Graduates should possess a well-defined personal moral, ethical, and spiritual compass that provides grounding and direction. This “compass” should include:
a. personal moral, ethical, and spiritual commitments that are reflected through honesty, truth-telling, and servant-oriented approach to leadership;
b. an ability to articulate a Christian worldview that reflects the values, ethics, and principal teachings of the Christian faith;
c. an understanding of and commitment to the codes of ethics guiding the various student affairs professional organizations.
Strengths Finder 2.0 Top Strength Responsibility
During the CSA 598: Special Topics: Strengths Implementation in Higher Education course, I took the Strengths Finder 2.0 Assessment. My top five strengths were Responsibility, Significance, Maximizer, Arranger and Communication. Strengths Finder 2.0 describes a person with Responsibility as someone who takes psychological ownership for anything they do whether is it large or small. If for some reason they cannot follow through, they will automatically find ways to make it up. A person with Responsibility strength has a near obsession to do things right and ethical (Rath, T. 2007, p. 149) In my leadership portfolio assignment for CSA 558 course, I shared how my responsibility strength stems from the deep commitment I make to others and the ownership I feel for the work I do. I am a person of my word. People trust me, and discover that they can count on me. I am dependable, come through and work hard to fulfill all my responsibilities. I naturally have a moral, ethical and spiritual compass. To read more about the Strengths Finder Assessment click here: Strengths Finder 2.0
Calling the Circle
I incorporate spirituality into by daily work by using the group dynamics tool known as Calling the Circle. Calling the Circle is an ancient form of meeting as a group. The intention of Calling the circle is to create respectful communication and safe space among a group. Each fall, I coordinate a three day, two night leadership retreat. Five retreats ago, I started using the spiritual technique Calling the Circle as the first ice breaker. From my own personal experience, I found circle to be a peaceful grounding experience. My first intention for using the tool was to build connection, center the group, and set ground rules for the house. The second time I called circle, I discovered that Calling the Circle also created a safe place to handle conflict among the group. Students who have participated in circle have grown morally, ethically and developed a servant-oriented approach to leadership. Now when a conflict arrives, someone among the group asks to call circle. Then everyone present places an object that represents them in the middle of the table. I take lead by sharing the ground rules and ask the universe to be present during circle. Together, we make a spiritual commitment to listen and respect each other and circle.
If you would like to learn more about circle, I recommend reading, “Calling the Circle The First and Future Culture” By Christina Baldwin (1998). Click here to order the book: Calling the Circle
Attending Azusa Pacific University
In my blog entry of June 21, 2007 at 10:43 pm I shared how it was the longest day of light. With that day being the Summer Solstice, I wrote about how after that day the days would get darker and with darkness come light. That day was also my last day on campus at Azusa Pacific University. The next time I would back on the campus it would be for graduation. In that blog entry, I continued to reflect on how I learned the difference between qualitative and quantitative studies. That there is a difference between listening and attentive listening, and that APU taught me how to move my college students from feeling apathy to activism. I also wrote how I would miss APU. I wrote how I know I will miss this place. APU is a unique campus. It challenges you to believe in something, either Jesus, God or just yourself. Whatever you do, have faith.
APU was my first private Christian higher education experience. The time I spent at APU opened my eyes to the role Christianity plays in some of our students lives. Through my experience in class, learning from my instructors and even walking around the campus, I grew in my ability to articulate and support Christian values, ethics and spiritual faith that also plays a role in student development. The following are photos of the landscape at APU. First one is the Walling Wall and second one is the large Cross in the main academic building.