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Rev. Dr. Robert Franklin – Augsburg’s Christensen Symposium 2020

head shot of Dr. Robert FranklinRev. Dr. Robert Michael Franklin of the Candler School of Theology was our speaker at the Christensen Symposium on October 1, 2020. He spoke on his recent book, Moral Leadership: Integrity, Courage, Imagination. This book addresses much of how the Christensen Center for Vocation attempts to implement our various initiatives with congregations, students and our Augsburg colleagues. A video of his talk is shared below.

Dr. Franklin wrote this book because he believes “(1) democracy requires virtue, (2) we are now in a state of steady moral decline, (3) moral decline can be contagious, and (4) the contagion can be deadly.” Dr. Franklin claims, “When there is a lack of moral leadership in an organization, it can emerge from unlikely places and people, often from the young.”

He is calling us to look to the margins for leadership right now – to those “whom society has sought to relegate to the sidelines, but who nevertheless struggle to rise above discouraging circumstances and lift others as they climb.”

Moral leaders are those who
  1. CENTER DOWN on our most deeply held values
  2. STEP FORWARD to act in an impactful way, and
  3. DREAM UP where and how we can transcend the status quo.

The challenges our congregations face today – anti-racism work, environmental rejuvenation, interfaith cooperation and the ongoing work of reformation will require moral leadership. Look to the margins for those who are poised to lead us faithfully into this work.

How are you making space for those new leaders to emerge who will lift you up as they climb?