Posted by: Jack | May 31, 2012

Online Education in Utrecht?

Saturday, May 19. Finally sunny.

Pat & I drive up from Maastricht to Utrecht, a 2 hour drive on a beautiful sunny day. On the second floor of a multi-story building in downtown Utrecht, we find our group of Open University students. Pat is off to do some shopping, I join the meditation and announcements time.

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ETF’s Open University

At 10:45, I move to a separate room with 4 students. They range from their late twenties to their thirties. After a basic overview of leadership theory and its developments in the twentieth century, we delve into case studies. We talk about Blanchard’s situational leadership model and about transformational leadership. The discussion is animated. Is situational leadership really leadership, or is it personal coaching and development? Does transformational leadership refer to individual transformation or to the organisation or church we lead? Gradually, misunderstandings are clarified, and students gain clarity through the discussion that I could never have achieved through lecturing.

We even found time to discuss two of the leadership cases that the students had submitted via ETF’s internal website. What would the leader need to do if a church, that had grown by focusing on small groups, now has several small groups wanting to spin off as house church? Should you maintain the vision and direction of the church that led to this situation in the first place? Which checks and balances would you need? And …

But then the time was up. Too many questions to resolve in a single 2-hour session. But then, the point was not to answer everybody’s questions, but to explore leadership models and solutions in specific situations. Good learning!

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