I. The Past
The Center for Faithful Leadership continues a tradition dating back to Hope’s incorporation in 1866: “to provide comprehensive courses of study… enabling students to… prepare for positions of leadership in the nation and the world.”
To enable students to prepare for positions of leadership is one reason President James Bultman created the Center for Faithful Leadership in 2005.
From its beginning, however, the vision for CFL went beyond offering courses of study. Instead, the center has focused on providing experiential opportunities that highlight several elements of Hope’s current mission, specifically:
- Preparing students for lives of leadership and service
- Through academic and co-curricular programs
- Of recognized excellence
- In the context of the historic Christian faith.
CFL’s first program was academic — leadership courses and a minor in Organizational Leadership Practice (2007). The Leadership minor has helped students prepare for work by discerning, developing, and deploying their gifts and calling and transitioning from college.
CFL’s second program was an all-college mentoring program, matching alumni and friend practitioners with students. At one time the mentoring program had 50 student-mentor pairs. Due to resource constraints, we offered our mentoring program only to those students who declare the minor.
These two programs taught us that co-curricular programs better reflect the mission of CFL and complement the Hope College experience.
II. The Present
From its beginning, CFL has focused on providing students opportunities to experience their faithful leadership potential. Its first program was launched in 2007: an academic minor in Organizational Leadership Practice.
A student consulting business was added in 2010, followed by an entrepreneurship program in 2011.
We continue to take very seriously Max DePree’s words that preparation for leadership does not come from books. We seek to launch students by co-creating work experiences. That matter.
Our “Why?” is to help students discern their calling because we believe work is a gift of God and an opportunity to address the world’s brokenness and seek shalom. Therefore, we help students prepare for work by helping them discern, develop, and deploy their gifts and calling, and transition from college.
Our “How?” is uniquely combining action learning with coaching and mentoring focused on knowing as we are known and students’ long-term fulfillment and well-being. We believe in education that is holistic and transforming.
Our “What?” is:
- CFL Incubator— Via boot camps we recruit students who start and grow things to understand and solve problems and develop as leaders. We provide selected students with coaching, mentoring, networks, and financial support to develop their ideas for start-ups. To prepare, students enroll in LDRS 201 (recommended) and LDRS 231 (required).
- CFL Consulting— Via boot camps we recruit students to understand and solve problems and develop as leaders. Selected students work in small groups with coaches and subject matter experts on complex problems with and for real organizations. All LDRS course enhance students’ learning experiences for consulting, but especially LDRS 292.
- CFL Integrated Learning
- Knowing oneself (LDRS 201: Introduction to Inspirational Leadership)
- Influencing others with integrity (LDRS 291: Becoming an Influential Leader)
- Being trustworthy in character and competence (LDRS 292: The Trusted Adviser)
- Being innovative with a purpose (LDRS 231: Leading the Start-Up Process) — required prerequisite for the CFL Incubator
- CFL Mentoring
III. The Future
Co-creating work experiences. That matter.41 Graves Place, VanZoeren Hall 182
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