Event Promotes Networking and Continued Education
Thirty-five Master of Arts in Global Leadership (MAGL) students and alumni/ae from around the world gathered at Fuller’s Pasadena campus March 11 and 12 for the inaugural MAGL Consultation, featuring presentations and discussions on leadership, consumerism, mission, and art. Bob Freeman, associate dean of distance learning, and Mark Hopkins, director of the MAGL and assistant professor of leadership, emphasized their hopes that the event would be an opportunity for open conversation between diverse students about their ministry experiences.
Fostering connection between ministry leaders is not a new priority for the MAGL. The program is part of Fuller’s School of Intercultural Studies and offers in-service ministry leaders an opportunity to earn a degree one course at a time to accommodate busy schedules. Courses are taken as a combination of online learning and two intensive seminars, and half of the MAGL’s 18 courses are completed with a cohort—a learning community of around 30 students that become each other’s friends and teachers. The program has admitted 19 cohorts since fall 2002, including 291 current students and 88 graduates, and this event was many students’ first opportunity to interact with those from other cohorts.
The MAGL Consultation sprang from the vision of Ron Hannaford, Fuller’s director of distance learning-program development, with the goal of providing a venue for the broader networking of MAGL students and graduates, so that they could use their shared educational experience to encourage and stimulate one another to more fruitful and meaningful leadership and ministry.
According to students, that mission was accomplished. “It was so enriching to hear from different cohort members, glean from their perspectives, network with them, and make new friends,” said Jon Eastwood, a campus minister and member of the “Kehila 15” cohort. “I left feeling like I was part of quite an elite but humble club of missional thinkers who were wrestling with similar issues.”
“Since MAGL is a convergence of diverse backgrounds, cultures, and contexts, everyone brings in a rich multitude of experience, knowledge, and insight,” agreed “Mission 12” cohort member Eileen Suico. “The conversations are always enriching and stretching. And the beauty of MAGL is that the conversation doesn’t stop in the room because we are not bound by a building, a room, or walls.”
“As a professor, the true joy of this experience was to see the giftedness and wisdom of our students sharing in new and unique ways the lessons they’ve learned, not only through the MAGL, but also in their ministries,” said Associate Professor of Leadership Donna Downes. “Their struggles, their transparency, their faith, their tragedies, and their triumphs are a living narrative of God’s eloquent voice, abundant provision, and magnificent grace.”
Learn more about the MAGL program here.