Celebrating the inaugural Minnehaha Academy Leadership Adventure

“A very formative, bonding experience that focuses on the growth of character and the ways you become a leader like Jesus.” — Avary, MALA participant

In 2020, Minnehaha Academy (MA) launched its newly formed three-year Leadership Institute. The Leadership Institute exists to develop servant leaders who use their gifts to glorify God and bring good to their neighbor.

The Institute offers a leadership pathway through three distinct cohorts (Fellows, Athletes, Community) providing participants opportunities to explore leadership within the faith framework and further develop as leaders through practical leadership experiences and mentorship opportunities.

The Fellows Leadership Cohort is a three-year discipleship training program. Students participate in a weekly breakfast meeting where they learn about servant leadership and the life of Christian faith. The three-year commitment is comprised of the following development:

  • Year 1: Encountering Jesus – Understanding God’s Way of Servant Leadership
  • Year 2: Encountering Myself – Understanding Who God Made Me
  • Year 3: Encountering My Calling – Understanding Vocation & Cultivating My Potential

At the end of year one, students are also given the opportunity to attend a summer leadership training trip—now known as The Minnehaha Academy Leadership Adventure (MALA).

“This was an experience that I did not want to leave. Everything about it made me grow as a person and a follower of Christ, from the portages to the sunset, to quiet times at the end of the day.” – Lily, MALA participant

The inaugural MALA took place June 28 to July 2. Thirteen of the first-year fellows chose to participate. MALA was based on elements of the Northwest Conference’s Adventures In Leadership model. And in partnership with Adventurous Christians, MALA was also facilitated by NWC and AC leadership. The outcome: God again blessed and used this experience profoundly, this time with the MA students.

David Hoffner, Executive Director Faith Formation at MA, offered this reflection on the experience: “The first ever MALA experience was a huge success in forming whole and holy servant leaders. The students gained deep experiential insights into the practice of leadership, who Jesus is and going deeper as a community. The lessons learned by our students will be cherished for their lifetimes, and I’m excited to see the ways that the Lord will use this experience for His glory and the good of others. We’re grateful for the partnership of the NWC and AC in making this possible.”

Other students shared additional reflections on the experience:

“The MA Leadership Adventure is something that will push you and help you grow in your faith and your servant leadership.” – Anneka, MALA participant

“With this experience, it gives you a chance to slow down to learn more about leadership, God and yourself.” – Liam, MALA participant

This trip really changed my perspective on leadership as well as what it can be like to camp and work with others. Teamwork was so important on this trip, and many people stepped in when needed and led when they could.” – Abby, MALA participant

“The MA Leadership Adventure has been eye-opening in many ways. Not only did we learn about what servant leadership looks like and what it requires, but a big part we focused on was Jesus’ time on earth and the suffering and actions He took to be a servant leader.” – John, MALA participant

In the words of Hoffner again, we look forward to seeing the ways that the Lord will use this experience for His glory and the good of others through these students and future students as well.