Global Partnerships Team Weighs In With Phase 1 Research

Global Partnerships/Global Realities

Our Phase 1 Report section is starting to reveal how every Project Team is intersected, and working towards the same goal of educating spiritually-rooted changemakers “committed to helping realize God’s promises for justice and well-being for all the earth.” Enriching PSR’s global partnerships, particularly expanding them in Asia, is foundational to the Global Partnerships Team’s vision. Lead by Odette Lockwood-Stewart and coached by Fiona Hovenden, the team stresses that these insights into current “global realities” and how they affect the future of theological education be integrated within and throughout every “educational, financial, facility and technology model” considered and adapted by the new PSR.

The Global Partnerships team identified fourteen key values for its vision, worth quoting at length (with emphasis in original):

1) Mutuality of partnerships in formation and development (adding the bold language to the adopted vision)

2) As a U.S. based partner, spiritual formation, theological grounding, and educating leaders for social transformation requires of us:
a. spiritual, geographic, and cultural humility;
b. knowledge of global realities and theologies;
c. Economic investment at the early stages of the new PSR.

3) Global Partnerships will intentionally include a variety of financial designs:
a. Partnerships with potential for income stream;
b. Partnerships requiring investment aligned with vision;
c. Partnerships positioning us for future;
d. Cultivation of investment from those with interest in social transformation in these regions.

4) PSR will learn and lead and teach Global Partnership across programs and centers: cultural humility and cross-cultural capacity, global realities and theologies, resilience and renewal in anti-racism work and deep understanding of economics.

5) Quality not quantity of regions/sites and affiliations. Attached chart of tiered locations begins with using current relationships and assets to move further in research, piloting and testing of Global Partnerships without prohibitive initial financial investment.

6) Utilize denominational and NGO partners already on the ground (UCC, MCC, DOC, UMC, WD, CWS, WSCF) around the world as links to communities of social transformation, and potential sources of students and revenue. International alumni, students, scholars, faculty relationships are also assets for these links.

7) Aligned with vision of new PSR.

8) Building and sustaining right relationship is an essential component of global partnerships and positioning PSR for emerging leadership. Ongoing research and flexibility also needed as partnerships develop.

9) Creative combinations of digital and face-to-face pedagogies.

10) Hospitality will require maintaining some facilities for hosting and housing.

11) Global realities (demographic shifts in state and US and world) will guide our partnership development.

12) Non-duplication.

13) Future leadership of PSR with global ties, reputation, experience, and theologies will be formed and reformed by Global theologies.

14) Academic excellence and social impact through life changing scholarship, research, and immersive learning.

Additional Models

As other Project Teams have found, the host of organizational issues addressed by the CSD are in conversation across the higher ed map. Blum Center for Developing Economies, Rockwood Leadership Institute, and Ashoka Innovators for the Public have already been named in this space by other reporting Teams. In addition to the Blum Center, the Global Partnerships Team noted other of UC Berkeley’s global resources, such as its Religion, Politics and Globalization Program, Peace and Conflict Studies, and Schools of Public Health and Journalism.

The Southern Theological Education and Training Scheme (STETS; based in the UK) was also noted for its online degree and certificate offerings in ministerial and lay training.

Next Steps

One distinguished element of the Global Partnership Team’s research is the recommendation of “tiered locations”, a sort of array for mutual partnerships, contacts, relationships, and links in key geographical locations such as Asia-Pacific, and Central and South America. Forging links to contacts
Africa, Indonesia and Philippines should also become greater priorities. Additionally, the local has not been overlooked.

As the experiences of students, faculty, staff, leaders from other places in the world infuse PSR, this will also change the framing, the arts of leadership and the spiritual practices learned and taught here. Intentional transformation of structures of community and curriculum can facilitate this with intentionality and integration with resources already present in the GTU and the Bay Area.

Read the whole report here (.pdf), and Tiered Locations here (.pdf).

Phase 1 Program Brief Reports, Cont’d: Changemakers Network and Youth Education Programs Teams

face sketchLast week, we reviewed the progress of the Leadership Programs Team in Phase 1 of the Eighth Day project research. The Changemakers Network and Youth Education Project Teams have also reported on their findings. We’ll feature them in this post.

Changemakers Network


One recurring theme of the Project Teams’ research is moving PSR forward in its vision of “a network of spiritually-rooted Changemakers”. Cultivating a vibrant Network of leaders is a key component of this visionary goal. The Changemakers Network Team is lead by President Riess Potterveld and coached by PSR Trustee Julien Phillips.

