Will Brantley, Oklahoma Baptist University director of admissions, participated this year in the CCCU Leadership Development Institute, traveling to both New York City and Washington state during the year. The program accepts only 20 participants nationwide. CCCU is the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, of which OBU is a member institution.
The CCCU is a higher education association of 178 Christian institutions around the world. The 115 member campuses in North America are all regionally accredited, comprehensive colleges and universities with curricula rooted in the arts and sciences. In addition, 63 affiliate campuses from 20 countries are part of the CCCU. The organization encompasses 35 Protestant denominations, as well as the Catholic church, in its membership. The CCCU is a nonprofit organization headquartered in the historic Capitol Hill district of Washington, D.C.
Since 1998, the CCCU has offered Leadership Development Institutes (LDIs) and Women’s Leadership Development Institutes (WLDIs) every other year with the goal of equipping and encouraging individuals identified as having potential for future senior-level administrative leadership. The LDIs are hosted by Cedar Springs Christian Retreat Center, located two hours north of Seattle near the Canadian border.
Brantley applied to the program during the fall semester 2015. The application included required writings and two letters of recommendation. The LDI selects about 20 participants out of around 100 applicants nationally. The participants are chosen by the CCCU LDI leadership team.
The first part of the conference was held in Cedar Springs Christian Retreat Center in Washington state during June 2016, with 20 participants and seven leaders. Since that time, Brantley has read several leadership books as part of the institute and has also written a professional development plan. Last month, he completed his shadowing/mentorship portion of the program by traveling to New York.
Brantley visited The King’s College in New York City Nov. 15-19, where he shadowed Kimberly Thornbury, vice president of enrollment and marketing. He had the opportunity to sit in on meetings with Thornbury, other executives at the college, their vice president and one on one with the president. Brantley also attended King’s College’s preview days, called “Inviso.” During the preview days, guests are taken to dinner and a Broadway show in New York City, and as a guest, Brantley joined in on the experience.
“This experience has already been very beneficial in learning to hone and better my skills in leadership,” Brantley said. “Leading a team is never easy and this has shown me where my strengths and shortcomings are, how to use my strengths better, and how to not let my shortcomings hold our team back. It’s also provided me time with and around incredible leaders in Christian higher education.”
“This is by far the best and most applicable professional development opportunity that I’ve been a part of,” adds Brantley. “Whether someone is new to leadership roles or been an executive for years, this is something that I would highly recommend. It is time consuming and takes a level of commitment to truly engage, but the benefits far outweigh the requirements.”
Karen Longman, professor/program director of Doctoral Higher Education, from Azusa Pacific University; Pete C. Menjares of Menjares Consulting Group LLC; Edee Schulze, VP for Student Life from Westmont College; Debby White, higher education consultant; David Wright, president of Indiana Wesleyan University; Shirley Hoogstra, president of CCCU; and Rick Ostrander, vice president for academic affairs and professional programs at CCCU, all guided the 2016 LDI program.