At Oak Hill we are still grieving the death of Mike Ovey, but we now need to look forward and build on his excellent work.
God has blessed us with servant-hearted students, a strong faculty, and an excellent Acting Principal in Dan Strange. So we are very much ‘open for business as usual’. This gives us time and space to reflect on how best to fill the gap that Mike has left and how we can serve the church in the coming years.
Mike and Dan together formed a strong and complementary Leadership Team. They had recently begun to refresh our strategy and this included plans for building more intensive dialogue with our sending and receiving stakeholders and our alumni, with Mike taking on a more outward-facing role and Dan taking more day-to-day executive responsibility. Mike died just as these plans were about to be put into place. While this does not take us back to square one, it does mean that we are thinking through the best configuration of college leadership moving forwards.
We want to consult widely with those we serve as we pray about the way ahead. Between now and 20 March, we would like to hear the thoughts of as many of our stakeholders as possible: sending churches and organisations, receiving churches, training bodies, alumni, current members of the college community and all those who support our work.
The College Council has formed a working group to seek input, consider what we hear and shape the future requirements accordingly. Members of the working group will reach out to a range of our stakeholders, but we invite all our stakeholders to share their thoughts, either by emailing them to us on this email address, or by emailing and asking for a member of the working group to call you.
This does not replace our plan for more intensive engagement with our stakeholders. We will be seeking wide ranging views later in the year to help us refine what we do and how we do it, partner better with sending and receiving churches, and engage better with our stakeholders.
But for now we would primarily like your wisdom on what we should be seeking for the leadership of the college:
• What criteria would you prioritise in appointing our future leadership team?
• What advice would you like to give to the College Council?
• Do you have any specific recommendations?
• Do you have any other areas you would like to comment upon?
It would be helpful for us to get your comments in the context of:
• What you value about what we do, or think we could do better or differently
• How we can best form our students for a life time of servant-hearted Christian ministry?
• How we could better serve and support our stakeholders?
Any feedback marked ‘Confidential’ will only be seen by the Council Chair, Jeremy Anderson. Other feedback may be seen by the Council Members on the Nominations Working Group, but will remain confidential to that group.
The members of the working group are Jeremy Anderson, Simon Pilcher, Sue Davies-Scourfield, Fiona Gibson, Johnny Juckes, Justin Mote and Greg Strain. Any of them would be pleased to speak to you.