Shaping Compassionate, Courageous Leaders in the Digital Age
The Hendricks Center seeks to shape compassionate, courageous leaders who know how to read each situation and respond with Christ-like wisdom. Since 1986, the Center has focused on issues tied to servant-leadership, whether in the local church, the workplace, or the community.
When Prof Hendricks founded the Center for Christian Leadership (now known as The Hendricks Center) in the mid-1980s, he emphasized the character of the leader in terms of humility and personal integrity. But of course, in the last thirty-five years, American culture has experienced a magnitude of changes, and technology now streams a ceaseless and growing flood of information at us from every corner of the globe. As a result, cultural perceptions have shifted radically, and many regions and sectors of our world have become dramatically polarized.
These developments confront the character of leaders with profound new challenges as they try to minister in a shifting and oftentimes hostile culture. To address that, the Center added a focus on cultural engagement in 2011 and launched The Table Podcast, along with Cultural Engagement chapels and other resources. Today the Center offers more than 500 hours of conversations on theological, apologetic, cultural, and leadership issues.
The aim of these efforts is to equip church leaders with a biblically-rooted lens through which to interpret the cultural dynamics that have so impacted their ministries. In addition, the Center wants to equip Christian leaders in the everyday workplace with resources on faith-and work-issues, based on the premise that “ministry” extends to the Monday-through-Saturday timeframe where most Christians live out their calling in a public setting.
Over time, these additional emphases coalesced into what the Center now calls its Six C’s of leadership: Character, Calling, Comprehension, Compassion, Courage, and Competence.
The Impact of the Pandemic
Up until March 2020, all of the Center’s resources (except for The Table) were delivered through live events. Then came the Coronavirus Pandemic, and overnight, in-person meetings were eliminated. The challenge became: how can the Center carry out its mission in the new, online reality of COVID?
In adjusting to that new reality, the Center began to see a range of new possibilities. For example, because online communications can reach far beyond Dallas and North Texas, it means that the Center can develop cost-effective ways to deliver its resources to more people. It means that when in-person events occur, the Center can simultaneously host online participants. It also has resulted in the Center creating a host of new, innovative resources to serve leaders.
In this new era, the Center will continue to offer its usual menu of programs and services. But it has also expanded to include online content that allows the Center to minister more regularly to a wider audience about a broader array of topics. Our newly redesigned website will allow the Center to develop more interactive resources and reach the global audience the Seminary serves.