This year, we welcome Dean Harbry, PCC, who is a master teacher of The Middle Way.
Dean is a long-time Orthodox Christian, a long-time friend of St Tikhon’s Seminary, a long-time member of St John the Wonderworker Orthodox Church in Atlanta, GA. He also serves as the Chairman of the Board of the Orthodox Christian Leadership Initiative (OCLI).
The Middle Way is a treasured approach to active listening and interaction with others which helps avoid extremes. Its goal is to facilitate honest, accountable leadership, grounding in healthy, Christian actions. One student described it here at St Tikhon’s as something like “a way to take rich teachings such as those of the Philokalia, and put them into daily interpersonal practice.” Here are some examples:
Seminary graduates observe, comment, and lament, that the curriculum has not the space for teaching these types of interpersonal, managerial, visionary, skills, which are necessary to put the teachings of the church into practice in places like Annual Meetings, committees, in arguments and disputes, and other daily interactions.
The Colloquium includes:
Each participant taking the LBDnA, a personal assessment that “interprets one's natural leadership behavior”. This assessment is included with registration. A personal report will be prepared for you.
General sessions on how to interpret and understand one’s own leadership behaviors.
Teaching on the Middle Way, grounded in a perspective from St Gregory Palamas.
Interactive sessions to put these principles into practice.
Plenty of time for Church Services, Rest, and Fellowship.
In-Person attendance is preferred and encouraged. A Zoom option is available.
Tuesday Lunch through Thursday Lunch. Meals and Lodging included.
PS: I am Fr John Parker, but you could call me Thomas. Thomas because I had my serious and measured doubts and reservations about this leadership and coaching idea. I shared with Hollie Benton, Executive Director of the OCLI, that I would do my best to suspend my judgment, and enter the program myself (secretly to prove myself right).
In the Fall of 2022, I began regular leadership and coaching sessions with Dean Harbry, and I was astounded to find my doubts and reservations falling so quickly. My initial plan was six or seven meetings. I have continued now for almost an entire academic year, in twice-monthly meetings. I so wholeheartedly endorse this program that we also piloted a mini-version of it for our Middler Class at St Tikhon's, a class of 21 seminarians.
I have seen, and therefore believed. Somewhere it is written: blessed are they who have not seen, and yet believe. This program significantly and practically helps at the most basic--and advanced--levels of leadership and interpersonal relations and communications. Thank you, Hollie. Thank you, OCLI. Please join us.