The Team determined that PSR should pursue the use of databases and other interactive communication systems to attract and retain Network participants through online classes and content; regional connectivity, and volunteer and/or service opportunities. The Team noted PSR’s own Theological Education for Leadership (TEL), Earl Lectures and Sacred Snapshots programs as built-in networking resources for additional integration into the Changemakers Network.

Models for the Changemakers Network include organizations such as TED Talks, Doctors Without Borders and Niroga Institute.

Youth Education Program (YEP) Team

Lead by Marge Boyd and Collective Invention coach Erika Gregory, the Youth Education Programs Team:

  • Conducted web and telephone research
  • Conducted a Survey with Youth Ministers in the area
  • Researched over 52 programs/leads
  • Created an “Analysis of Criteria for use in comparing the various programs


  • Determined next steps

The Team considered youth programs at schools of theological education such as Candler and Lancaster seminaries. Concluding that extensive programming for youth is not financially sustainable, the Team recommended a focus on development of youth ministers, with a potential eye towards developing programming specifically tailored for LGBTQ youth of color. The Team also suggested the addition of youth “tracks” to PSR’s current offerings like Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry (CLGS) activities or “Come and See” weekends.

Next Steps

Both Teams concluded their research on positive notes. YEP is now focused on how PSR can further develop Youth Ministers, while the Changemakers Network Team’s top concern is program form and content, recruitment, and appropriate marketing to retain and build Network participants.

The Phase 1 reports are still rolling in. Stay tuned…next week, we’ll feature a look at the Third Age, and New Media Team’s findings.

Phase 1 Eighth Day Project Research Is Complete


Spiritually-Rooted Changemakers for Social Transformation

The Eighth Day Project Teams recently completed Phase 1 of their work, and their reports are beginning to circulate. Phase 1 is the research stage of the project. Creating “spiritually-rooted changemakers for social transformation” is a long-standing tradition that dates back to PSR’s very beginnings in 1866. Now, with an eye towards the future, Phase 1 Teams‘ research includes (but are not limited to) analyses of: other institutions that face similar challenges which might be exemplars for PSR’s own transformations; how they endeavor to address programmatic, pedagogical, and cost/funding concerns, and how other organizations manage stewardship and retention aspects of their mission and goals.

Currently, teams are at work on Phase 2, which is an analysis of Phase 1 findings. The final phase will bring together the research and analysis, which will be presented to the Board in April 2013. We’ll catalog the Teams’ efforts here on the blog.

An Integrated Perspective…

It’s appropriate to anchor this blog series with the findings of the Leadership Programs Team. Lead by PSR Trustee Julien Phillips and coached by Vice President for Institutional Advancement Rev. Kathi McShane, the Team’s report is a detailed and comprehensive document that lists and analyzes nearly 50 leadership development programs, particularly those focused on theological education beyond the scope of traditional pastoral training.

The Leadership Team reviewed several schools of theological education, university-based Divinity schools, non-academic, fellowship and training programs; and non-profit organizations, shaped by “an integrated perspective” encompassing:

Theology: PSR hopes to develop and critically reflect on the meaning and implications of progressive Christian theology(yes), including significance for leadership of social transformation

Engaged Spirituality: an integrative approach in which faith commitments are clarified and sharpened through spiritual formation and practice that lead to shaping one’s spiritual identity that is lived out through constructive engagement with others and the world around us


Leadership/changemaking: Leadership development with a values-based approach to change making, drawing out personal authenticity, listening and learning and acting in relationship, and leading from purpose or calling.

Comparisons Within the Competitive Landscape

Fuller Theological Seminary’s Max De Pre Center for Leadership stands out as one forward-thinking school of theological education, as does Chicago Theological Seminary’s two-year Master of Arts in Religious Leadership. The De Pre Center features a Women in Leadership lab, while CTS, more traditional in its course listings, offers sub-specialties such as interfaith engagement, and word and worship.

The Leadership Programs Team was also impressed by Stanford University’s Technology Venture Program, which cultivates entrepreneurial qualities in engineers. Chautaqua Institution, Dalai Lama Fellows, and Ashoka Innovators for the Public were among the many related and similar non-profits assessed, both religiously- and secularly-oriented.

Next Steps

The Team also considered continuing legal education, though it found that monetizing such programs relevant to PSR — e.g., legal ethics and harassment courses — is a challenge for competitors who offer them.

The next phase for the Leadership Programs Team is a synthesis of these findings, with a focus on what distinguishes PSR among these many choices in the competitive landscape. The Team is also considering potential organizational and individual partnerships with those sympathetic to PSR’s vision, along with making increasing use of technology and a “changemaker ecosystem” to forward the work of PSR.

Next up: Phase 1 program briefs from the Changemakers Network, Youth Education, and Third Age Project Teams.

Edited: 2-19-13 9:41A for clarity