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Characteristics of Female Artists’ Studio Practice That Can Influence the Leadership Process in Christian Higher Education

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    • Publication Information:
      Digital Commons @ Fuller
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      Digital Commons @ Fuller (Fuller Theological Seminary)
    • Abstract:
      This project identifies collaborative opportunities for female artists to influence those in leadership. The application of these attributes in Christian higher education will give voice to marginalized others, and create inclusive opportunities. Learning to value different and innovative ideas from female artists and others whose voices are not typically part of the process, Christian higher education will more completely reflect the imago Dei while celebrating the unique giftings of individuals so that all may “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8). In this dissertation I delineate characteristics of female artists’ studio practice that emerge from narrative-based interviews designed to gain a perspective of female leadership principles that can be used to influence Christian higher education. The characteristics of play and intuitive reasoning intersect with a need for structure while the importance of being called to being an artist contrasts with materialist expectations. Each artist delineates a narrative that often is laced with an appreciation for spiritual influences and expressed through a visual language. These ideas become the framework for leadership preferences that value humility, empowering others, and the ideal of servant leadership styles. Christian higher education, along with education in general, is in the process of reviewing conventional methods of education. It seems natural that as this is occurring, new ideas might surface to enable a greater variety of voices to contribute to these conversations. The characteristics I identify in female artists’ studio practice can offer insight, although not necessarily from a position of leading, in the context of influencing those who are in positions of leadership. Their voices reflect the diversity of people created by God who contribute to the mission of God in unique ways. I conclude this dissertation with suggestions for how to make bridges from the results of my research toward changes in educational contexts including suggestions for adding value to being a servant and creating a new curriculum for changes to the leadership paradigm. Mentor: R. Daniel Shaw
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