Last week, I had the privilege of attending CCCU’s Women’s Leadership Development Institute at Cedar Springs in Washington. This group of women are leaders at institutions around the country and were chosen to participate in a four day training with resource leaders who have a wealth of experience in Christian Higher Education.
Here, I share a couple key takeaways from my time.
There’s no possible way to have avoided the impact of COVID on our individual selves, communities and collective psyche. It has impacted us all in different ways, but it is clear that everyone in higher education is tired. These several days were a welcome refresh to the challenging year.
Located in one of the most beautiful places, Cedar Springs provided a peaceful and rejuvenating space to just reflect and rest. I focused on just being present with God, nature and these wonderful people. (Seriously, I didn’t even bring my laptop.)
As I sat on this beautiful campus and stared at the calm waters (see above photo), I realized that we have to be still to reflect. Calm water reflects the trees, flowers and clouds around it, but choppy, moving water doesn’t let us have this same view. We need time to be still and reflect. We need time to be still and know God. So I am encouraging you all to a time of rest.
The other thing that really hit me during this experience was the need for networks (and by this, I really mean community outside of our home institution). Hearing the experiences of these women at other institutions allowed me to reflect on the experience at Vanguard this last year in a new way. It also gave me great ideas and encouraged me in the way that Christian Higher Education is making an impact in the lives of our students.
I loved seeing people from not only other institutions but from various aspects of campus life (academics, student life, advancement). Even on our own campus, I hope that we continue to “network” outside of our own bubbles and learn about the larger campus. There’s so many amazing things happening.