Since 1990, the National Student Leadership Forum has been convened by Members of Congress and other prominent U.S. government leaders and invites young people of diverse backgrounds and aspirations to put aside their differences and learn together how to better lead in their spheres of influence. The central focus of the Forum is Jesus of Nazareth, the most influential and effective leader in Western civilization, as a model of servant leadership. His teachings are richly valuable in addressing issues of reconciliation, serving the poor, integrity, purpose, and love. We also consider the examples of many other historic leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, William Wilberforce, and Martin Luther King, Jr. as well as how today’s leaders are putting servant leadership into practice.
In regard to Jesus’ impact as a leader, consider the following:
- 2000 years after he walked the dusty roads of Galilee, several billion people can recite major portions of his principle speech, the “Sermon on the Mount.”
- Billions of people on all continents continue to study his words and seek to follow him.
- Our calendar is dated from his birth, and major worldwide holidays like Christmas and Easter center on events in his life.
- Jesus achieved tremendous global influence in only three years of public life.
- His influence was accomplished without money or mass media, without writing any books, without holding an elected office, and without commanding an army. Yet his teachings transformed the world.
Our hope is to study these principles intensely and grapple with their meaning. By studying them, we aim to nurture leaders who understand the value of reconciling relationships, standing up for truth, and loving their neighbor as themselves. In a world where self-interest is the guiding current, we seek to illuminate a worldview that is others-centered, embracing altruism rather than egotism. We at National Student Leadership hold that true change starts with first changing ourselves and then changing the world.
In 1983 a group of students from Virginia approached U.S. Senator Paul Trible and his wife, Rosemary, with the idea of hosting a Virginia Student Leadership Forum, and they enthusiastically agreed. The gathering in Virginia marked the first of many state forums across the country. Like the national forum, state forums invite student leaders from college campuses to come together and dialogue about the leadership model of Jesus of Nazareth.
Arkansas — Florida — Kentucky — North Dakota
Missouri — South Carolina — Texas — Washington
Portland Fellows — Dallas Fellows
These forums are hosted by local political, business and religious leaders. The events typically include keynote speeches by various political leaders, small group breakout sessions after larger group meetings, and local community service projects. If you would like more information regarding state forums, please contact the Forum office.