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11 Lifelong Leaders Walk into a Room...

11 lifelong learning leaders walk into a room... 

No, seriously. 

In late February, ALLLM hosted the first of three annual consultations to explore, identify, and articulate best practices in lifelong learning leadership and programming.

 We came from all over the US and Canada, with an expat flying in from Albania for good measure. And our work contexts were equally diverse: theological schools, denominational offices, and stand-alone and para-church initiatives.  

The gathering was underwritten by generous funding from the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning and intended to nurture a community of practice among member participants.  Our diverse group wasted no time digging into the unique character of the kind of educational work we do – and the kinds of leadership needed for that work. 

Hot takes?    

  • Lifelong learning is an “ecotone,” a distinct and diverse environment at the intersection of church, academy, and the public.   

  • Our work is nimble and innovative, collaborative and sometimes playful - as are our leaders.   

  • The kind of education we do is learner-centered and pragmatic, aimed at supporting and sustaining the vocations of people doing ministry in a complex world.  

Our next gathering is scheduled for early 2025 (exact dates TBD), and that conversation will focus on how best to support leaders in lifelong learning.  Recent gatherings of Lilly Endowment grantees underscore the boom in new lifelong learning program development – which means lots of new leaders.  What do leaders need to do their work sustainably and effectively?   

Want to help shape the conversation at the next gathering?  Lend your thoughts to this short survey about how leaders like you can best be supported!  Bonus: Let Helen know you’ve 

filled out the survey, and she’ll mail you a set of awesome ALLLM stickers for your water bottle and laptop!  



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