By: Stephen Lewis
July 28, 2020
In January, I shared that FTE underwent a redesign last year in response to a new strategic direction, a changing landscape and new questions emerging. This seems so long ago given how the two pandemics of COVID-19 and systemic racism have disrupted life as we knew it and turned our world upside down during the past five months.
During this unprecedented time, each of us are learning new things about our work, ourselves and each other that are beneficial and useful to a wider community of friends and colleagues.
At FTE, we too are in the midst of learning and distilling what we know and are discovering from partners regarding vocational discernment and creating conditions for BIPOC scholars to thrive in this moment from emerging, diverse leaders and the institutions that teach, accompany, and call them to lead.
As part of FTE’s redesign, Dr. Patrick Reyes is leading a new Learning Design team responsible for designing and curating learning, insights, tools and resources from FTE and its partner’s work. I’m excited about the insights and resources the Learning Design team is curating and developing. And we look forward to sharing with you our insights and resources in the months to come.
Elsie Barnhart helps develop and implement resources that support FTE’s doctoral community and young adults exploring Christian leadership, pastoral ministry and teaching.
“ Simply put, FTE matters and that’s why I am here. When I interviewed for my position with FTE I said, “Whatever job leads me away from being a full-time care provider for my kids would have to matter.” As I researched FTE and interviewed with the full staff, it was clear to me that they weren’t just there to do ‘a job.’ At FTE, the people truly are committed to serving in roles that help young people become future leaders, instrumental in shaping the church of the 21st Century.”
Ted Boone manages data for FTE and provides knowledge and insights about FTE’s operational processes and learnings about vocation and call.
“ Purpose is not rooted in tasks. The thought of working at FTE was appealing to me initially because of the job and its duties. I now know that working in an organization that supports young leaders in dedicating their lives to service gives me daily satisfaction.”
Patrick B. Reyes provides oversight for FTE’s organizational learning and resource development around vocational exploration, leadership and innovation. He continues to manage FTE’s doctoral initiatives.
“To put it simply, theological educators saved my life. At every major crossroads, a theologically trained elder was there to make a difference not just in my own life, but also in the lives of others in my community. It is humbling to do the sacred work of identifying, supporting, and placing the next generation of scholars and theological educators who are going to transform the academy, the church, and local communities.”
Heather Wallace oversees FTE’s grant initiatives with a diverse network of church-related organizations and captures learnings to resource future church leaders.
”After nine years in Illinois, FTE feels like coming home both geographically and vocationally. I grew up in the Southeast and moved immediately after college to the Midwest. I worked for a youth theological discernment program and then stepped out to work in the secular non-profit world. FTE is the place where my passions and my abilities meet. I’m excited to help cultivate and support young-adults taking leadership roles in the church.”
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