October 2016

Ambassadors for the Prince of Peace: Resolving Conflicts

The third cohort of the IGSL/AGST Peace Studies Program met in October 2016 at the IGSL campus. Eight upper level leaders from six countries on three continents gathered for intensive courses. They represent the Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Nigeria, Uganda, and the USA. Four of the program participants are faculty members of seminaries in the Campus Crusade consortium of graduate schools (IGSL, East Asia School of Theology, and African Centre for Theological Studies).

peace-studies-studentsDuring the first three weeks, participants took courses in the core curriculum:

  • Personal Life/Ministry Assessment with Dr. Steve Hobson (October 3-7),
  • Theology and Practice of Personal Peacemaking with Dr. Karl Dortzbach (October 10-14), and
  • Models of Qualitative Research with Dr. Hobson and Dr. Dortzbach (October 17-21).

Their last week on campus focused on personal mentoring appointments and planning for the year ahead.

It has often been joked that PhD programs yield “Permanent head Damage.” These IGSL/AGST participants see their program differently. Along with challenging academic growth, they anticipate “Persistent heart Development.”

In-depth Scripture study, a battery of self-assessments, and open-hearted processing peace-studies-students5bring a mirror to the soul. Understanding how conflict springs from desires (James 4:1-3) and the biblical call to forgiveness and reconciliation (Mt 6:12,14; 2 Cor 5:19-20) further challenge the heart to deepen. Theology, in-depth research/analysis, and practical ministry skills all combine in this unique inter-disciplinary program.

peace-studies-students4The month began with a tour of Manila. The cohort celebrated the completion of 120 hours of classroom work with dinner at Dr. Hobson’s home. On October 27, the month ended with a celebratory banquet where supporters, leaders, and friends of the program participants came together.

By Dr. Steve Hobson (Director, Doctoral Programs)