ORGL-522: Leadership and Community Empowerment Collaboration and Dialogue.


Competencies Expected:

Course pedagogy invited me to develop community to facilitate individual growth and collective flourishing.  Through experience and scholarship I had an opportunity to explore and practice empowerment, collaboration, and dialogue within the context of creating structures and processes for sustaining and transforming community.  Within an Immersion class at St. Andrews Benedictine Abbey, I become a participant-observer designed to explore, practice, and come to an expanded understanding of the role and purpose of the leader’s involvement and commitment to building and sustaining meaningful and purposeful community.  Experiential findings are then integrated with the literature on community building and used to formulate a proposal for enhancing community flourishing.  Course competencies invited me to 1) describe and interpret my experience of community life, specifically within the monastic experience 2) describe and interpret my experience of community within secular organizations given the experience of monastic community 3) reflect on my experience with organizations, interpreting it within the context of course experience and materials while writing a philosophy of Leadership and Community statement 4) develop competencies in ethnomethology by engaging and practicing participant observation during my monastic immersion experience and interpret findings 5) understand and apply effective interpersonal and small group development and communication skills such as empathy, empowerment & dialogue while facilitating healthy community in multiple contexts 6) demonstrate mastery of the course readings and concepts by synthesizing and integrating applicable materials into a written proposal to enhance organizational and community flourishing. 

Competencies Achieved:

This course foundationally impacted how I perceive the role of community in organizations.  As a class we spent five days at St. Andrews Abbey in Valyermo, California studying the role of community.  Catholic Monks follow St. Benedicts Rule, a 1500-year-old text that outlines how each community member is to interact and participate authentically within a servant-led culture.  Course work invited me to identify my strengths and the strengths of the organization I serve.  I was invited to identify characteristics of community apart from religious life and grow relationships with participants who do not share my religious tradition seeking to collaborate collectively.  This course emphasized collective leadership and the role of individuals within organizations. 

Competencies Applied:

 Today’s society is always technologically online and engaged via smartphone, tablet or laptop.  We identify goals in lengthy, time consuming e-mails or in 140 characters on Twitter.  Everything is written, photographed or captured on video.  What happens when you turn it off?  What do you hear?  I embraced a silence, a community at St. Andrews Abbey that continually calls for my return to the engaged discipline of meditation.  The transformative changes of this term invited me to meditate daily and the results are noticeable as I am a far calmer, more engaged and relational individual led by an others first philosophy. 


Artifact Inclusion: 




B., & Dysinger, L. (1997). The rule of St. Benedict: Latin & English. Trabuco Canyon, CA: Source Books.

Beauvois, X. (Director). (2010). Of God’s and Men [Motion picture on DVD]. USA.

Block, P. (2008). Community: The structure of belonging. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler.

Casey, M. (2001). A guide to living in the truth: Saint Benedict's teaching on humility. Liguori, MO: Liguori/Triumph.

Palmer, P. J. (1983). To know as we are known: A spirituality of education. San Francisco, CA: Harper & Row.