Adventures in Perpetual Education
This past June I graduated from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary with a Doctor of Ministry degree after spending three years of reading, writing, sweating, researching, more sweating and even more writing before finishing my dissertation/project. So why am I back at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary this week taking another class?
Well, it's not because I enjoy freezing my tuckus off in 16 degree weather. And it's not because of the Primanti Brothers sandwiches--although they do stand for a pretty good argument.
I am, in fact, taking a weeklong seminar with the goal of obtaining an Executive Certificate in Religious Fundraising from the Lake Institute on Faith & Giving, which is part of the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University.
In English: I am learning how to develop generosity in church congregations, and to develop my own leadership skills when it comes to stewardship/giving/fundraising in faith communities.
As part of this certificate, I not only have to complete the weeklong seminar (4 eight-hours, plus an evening workshop), but I also have to design a workable, sustainable, measurable stewardship/giving/fundraising program.
The training that I am receiving as well as the guidance that I'll get from the Lake Institute for the development of my project will be a huge benefit to my church, and hopefully to the members of my congregation. I'm learning a great deal personally about what it means to live a generous life, and I am also learning how foster a culture of generosity in my church.
Honestly, religious fundraising, stewardship and the like are the kinds of things that typically don't get covered in seminary, and were not part of the seminars I had for my doctoral work. I am so grateful to be able to spend the time this week learning how to be a better pastor, leader, and under-shepherd.
And the Primanti Brothers "sammiches" are a bonus.