Fuller’s New Vision: Forming Christian Leaders for Global Kingdom Vocations
As believers we are the presence of Jesus in the world, no matter where or how we serve. That’s why Fuller is announcing a new vision for preparing and forming students for service in every kind of vocation—whether it’s behind a pulpit, on the mission field, or in a corporate office, a home, a counseling room or a movie theater.
"We are purposefully expanding our support of students as they discern God's calling through the entire process of living out that calling,” says President Mark Labberton. “Our extended community is committed to forming Christian leaders who are faithful, courageous, innovative, collaborative, and fruitful, in whatever vocation or location they are led to serve."
Guiding and directing this commitment is Tod Bolsinger in the newly created role of Vice President of Vocation and Formation. Dr. Bolsinger—a veteran pastor, author, leadership coach, and theology professor—will help shape and lead programs that nurture an integrated calling in each student’s life, with a four-fold emphasis on personal, spiritual, academic, and global formation. Supporting him in this effort will be three additional new leaders: Dean of Students Steve Yamaguchi, Dean of Chapel and Spiritual Formation Laura Robinson Harbert, and an Executive Director of Call Development and Discernment.
Meet the New Deans
Dean of Chapel and Spiritual Formation
“We’re shaping a culture at Fuller where questions about spiritual formation and calling are at the very center of the seminary community. I look forward to bringing all I have learned as a clinical psychologist and pastor to this new role—and helping Fuller continue to grow in its capacity to nurture spiritual and emotional health.”
More about Laura
Dean of Students
“So many nations, cultures, and traditions are represented at Fuller. It will be my privilege to nurture a community of spiritually authentic, theologically informed leaders with a respectful understanding of our differences—and, as a result, a deeper fellowship with one another and better preparation to serve Christ’s global church.”
More about Steve
“At this moment in Fuller's history,” says Bolsinger, “we have the opportunity to bring the diversity of Fuller’s resources together to form leaders who can answer the call of God in a changing world with greater creativity, character, and conviction.
The future will bring new ministries and new opportunities we cannot yet conceive of. Fuller is leading the way in reimagining a seminary education that will prepare wise, agile, theologically grounded disciples to lead in that unknown future. We’re doing this through reshaped curriculum—beginning with a redesigned MDiv this fall, followed by our other master’s programs in 2015—that will help students identify and prepare for their calling in a holistic way. We’re developing outside-the-classroom support that will include mentoring and internship opportunities. And we will continue to foster those connections and support long after students have crossed the stage at Commencement.
“From the first time you come to our website until you go to glory we want to say to you, ‘You're going to be part of a community of people who is always going to be dedicated to helping form you for your calling to God's ministry in the world,’” says Bolsinger.
We're committed as ever to the academic excellence Fuller is known for. Our new vision and curriculum—redesigned by our own stellar faculty—in no way compromises that. Our respected scholars and teachers will continue to grow and challenge students’ minds. It’s just that we will be doing a lot more than that. By integrating the learning experience with formation resources from the Schools of Psychology, Intercultural Studies, and Theology, we will be offering a well-rounded education that is utterly unique to Fuller
Most important, our commitment to the unchanging gospel of Jesus Christ will not shift. Everything we do—every class, every program, every formational experience—will be based on that foundational commitment of our Christian faith.
Roots in orthodoxy, branches in innovation: that’s been in Fuller’s DNA since our founding 67 years ago. With feet firmly planted in our faith and theology, we’re reaching out to engage new realities in creative new ways. This is a season of change and stability, of hope and crisis in our world—just the kind of atmosphere in which Fuller knows how to flourish. We welcome a new generation of leaders eager to learn together—to be formed together—for service in that world through every kind of kingdom vocation.