Greatness: A Study in Virtue and Military Leadership A John Jay Institute Executive Leadership Seminar

“Military power wins battles, but spiritual power wins wars.”

JJI_LOGO_blue_1The Jurisdiction of the Armed Forces and Chaplaincy, in partnership with the John Jay Institute, is pleased to offer this seminar as a professional development opportunity for clergy and others. Ideals of duty, honor, and country are as easy to profess as they are difficult to achieve. They are constantly threatened by expediency, short sightedness, and flawed character. Unless these ideals are clearly and sacrificially integrated into the lives of officers in every branch of the military, those under their command will remain unconvinced. The success of the United States military can be measured along many lines, but somewhere in the calculus of achievement, the issue of character—especially the character of officers— must be included. Perhaps no other calling so starkly reveals the need for greatness of soul or what the ancients called magnanimity.

exec_John-Jay-SignIn this seminar, participants explore the nature of moral virtue, consider the manner in which it is cultivated, reflect on its indispensability for military leadership, and seek to reconcile tensions between the virtues applicable to leadership and the ideals of the Judeo- Christian moral tradition. Our proven method of text-based dialogue offers participants a forum in which to reflect upon the classical and Christian virtues, cultivate a deeper understanding of the human condition, and become equipped for more effective leadership.

The educational setting is conducive to personal reflection and fellowship. This seminar convenes a diverse group of 15-20 clergy for lively, intense roundtable discussions. Classic and contemporary texts covering a breadth of perspective on virtue form the starting points of a rich conversation in which the questions posed and explored help to exposit the timeless wisdom of the texts. This seminar is designed leave the participant personally and professionally invigorated, more skilled in making decisions, and transformed by their knowledge and experience.

During the course of the seminar participants can relax and enjoy substantial unscheduled time for reading and re-reading, reflection, and enjoyment of the seminar location’s natural beauty and the local cultural and historical attractions of interest.

2015  Executive Seminar graduate The Very Reverend Norman Beale offered this review of his experience.
“In the verdant serenity of the central mountains of Pennsylvania, eight chaplains drew apart for a week long seminar on Greatness: a Study of Virtue and Leadership, April 12-18.  While much of our focus was on military chaplaincy, it was clear that our deliberations have relevance to all chaplaincies.  We gathered daily to pray, discuss the 11 books and papers we had read, and to take a long hard look at ethics, virtue and magnanimity.  We all serve in the contemporary wilderness of relativistic values, uncertain morals, conflicted leadership and a near universal disdain for Christian claims of moral absolutes and virtuous ideals.  With this context in mind, the seminar had direct application to living out our Christian ethics and aspiration to magnanimity in leadership. We learned that greatness of soul is characterized in a large part by decision making which springs from virtuous character formed by God’s revelation to us, and his working in our lives.  We left the seminar with a shared conviction that we had been well equipped with insights and wisdom to face the challenges of Chaplaincy in our troubled times.”

*Participation is by invitation only.

For more information please contact Archdeacon Michael Williams, Vicar General of the Jurisdiction of the Armed Forces and Chaplaincy, Anglican Church in North America.