On the third week of each month we review an event that we’ve attended recently. This month Jo Dolby shares some reflections on the recent CYM Staff Conference.

The beginning of February saw our annual CYM staff conference. This is where CYM staff from across our five UK centres gather together to plan, dream, learn and catch up. It’s always a highlight for me as it’s one of the only times in the year when all the CYM staff are together in one place. It’s inspiring to hear what other centres are doing, great to have some space from the daily routine and exciting to dream about the future as we look to expand and improve both the training we offer and the ways in which we can offer it.

IMG_7271On the first day we heard an update from each CYM centre, and we had Mike Pears from Urban Life delivering two keynote sessions to the academic faculty. Mike has done a fascinating PhD and presented some of his findings. He helped us reflect on the changing cultural landscape we are in and what the implications of this are for mission, and for how we train people to do mission. Mike spoke about placing our bibles on our map, reflecting theologically about place and space to enable us to understand what’s happening and how to respond to it. The evening allowed some much needed pub time, and it was great to have some time to socialise with everyone.

On day two we got down to discussing some important things – where CYM currently is, the challenges we face and the opportunities we have for research and development. Jo WhiteFullSizeRenderhead from Midlands CYM led a really interesting session on visual facilitation skills, challenging us to use more visual methods in our lectures. Sam Richards from Oxford CYM gave a really helpful keynote on academic feedback – thinking about what we say to students about their work and how we can say it better. It was helpful to be given some new methods and words to clarify and sharpen our feedback, which is such an important part of how students learn and develop.

It was a really positive two days, where I was reminded of how unique CYM’s training is, as well as how many incredible and knowledgeable people we have across the CYM faculty and how privileged I feel to be part of it all. It’s made me excited about the year ahead and all the things God has in store for us. Watch this space!