Experiencing Purposeful Transformation from Both Sides

Experiencing Purposeful Transformation from Both Sides

The last time I was in the classroom at FPU was the spring of 1999. Earlier this month, I completed my master’s degree here. I’m almost a little upset because I realize I could have gone through this program many years ago. Yet, I look forward to the work ahead with newfound knowledge and excitement.

I knew I would learn and grow, but I did not anticipate this much growth and purposeful transformation. After having been removed from the student perspective for so many years, I appreciate their journey and plan to keep it in mind as I serve the students and employees at FPU. Of course, the M.A. Strategic and Organizational Leadership program taught me a lot about leadership. Still, more importantly, it equipped me to engage individuals and organizations in their efforts to be transformed.

In IT, one of the questions we often pose to software and hardware vendors is whether they use their own products. This is a valuable indicator of their belief in the product and provides them unique insight into its strengths and weaknesses. I got to experience FPU’s product during the last two years. I was on the receiving end of the emails, and I accessed the student systems. All of this affected the viewpoint of my work. The more barriers we remove and the more streamlined an experience students have, the more time and energy they can pour into their studies.

Five years ago, just as Dr. Joe was starting his term, I wrote a Connections article about the excitement I felt when I began my time at FPU as a student, likening it to the enthusiasm for Dr. Joe’s arrival. Of course there were trepidations, but also some assurances that God would lead me/us through the journey. If I was going to be successful, I needed to engage with my community actively. So here I am again, reflecting on the recent lessons and looking forward to the next chapter. Reflection is an integral part of growth.

A large part of the master’s program involved self-reflection assignments. Each week we responded to a series of topical questions. While the point values were minimal, their significance became much more meaningful. The prompts guided my journey of growth and transformation. I realized I was experiencing leadership development during the program, and I acknowledged it was proportional to my efforts. The more I poured into my studies, the more meaningful the content became. I appreciate the many perspectives we were exposed to in the curriculum.

I love FPU. This place changed the course of my life. FPU is where I met my wife, where she got her bachelor’s, teaching credential and master’s, where I started my career, and where our spiritually adopted daughter got her bachelor’s, teaching credential and master’s degree. This institution transformed and continues to transform my life, fulfilling in part the intent of GEIST. I encourage you to reflect on your time here at FPU and acknowledge the growth and purposeful transformation you’ve experienced.


Jeff Jones

Director of Information Systems