EdComm has produced a discussion paper on The Role of the Principal in the Spiritual Leadership of an Anglican School. We asked Graham Stanton, former Principal of Youthworks College, what led him to write this important paper and what it is intended to achieve.
From my years as the Principal of Youthworks College I was made keenly aware of the range of demands involved in leading an educational institution, from development and pastoral care of staff to managing teaching and learning, financial management and budgeting, promotions and marketing, up-keep of library and facilities, and relations with stakeholders and governing bodies. I soon came to realise that the state of my personal spiritual life shaped all of these dimensions of my leadership. Not only that, I recognised that the decisions I made in these areas would influence the spiritual life and experience of all the people involved in the life of the College.
In a similar way Principals of Anglican Schools bear the responsibility for spiritual leadership of the school community. But what does spiritual leadership actually entail? What are the specific challenges involved in spiritual leadership of an Anglican school?
This discussion paper had its genesis in conversations with heads of schools, chaplains, teachers of biblical studies, council members and council chairs. The aim was to uncover how spiritual leadership was understood, and to discover the practices of spiritual leadership being pursued. What soon became evident was the great variety of approaches to spiritual leadership reflecting the variety of individuals involved in leading Anglican schools and the varied history and variety of contexts within which our schools operate.
This paper does not offer a definitive gold-standard of spiritual leadership. It’s not suggesting there is one ‘right way’ to exercise spiritual leadership. Instead, we hope that this report will prompt a robust and productive discussion among all those involved in the leadership of Anglican schools. We hope to encourage a conversation about how spiritual leadership is being exercised and how it might be strengthened for the future.
Go to Spiritual Leadership to read more and to download a copy.