Building the “Spirituality Of Excellence” of SPU Manila Faculty: Response to New Evangelization
For two consecutive schools years (2009-2011), SPU Manila excellent faculty were rated with a common characteristic—“approachable.” This action research concretizes their journey as it uncovers the word “approachable” as the key to build the spirituality of excellence by reference to Scripture. Sixteen faculty members, across Colleges, participated, i.e., those with summer loads of 2013. The seven “I am” sayings in John’s gospel were chosen as these uniquely declare Jesus’ divinity with rich symbolism. The chosen bible passages: “I am the bread of life” (6:35) and its indicative text “I will not reject anyone who comes to me . . .” (6:37) offered three insights subsumed in the titles: God’s Word, Christian hope, and Nurturing Vocation. The concurring teacher-behaviors are: (“God’s Word”) they do not pre-judge students; they facilitate and guide; (“Christian hope”) they encourage students to speak; they show conviction in students’ decisions; and (“Nurturing Vocation”) they stop anything when a student approaches; they answer questions to the best of their ability. The suggested deepening activities are: (“God’s Word”), more group discussions be held on teachers’ and students’ growth issues; (“Christian hope”), the strict implementation of school rules should be considered, being “approachable” is not a license to unrestrained freedom; and (“Nurturing Vocation”), a prayerful relationship with God must be maintained. The recommendations are: that the Campus Ministry consider four biblical stories/images—Bethlehem, “true vine”, the multiplication of the loaves and the wedding at Cana as topics in Faculty formation; that the titles be incorporated in a “Faculty Credo of Excellence”; that the Academic and Student Services units organize group discussions; and that the faculty develop the devotion to the daily Noon Mass.