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From: Studium Theologicum Salesianum

Jerusalem, 18 February 2016


Holding the Future – Educating for Leadership was the theme of the very thought provoking and inspiring sessions led by Rev. Dr Peter Bray, FSE, EdD, Vice Chancellor of the Bethlehm University at the STS. 

On the occasion of the “Teaching Staff Study Day” of the STS, Brother Peter Bray generously poured out his vast experience in Educational Leadership to inspire the STS teachers. Peter Bray, a De Le Salle Brother from New Zealand, was Principal of Schools for many years before serving eleven years as the Director of the Wellington Catholic Education Centre. He earned his doctorate in leadership from the University of San Diego under the mentorship of Joseph Rost, the author of Leadership for the Twenty-First Century. He has taught on Leadership in New Zealand, Australia, USA, Ireland, England, the Philippines and other countries. He has been serving the Bethlehem University as Vice Chancellor since eight years.

Dr Bray began by calling the attention of the participants to the power of the golden circle in which, one begins by answering the “why” rather than answering only the “what” and “how” questions about one’s identity and mission. It is the answer to the “why” that gives purpose and meaning to people. It truly motivates the human being. Unfortunately, most people spent their time only answering the “what” and “how” questions. He then challenged the participants to articulate the “why” for the presence of each person in the STS and for the presence of the STS as an institution.

Dr Bray then drew the attention of the participants to their ministry in a University, which carries on the rich Catholic tradition of the Universities. He challenged the teachers to see if they live up to the challenging words of Cardinal Newman who described Universities as places “where inquiry is pushed forward, discoveries verified and perfected, and rashness rendered innocuous, and error exposed, by the collision of mind with mind, and knowledge with knowledge.” In the Catholic University tradition, many fundamental questions have been answered; but it remains our task to answer them further in our context and thus contribute to the wisdom of this rich tradition.

In a second session, he focused on Leadership, beginning by clarifying the many notions of leadership that each participant carried. He then showed, how, true leadership differs from management and defined leadership as “an influence relationship among leaders and followers who intend real changes that reflect their mutual purposes.” In this complex, reciprocal relationship, leadership plays the middle role between what people have and what people want. Hence, leadership is about transformation and changes that are intended. In it, each one, irrespective of titles and roles, plays their part as leaders in episodic patterns.

Dr. Bray challenged the teachers to play their role in transformation for the achievement of the common good by formulating their personal leadership theory. Such a theory will influence the way each person thinks and works in teams.



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