Learning Intensives (LIs) form the core of the Fellowship. Each LI includes time for processing with peers, learning from and with leaders in the public sphere, professional development, and theological reflection.
We will engage public issues that echo Jesus’ identity expressed in Luke 4, his first public sermon:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.
Leaders who will broaden our awareness of these issues include people such as Bee Moorhead, Executive Director, Texas Impact and Texas Interfaith Center for Public Policy; Karen Ranus, Executive Director, NAMI Austin; Jorge Montiel, Lead Organizer, C.O.P.S./Metro Alliance, San Antonio; Oliver Bernstein, Communications Director, Center for Public Policy Priorities; Hon. Scott McCown, former District Judge and current director of the Children’s Rights Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law; and Sheila Sturgis Craig, Associate Commissioner at Texas Health and Human Services - Center for Elimination of Disproportionality and Disparities.
Typically, we will do some reading, watch a video, or other preparation to familiarize ourselves with the subject matter before the LI. We will spend most Mondays learning about the issue, on site when possible and in session with the public leader. Members of the Seminary faculty will accompany us in our learning and lead us in theological reflection on the issues. (For one example of making these connections, take a Dr. William Greenway’s essay, “The Tragedy of the Commons: Faith, Ethics, and Public Policy.”)
We will also work together on increasing confidence to deal with public issues as a congregational leader. The Practice of Adaptive Leadership by Heifetz, Grashow and Linksy will be our consistent guide, supplemented with other exercises and practices that open us to new understandings. Three Tuesday afternoon workshops will develop communication skills for Fellows: writing for different publics, deliberative dialogue, and speaking for media and other publics.