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Adventist leadership development office sets guidelines to steer newly elected officers

Curriculum set for completion by world church's business session in June

Adventist leadership development office sets guidelines to steer newly elected officers

Members of the church's Office of Global Leadership Development hope standardized guidelines for newly elected church officers will be finalized in time for the world church's business session this summer. Pardon Mwansa, who heads up the office with fellow world church vice president Michael L. Ryan, here reviews documents at a church business meeting. [ANN file photo]

What happens when a Seventh-day Adventist Church member with limited leadership experience is unexpectedly elected to church office?

The church's Office of Global Leadership Development is making sure that members in that position have access to the resources necessary to become -- in short order -- effective, mission-focused leaders who can anticipate changes and challenges and respond in a responsible and appropriate fashion.

Leadership Development officials will meet in Beijing, China on January 26 for their third annual Global Leadership Development Summit. There, they'll review existing curriculum -- available for regional church presidents, secretaries, treasurers and other leaders -- to ensure no topics are overlooked.

"There are many people who are elected as, say, president, who have never served in that capacity before. And when they start their new job, they sometimes don't have the necessary skills -- how to chair a meeting, how to consider issues in a legal context," said Pardon Mwansa, who, alongside Michael L. Ryan, oversees the Leadership Development team. Both are also Adventist world church general vice presidents.

While curriculum topics will be standardized across church regions, they can be tailored to fit the needs of a particular culture.

"One topic, for example, is decision-making. You're still making decisions wherever you live and work, but how you make decisions in China is very different from how you might make decisions in, say, the United States," Mwansa said.

The leadership team anticipates finalizing and approving the curriculum in time for this summer's Adventist Church World Session, where leaders are elected to fill a number of positions at church headquarters as well as in each of the church's 13 world regions, Mwansa said.

View leadership guidelines and look for new developments at