Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Heh, Heh, Heh... Finished

I finally received the e-mail I've been looking for last Friday. It was from Dr. Bekker, the supervisor for my doctoral project. It went something like this: "It is my privilege to call you Dr. Cordle."

Yes, after 3 1/2 years, I finished. Neal Cordle, D.S.L. (Doctor of Strategic Leadership). Well, it will be when they update my transcript at the end of this semester!

A few observations.
  • I remember a conversation with a minister over four years ago in which he shared his goals and ambitions. He spoke of this leadership program at Regent University. Driving home that afternoon, God made it clear that He wanted me to pursue this path myself. We argued. He won. Obedience is like that. Ultimately you decide to walk forward without knowing where the journey will end. Looking back, I'm glad I did, though I'd still like to know where the journey ends!
  • There is incredible satisfaction in knowing that one has embarked on a journey, has continued steadily toward the goal, and has reached a waypoint.
  • After 3 1/2 years of intense study on the themes of leadership, I'm humbled by what I don't know. The dean said it would be like this at my very first residency. He was right.
  • What I do know is this: Spiritual leaders are called or chosen by God to display His glory to others as they move from where they are to where He wants them to be. Their goal is to understand the specific and preferred future God has for them and those around them. Their strategy is to develop a culture in which people relate to one another in mutually beneficial ways to execute defined processes that result in everyone reaching the goal.
  • I'm not really finished. I'm really just beginning to learn. The title simply means I've developed and demonstrated the competency to learn.
So, at this particular spot, I've learned a new perspective on Paul's writing:

Not that I have already reached [the goal] or am already fully mature, but I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus. Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.(Philippians 3:12-14 HCSB)

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Anonymous said...


Julie said...

congrats neal! that has to be such a good feeling. i am almost done with my master's so i'm looking forward to being done in august. all going well in ga??