology.

My concept of leadership and influence, of love and power, have greatly morphed and been shaped by this experience.

Things I discovered about myself:

  • I love history!
  • I can absorb a lot of information.
  • I have a gift to synthesize, and integrate new learning in my context quickly.
  • I really enjoy sharing my learning and encouraging others who are stuck.
  • I am a sponsor-styled mentor, that enjoys empowering others.
  • I influence others more by my own ongoing transformation than any other method.
  • I feared, for much too long, the beauty of vulnerability and brokenness. It’s disarming for others, and aids in creating communities of love and trust!
  • I am a gardener, not of vegetables, but of open, welcoming spaces.
  • I enjoy helping other make meaning, and discover their unique person.
  • I am enthralled with God’s triune, ongoing personhood.

A MAGL reflects a total of 18 x 10 week courses. Some of my favorites included:

  • New Testament
  • Interpretive Practices
  • Mentoring & Leadership Development (5 different courses)
  • Biblical Theology of Mission
  • Lifelong Development
  • Early Church History
  • Power Dynamics
  • Eastern Orthodoxy
  • Adult Learning Theory
  • Organizational Structures
  • Missional Engagement in Context

I am forever grateful and highly recommend Fuller for a diverse, non-western (only) global perspective on faith and mission.

As I’m not sure who still reads our blog, I do think of my kids and grandkids now as I write. Don’t despite small beginnings, and the trajectories that faith brings. I left the academic world at the age of 20, as many of my public school friends continued to prepare for life in the matrix. I often questioned the wisdom of jumping into a world of faith, and Christian mission. I envied, if I’m honest, those that finished college, and had some sort of social validation for being ‘smart’ enough to complete this particular hoop.

I am thankful that I didn’t follow the status quo, not because there’s anything wrong with education at an earlier age, but my school was life, out of the gate. I had no idea who I was let alone what I wanted to invest my time and energy toward. Learning how to be a spouse, that’s education. Having kids, education. Starting business, serving and building life-long relationships in the body of Christ, education. Throwing ourselves into another culture, a serious education too!

Learning is life, and life is learning. When the time comes, if it does, to jump into secondary education, may it make sense, fit the timing and trajectory of your unique passion – especially the deeper calling that you sense. I witnessed the Lord provide the school, the unique course that applied to EVERYTHING that was in my life, and what my soul deeply longed for. He provided scholarships, and the funds to complete without any debt.

May you see the same, each of you that read this, provision, providence and mercy as you lean into learning as a lifelong posture. Take the risk, challenge yourself, move into the interests that move your heart. Read, take courses, anything that helps you learn about yourself and the world we live in. Become a lifelong learner with us!