Monday, 3 June 2013

Presidential Musings from Dawn

I was in a Skype meeting last Wednesday with Jim Padilla-DeBorst from the Center for Interdisciplinary Theological Studies (CETI). He was in Costa Rica while I was in Etobicoke. At one point he Skyped in Joel Van Dyke from the Center for Transforming Mission (CTM) in Guatemala. We made some progress working at the conceptual level on a new Master of Worldview Studies (MWS) program in Urban Ministries. ICS plans to work in collaboration with CETI and CTM to pilot this program. I’m very excited about the possibilities.

The first cohort for this MWS program would do their course work in English while working as volunteers in Latin American countries such as Costa Rica or Guatemala. When, precisely, will this program start? Well, yes, there were still plenty of details remaining after this latest Skype meeting.

Enter serendipity, a.k.a., providence.

I told Jim that I would not be able to pass along the contents of our conversation to the Dean until this week because I was driving to Grand Rapids the next day for the IAPCHE conference ( Jim then told me he was flying there the next day too. So, hah, we could meet in person. Great!

So, I met Jim at the IAPCHE conference (which was a productive conference for many reasons) and we advanced the project to the point that we have a start date for this not-yet-fully-approved-with-all-i’s-dotted pilot project – January 2014. That’s right – if you know of someone who would love to spend 2014 in Latin America while getting a Master’s degree from an Urban Ministries program in the process, well, let them know about this opportunity, and they can get started in discussions with Christian Reformed World Missions to get in on this program. Remember that the ICS part of this program is still tentative until those t's are crossed, but we are hoping the program does not have to go forward without ICS in the mix. What an engaging way to spend 2014! What a way to work on making a difference in the world!

Jim Padilla-DeBorst and I then officially launched this exciting collaboration in the usual way – his arm was longer than mine, so he held the camera and took the picture.