Center for Leadership Development to launch during fall semester


Dr. Ryan Meers will serve as the director of the Center for Leadership Development slated to open in August. Photo: Emma Klak

Plans to create a Center for Leadership Development on campus are in motion, and this new resource will be available to all university students at the beginning of the fall semester.

While many details for the center are not yet definitive, the core purpose is clear: to equip students with training and tools for leadership. Chair of the Division of Communication Dr. Ryan Meers will serve as the director of the Center for Leadership Development while still retaining his current position.

Meers and Dr. Eric Newton, dean of students, both expressed their vision for the center. Each stressed availability and training as the center’s key characteristics.

Practical tools, coaching and reading materials will be made available to students through the center.

According to Meers, the idea is to make it a place that individuals and student organizations can use to develop key leadership characteristics. He wants to take the leadership competency skills that are being taught in the classroom and help students to turn that head knowledge into real-life campus experience.

Meers hopes the center will be a resource that specifically teaches tactical leadership skills, whether it’s learning how to lead a meeting or planning a new society outing.

Part of the formal training will be leadership retreats, as well as seminars and workshops that all students may attend.

The Center for Leadership Development will be available to all students, not just those who hold a leadership position. “We want it to be accessible, available as a part of the educational experience, and not [just] a training program for positional leaders here at BJU — because one of the goals here is leadership for life,” Newton said.

Newton and Meers also emphasized that Christian leadership training will benefit student discipleship. The goal is to train students to become leaders who will train other students.

Newton emphasized the center as a hub that brings together the many “spokes” of campus student organizations. For that reason, Activities and Organizations will now be under the umbrella of the Center for Leadership Development, though its function will remain much the same.