Friday, March 6, 2009

Ambrose University College trains Nazarene pastors using materials from a company with ties to Mormonism

If you look at page 8 of the Ambrose University College Report to Donors 2007-2008, in the section titled "Transforming the Church," under the subheading "Ambrose Sponsoring Clergy Education for Nazarene Pastors," you see the following:

The curriculum presented includes The Seven Habits of Effective Managers (Franklin Covey)...The resource person is Rev. Terry Fach, who is a trained facilitator for Franklin Covey seminars.

According to Wikipedia:

FranklinCovey (NYSE: FC), based in West Valley City, Utah, is a provider of time management training and assessment services for organizations and individuals. The company was formed on May 30, 1997, as a result of an acquisition by Franklin Quest of Stephen R. Covey's Covey Leadership Center. Among other products, the company markets the FranklinCovey planning system, modeled in part on the writings of Benjamin Franklin, and The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, based on Covey's research.

This is a company founded in 1983 by Hyrum W. Smith as Franklin Institute, Inc. In 1992 the name was changed to Franklin Quest, Inc. According to the Funding Universe history of Franklin Covey:

The company's offerings are based on its comprehensive 'Franklin System,' which is designed to help individuals identify goals and prioritize tasks, as well as the 7 Habits as outlined and explained in Stephen R. Covey's The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People...

Benjamin Franklin served as the inspiration and guiding philosophy for the courses. In fact, Smith attributed his own achievements and the success of his company to Franklin's ideas about human values and quality of life. It was after reading Franklin's autobiography that Smith decided he would build his own time management program based on Franklin's proven self-improvement philosophy. Smith interpreted Franklin's philosophy to mean that peoples' happiness and inner peace do not come from owning things, but from identifying what is important to them and then making their lives conform with those goals...

The program was based on a checklist of 13 virtues, which included frugality, industry, sincerity, and temperance. 'If you're not doing what you value, you don't value yourself, so you won't value your time and make good use of it,' Smith posited in the December 1992 issue of Success.

Using Franklin's ideas, Smith developed a time management and motivational seminar program. The program's basic goal was relatively simple: to help people realize what they really want to accomplish, to help them do things for the right reasons, and to motivate them toward action.

You don't have to look too hard to discover that both Hyrum W. Smith and Stephen R. Covey are devout members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, more familiarly known as Mormons. For a Christian examination of the influence of Mormonism on Stephen Covey and his writings, read A Closer Look at Stephen Covey and His 7 Habits by Bill Gordon, and The Shifting Paradigms of Stephen Covey by Bob Waldrep.

What I'm wondering is how the church of Jesus Christ managed to train leaders for almost 2,000 years without employing the services of secular self-improvement techniques and businesses. The discerning reader will notice that the power of the Holy Spirit is completely unnecessary in order to follow the principles taught by FranklinCovey. The New Testament mentions some qualifications for leadership in the church (I Timothy 3:1-12 comes to mind); I suggest that the church would be better off sticking to the scripture and rejecting worldly ideas and methods.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, how's it going?

    I'm sorry - for some reason I couldn't find your email. Here's that article in the Times Colonist though: http://www.timescolonist.com/search/Breaking+hard/1358457/story.html

    I was pretty surprised to see it there, I must say. I think what must have happened is that the editors of the Colonist were looking around for stories on the Anglicans' problems ( lately they've been talking more about the problems in the local Anglican Church ), and came across my article on the CanWest website, like in the archives or something.

    Still though, it's kind of cool.

    By the way, it's good to know I'm not the only member of the family with a blog now.

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