Center for Christian Leadership

A New Approach to Leadership Training
The D. James Kennedy Center for Christian Leadership exists to address the deficit of preparation for Biblical cultural engagement—especially for leadership service in government and the public policy arena. Its training programs prepare and equip men and women with a wholehearted commitment to serve Christ by engaging the influential institutions of culture with a well-grounded Biblical world and life view. In the past many Christians have responded to the Biblical imperative of cultural engagement. Yet increasingly, the public square has surrendered to the forces of secularism, with the influence of a Biblical worldview in the public policy arena dramatically diminished. Often those answering a calling to public service for Christ have entered that very challenging environment without being properly prepared and equipped to do so. Those who did so deserve praise, for they at least have stood for battle. But we have not stood with them in full—at least in terms of the resources and efforts needed to prepare them for effective service. That is, until now.
A Straightforward Objective

John Wesley said: “Give me 100 men that hate nothing but sin, and love Jesus Christ, and we will shake England for God.” And they did.

That spirit captures the essence of the Kennedy Center for Christian Leadership. In contrast to the emphasis on grass roots political mobilization, the Center uniquely prepares select leaders who by God’s grace pursue a holy ambition of seeking their highest level of influence and authority in the sphere of government and public policy.

The specific objective of the Center is to train 300 Leadership Fellows per year—every year for the next ten years.

A Comprehensive Training Program

Leadership Fellows accepted in the Kennedy Center for Christian Leadership, are those whose education, religious conviction, and strength of character serve as the foundation of public service. The Kennedy Center for Christian Leadership seeks to build on that foundation through systematic training for competency in distinct skills and knowledge essential to successful leadership service in government and the public policy arena. Leadership Fellows receive more than 160 hours of systematic training aimed at: 1) knowledge base expansion; 2) skill set development; and 3) strategic application.

1) Knowledge Base Expansion

The first stage of equipping for successful leadership service in the broader culture is the development and expansion of a critically important knowledge base. The single biggest factor influencing the trend line of one’s public policy influence is the breadth of one’s knowledge base. The foundation stones of that knowledge base are: a) a well-grounded biblical worldview; b) a sound political philosophy; and c) a solid grasp of the Constitutional framework of government.

2) Skill Set Development

Equipping for leadership service in the broader culture is at base a preparation to engage in a great battle of ideas. The earthly weapons of that warfare are communication, strategy, and planning. With these tools, we contend in the marketplace of ideas. Accordingly, the Kennedy Center for Christian Leadership places a core training emphasis on strengthening skills in the areas of: a) communications; b) debate; c) media messaging; d) negotiation; and e) strategic planning.

3) Strategic Application

With a solid communications skill set, a well-grounded biblical worldview, a well-articulated political philosophy, a mastery of Constitutional precepts, and public policy positions carefully aligned with these firm foundations, the challenge then becomes how to advance these policies in a partisan political environment. This requires strategic thinking, planning, and a firm grasp of the strategies and tactics of political opponents. This is the real world of leadership and governing. Mastering these concepts, strategies, and tactics often is the difference between being an effective leader and being a bystander.

The Distinguished Visiting Faculty

A distinguished visiting faculty conducts the comprehensive, face-to-face training sessions, which comprise lectures, seminars, workshops, and follow-up assignments. The faculty expert specialties include: theology, United States Constitutional, education, communications, media, organizational development and political strategy. 

Who Are These Future Leaders?

So where do these Leadership Fellows come from? How do we identify those who are ready and willing to make an extraordinary commitment? And what qualifications are necessary to participate in this ‘by invitation only’ training program?

Simply put, these are women and men with a heart after God’s own heart. Having a strong sense of calling to Biblical cultural engagement, those admitted as Leadership Fellows have humility, determination, and a teachable spirit. They also are able to make a significant investment of their time, effort, and financial resources, to undergo the necessary preparation for pursuing a unique kingdom endeavor. 

The Way Forward

The men and women successfully completing the Kennedy Center for Christian Leadership training will stand with a level of equipping and preparation heretofore largely unavailable to people of faith. As part of that training, each Leadership Fellow will have learned from, met, and interacted with many of the elite leaders, scholars, experts, and strategists in the Public Policy arena. And they will have built an unparalleled network of contacts to assist their quest for leadership service.

A Call to Action

The Biblical admonition to walk circumspectly (Ephesians 5:15-16) implies living our lives with our eyes on the horizon, making the best use of our time. For those with a heart of concern for our nation and a clear sense of calling to the kingdom enterprise of bringing the Mind of Christ to bear on the broader secular culture, here are two questions:

Q1:  What would our political landscape look like if we had well-trained leaders with an unshakable Christian conviction, a well-grounded Biblical worldview, and a mastery of the principles, purposes, and political philosophy of the United States Constitution?

Q2:  Has God called you to be one of these leaders?

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