(1 credit) This course is for students who are ready to translate their studies into the practicalities of being a spiritual leader or community chaplain. This course will challenge you to examine your own unique expression of spiritual leadership relative to specific skill areas. Ethics includes an examination of setting and maintaining healthy boundaries, navigating dual relationships, confidentiality, and leader accountability. Power includes examining earned authority vs. power over, empowerment vs. power over or power under, the dynamic of power over and power under, power over vs. agency, and power under vs. flexibility. It is impossible to know if your leadership is harmful or helpful unless you have accessible feedback structures.
We will learn the practicalities of setting up systems that encourage mutual feedback as well as what might get in your way of gracefully receiving difficult feedback and how to skillfully engage those conversations. In the last section of the course, we will emphasize common dynamics that arise in the student/teacher relationship and how to recognize and skillfully navigate these dynamics.
For each of these skill areas—Ethics, Power, Feedback, and the Student/Teacher Relationship—you will be asked to share personal examples from your life. Personal examples will be used to gain shared understanding, achieve conceptual clarity, and as platforms to practice communicating and relating in ways that fit a particular circumstance. Guided mindful experiential exercises will be a regular part of our work together.