Written by: Mikaela Conley
Several religious student groups have teamed together with the Dean of Student’s Office to sponsor the second annual Faith and Leadership Summit from 2 to 5 p.m. April 9 in the International Ballroom. The event aims to teach students about how to inspire others with their religious faith.
“We are talking about leadership and the nature of leadership and how to develop leadership — specifically leadership within a faith context,” said Ben Gates, professor of history and director of Greater Fort Wayne Campus Ministry. “We will talk about things that will help students lead their (religious) groups … how to share their faith in a way that will make people want to listen to them.”
The event hosted 60-75 student leaders last year, said Eric Norman, dean of students. The target audience is the student leaders of Christian- or Catholic- affiliated student groups; however, the event is open to the public.
At the 2016 summit, Gates talked to the students about various research done about Millennials and their views on faith, he said. Furthermore, he encouraged students to think about how to shape a ministry that might be attractive to Millennials.
One of the speakers will address how to build good relationships with people, even if they are nonreligious, Gates said. The event will begin with ice-breakers, followed by the speakers and ending with an opportunity for the groups to plan one large event together.
“This event was created to bring together Christian leaders on campus. There is a drive for unity and cohesiveness behind the event. Students can expect to be challenged in ways to help bring the campus closer together,” said Kristen Konieczi, a member of the student organization Coalition for Christian Outreach who will be attending this year’s event. “This event is so important to the life of this campus. As Christians, we are called to live life together and reach out to everyone in compassion. This event will provide a foundation for students to encourage each other in that endeavor and learn ways in which to do that effectively.”
The event will be sponsored by The Dean of Students Office as well as the Coalition for Christian Outreach, Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship, Global Christian Fellowship, Greater Fort Wayne Campus Ministries, InterVarsity and the Newman Group.