August 16, 2021
By: Greg Henson, President of Sioux Falls Seminary; Henry Tan, President of the International Leadership Consortium (ILC); and Howard Isaacson, CEO of Emmanuel Academies
As we continue looking more closely at the framework for collaboration and partnership that exists within Kairos, we turn our attention to Integrated Partnerships. An increasingly common partner in Kairos, an integrated partner leverages every aspect of Kairos while continuing to be a separate legal entity with its own governance, institutional authority, and management structures. In this post, we will provide more details about Integrated Partnerships, share a few examples, and outline how integrated partners are identified, developed, implemented, and supported.
The identification of potential integrated partners, really every type of partnership, is the same regardless of where a partner might fit within the framework. As Kairos engages in its work of stewarding followers of Jesus who flourish in their vocations, we pay close attention to schools that seem to share a common commitment to affordable, accessible, relevant, and faithful theological education. Rather than actively pursuing new integrated partners, Kairos responds to opportunities and conversations that occur naturally in the course of our work. In doing so, we have learned that the primary characteristic of a potential integrated partner is a deep commitment to theological education as, first and foremost, a journey of discipleship.
In practice, this means an integrated partner is often already engaged in the work of theological education. They could be a school, a kingdom-minded ministry that has a program designed around a specific area of focus, people group, or context, or an organization looking to develop such a program or school. In most cases, a potential integrated partner is interested in collaborating with Kairos because it:
Whatever the reason, the primary goal of an integrated partner is often to boldly pursue its mission, and it sees Kairos as a “co-worker in the vineyard” who can help. In this arrangement, the integrated partner remains an entirely separate legal entity with entirely separate governance and management. The practices, operations, systems, and processes for the shared program are identical to, and fully integrated into, Kairos as a whole.
Once a school identifies itself as potential integrated partner or responds positively to such an invitation from Kairos, the conversation moves into the development stage.
As it is with all types of partnership within Kairos, the development stage is best characterized as one of mutual discernment. Conversations that take place during this stage present opportunities for Kairos and a potential integrated partner to talk more deeply about the processes, practices, and systems that will be shared. It is also a prime opportunity for Kairos to learn more about and, therefore, more deeply appreciate the unique and important mission of the integrated partner since the primary goal is for the partnership to help the integrated partner boldly pursue its mission.
In this stage, we collectively discern whether or not an Integrated Partnership is the next best step. If the potential integrated partner and Kairos both discern such a partnership is indeed the next best step, then a partnership overview document is crafted to outline the high-level aspects of the implementation process. If we mutually discern that an Integrated Partnership is not the next best step, the conversation begins to focus on other types of collaboration and partnership (e.g., Legacy, Collaborating, and Operating).
When the partnership overview document has been completed, we move into the implementation stage of the process.
The implementation process happens in three phases:
Kairos is focused on the fact the theological education is something that must happen in community because discipleship is a communal endeavor. The community in which it happens, therefore, has a profound formational impact on everyone who participates in Kairos. As a result, Kairos covenants with each integrated partner to honor its unique mission.
As a result, the support stage of Integrated Partnership is ongoing. Even after programs, processes, communication, and all of the day-to-day operations are fully integrated, support for integrated partners continues.
As a community of Jesus followers, Kairos is focused on creating a global network of theological education that is affordable, accessible, relevant, and faithful. Integrated Partnerships create a strong network that can support and leaven this global network.
The current integrated partners in Kairos are the International Leadership Consortium (ILC), Emmanuel Academies, and The Coalition for the Advancement of Youth Ministry (TCYME).
Join us next week as we look at collaborating partners!