Recently established by the generosity of the Franken family and donors, the Servant Leadership Institute on campus hopes to enhance leadership development among Northwestern students and to better prepare them for their future roles after college.
“How this is going to be done will be different in different workplaces and with different professions,” said Dr. Feenstra, co-director of the Institute. “We want to hear from faculty and staff, students and community members on what would be helpful to them in their vocational pursuits.”
Students are encouraged to ask faculty and staff to incorporate this in the classroom and in other organizations and activities on campus. The Servant Leadership Institute is willing to host either a local or alum to speak at a student-group discussion.
“If a campus group would like to read a book or visit a business or organization, they can talk to us about how we can support that endeavor,” said Feenstra. Students can also seek involvement through organizing a retreat targeted toward a specific major or career goal. The Franken Center is willing to help sponsor these retreats to help students explore how faith and the work they will be doing after college connect. Feenstra also commented, “For students doing internships this spring we are offering to buy a book for the student and faculty supervisor that focuses on faith at work.”
Students can also be involved by attending or doing a workshop for this year’s Day of Learning in Community. The keynote speaker for this is year is David Miller, Director of the Princeton University Faith and Work Institute and author of “God at Work.” This year’s Day of Learning is on Wednesday, February 16.
“All Christians are leaders in some realm—in a job, in the family, in the community, in the church,” said Feenstra. “As students graduate and go into the world of work we want to be sure they are prepared to integrate their faith with their work.” The Servant Leadership Institute hopes to help students who are currently developing leaders at NW improve and be challenged and to provide others with the opportunity to be leaders.
The Franken Servant Leadership Institute is closely modeled by the way Jim Franken ran his business.“ Franken used a servant leadership model—a model involving leading others by serving,” said Feenstra. The Servant Leadership Institute, just like NW, takes seriously its responsibility to help students discern God’s call on their lives and integrating faith and learning.