Author: Courtney Walters
Date: February 22, 2017
Categories: Student Life|VOCA

Houghton College recently hosted Activate 2017: Leaderships, Gifts, and the Kingdom of God, a sophomore student leadership conference, at Camp Asbury in Silver Lake, NY. The conference featured speaker Dr. Tod Bolsinger, vice president for vocation and formation at Fuller Theological Seminary, who holds a Master of Divinity and a Doctor of Philosophy in theology from Fuller. Bolsinger has published three books, one of which is on the topic of leadership, and draws from his extensive experience as a consultant and pastor to illustrate the importance of adaptive leadership.

At the conference, Bolsinger highlighted the idea that change cannot be created through fear, facts, and threats; those are short-term incentives and ultimately make people more resilient to such approaches in the long run. Instead, relationships, responsibility, and embodied actions can spur change.

Activate 2017 highlighted the importance of leadership through individual strengths, and students took the Strengths Finder Assessment prior to the conference. They were then challenged in groups to create a proposal for implementing positive change at Houghton, allowing them to understand their strengths as well as appreciate those of their colleagues. The conference served as a time of self-growth, networking and brainstorming among future leaders.

Houghton College plans to open the conference and make it available to sophomores from other colleges. Not only does this strengthen growing leaders from Houghton and other higher education institutions, but it also enables these leaders to connect with to other like-minded young adults to share ideas and strategies for change.