I've Applied for School!

Yesterday I submitted my application for a two year program with The Transforming Centre, based in Chicago, Illinois. Although I'm an avid reader and lifelong learner, I've been feeling for some time the need to find a cohort to learn and develop my leadership with, basically to kick things up a notch in my personal and professional development. Most of my study I would do at home, but would travel to Chicago for quarterly learning modules.A Transforming Community was founded and is directed by Dr. Ruth Haley Barton. I've been reading Ruth's books over the last year, and have found myself deeply resonating with her body of work. My position at GOHOP affords me the great privilege of working with several streams of the church, primarily at this time the charismatic, the evangelical, and the contemplative streams. Ruth's work bridges those streams in fascinating ways and I find her books to be great "bridge builders" and crossover materials as I encourage those in my circles of influence to try swimming in one another's streams. I'm also excited to sit under the teaching of such a gifted woman leader.Here's some info about the program.A Transforming Community® is a group of pastors and Christian leaders who commit themselves to nine quarterly retreats over a two-year time frame for the purpose of experiencing deeper levels of spiritual transformation.People change incrementally....over time...with others...in the context of spiritual disciplines that open us to God.Each retreat includes substantive teaching on spiritual formation themes and practices, guided experiences with spiritual disciplines, and significant engagement in community with other leaders. The Transforming Community experience is grounded in Scripture, animated by a Trinitarian approach to transformation in community, and informed by the richness and diversity of our Christian heritage. Visit "What we Believe" to learn more about our biblical and theological view of spiritual formation.Why should I consider joining a Transforming Community?The Transforming Center longs to see churches and Christian organizations become communities of authentic spiritual transformation--and it starts with transforming leaders!Our goal is to help you strengthen the soul of your leadership so you are able to lead from your own experience of transformation. Key objectives of a Transforming Community:KNOWLEDGE - To establish theological grounding and a working knowledge of spiritual transformation, spiritual community, and spiritual leadership.EXPERIENCE - To explore and experience spiritual practices in the context of community.ONGOING TRANSFORMATION - To guide you in developing a personal rhythm of spiritual practices that is realistic and sustainable for your life in ministry (rule of life).COMMUNITY - To enter into an experience of transforming community that will equip you to cultivate spiritual community in your own setting.SPIRITUAL LEADERSHIP AND DISCERNMENT - To strengthen your effectiveness as a spiritual leader who is able to discern God's will in your setting.At the conclusion of the two-year process you can receive academic credit towards a Doctor of Ministry in Spiritual Transformation or a Master's Specialization in Spiritual Transformation from Northern Seminary (Lombard, IL).Cool eh? I'm excited! Mainly it's for pastors and Christian leaders, so I'm hoping that my application as a little urban monk in Hamilton will be accepted.