Servant Leadership Institute
SLI Mission Statement
"SLI seeks to equip students to further ECS's mission by thoughtfully engaging our community and the surrounding culture with gospel-driven, self-sacrificing leadership."
The Servant Leadership Institute is a tool designed to help us walk alongside students at ECS who demonstrate a desire for leadership and service among their peers. Over the past seven years, SLI has grown from an organization whose primary function was to partner around twenty students with Student Leadership University (SLU) to today's group of around 60 servant-leaders from grades 9-12 who are engaged in a weekly program which fosters leadership building, service initiatives, and critical thinking skills.
Students meet each Tuesday from 7:00-7:30 in the SLI Room for regular conversations which are designed to target the goals of SLI. Each semester these morning meetings follow a general calendar which includes:
Critical Thinking Presentations:
Students meet in their small groups to address topics which change each semester. In recent years, SLI has covered topics such as Capitalism vs. Communism, Christianity and "Going Green," and Pop Culture and the Arts. Each group meets for two weeks to discuss in-depth questions which force student groups to work together to thoughtfully consider how the Gospel interacts with current issues. Then, the small groups give formal presentations to the entire SLI, and answer questions provided by their peers. Critical thinking has become a major part of what goes on within SLI, because of the conviction that servants and leaders must have an awareness of the culture around them.
The same small groups are maintained as students consider the Gospel in relation to outreach. Each small group, then, plans and carries out a service project during the quarter as a way of putting flesh to their service and leadership conversations.
SLI also looks for other opportunities to train our students to be better leaders, servants, and thinkers by bringing in leaders and servants within different local and global areas, such as Mr. Miller and Mr. L from within the ECS community and Mark Horrocks, ECS dad who founded the Habitat for Hope organization.
Students are required to champion the mission of ECS, to be leaders within the school community, to attend SLI meetings, and maintain ongoing service relationships through one project per quarter for each small group. Students partner with all sorts of non-profit organizations throughout the city of Memphis, from Special Olympic bowling to working with Habitat for Hope, Streets Ministries, and Su Casa.
Students in grades 10-12 are admitted into SLI during the month of May - for the following academic year. Students in 9th grade are admitted during December and are only in SLI for their Spring semesters. To be admitted, students fill out an application and complete an interview process.