As the 2008 Fall semester approaches, Olivet Theological College & Seminary (OTCS) is preparing for a successful start. OTCS will offer a variety of courses and among them, Dr Mark Wagner will teach a course entitled, “Mentoring, Coaching and Supervising”. The following is an interview with Dr. Mark Wagner.
OTCS: Could you tell us about your background and experience in the mission field in Germany?
Dr. Mark Wagner: My wife, Carrie and I with our two children Kate and Natalie, have lived in Germany for the last 12 years. During this time I served as a pastor of a German Baptist Church, taught at a German Bible Seminary and I was the coordinator for the German work for the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention in Europe. I worked together with 30 other missionary couples in setting up new strategies for sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ and planting new churches in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
OTCS: Please tell us a little about what students can expect from your course - "Mentoring, Coaching and Supervising".
Dr. Mark Wagner: Everyone has been or will be a mentor or coach to someone consciously or subconsciously at some time. We are put into situation where we are asked to guide someone in their work performance, their spiritual life to help them through times of decision. Often we are in work situation where we have people who are working with us and under us needing assistance. The course will look at concrete ways in which we can help others succeed while walking along side of them. The course will at first look at the concept of mentoring, coaching and supervising and then spend most of the time providing key tools in becoming an effective mentor, coach and supervisor.
OTCS: What is the purpose and main focus of this course?
Dr. Mark Wagner: The purpose of the course is to develop students’ skill in mentoring, coaching and supervising. The focus is to learn how to use key tools in effectively helping others to succeed in their spiritual walk and their work. All of us have been and will be put into situation in which we function as one of these three roles. My goal is to help each student have the needed skills and to excel at it.
OTCS: What are the main skills students will take with them after the course and how can they apply these skills in future ministry works?
Dr. Mark Wagner: The main skill that they will learn is how to listen and ask questions in helping people achieve their goals. This course is intended to help students of all walks of life have tools to help people grow and become better at what they are doing. This is especially the case in disciplining people in their faith. Mentoring a Coaching skill will help them to be more effective in providing guidance and help. My hope is that each student will be able to implement this in their relationship with other people.
OTCS: Can you tell us about some recent developments in the field of Mentoring, Coaching and Supervising.
Dr. Mark Wagner: Coaching has taken the professional world by storm. Especially the Business world is inundated with coaching. Life coaching has become wide spread. As a result, many new ideas and concepts are being developed to become more effective. A new development is the use and the incorporating of mentoring and coaching concepts in various areas of the work world. This is also true for the church. Even though the church has always been active in mentoring and coaching, it has not always been well equipped in this art, even though it is foundational to the advancement of the gospel. More and more the concepts and skills developed in the business world are being implemented in disciplining and advancing the kingdom of God. It is my hope that this class will increase the skill level of all the students when it comes to helping others succeed.
OTCS: Thank you for your time Dr. Wagner.