I was blessed this week with the opportunity to lead a training session for 10 University of Mary business students. They traveled five hours from Bismarck, North Dakota to come to the Mount Carmel Ministries Training Center in Alexandria, Minnesota to learn more about servant leadership.

I don’t know how many of you had the opportunity for an experience like this while you were in college, but it clearly is an example of a university living by it’s stated purpose.

Here is a short excerpt from the University of Mary’s purpose: Founded to prepare leaders in the service of truth, the University of Mary is distinctive in our education and formation of servant leaders with moral courage, global understanding, and commitment to the common good. As America’s Leadership University, we are deeply devoted to our mission.

I was totally impressed with these students and their passion and knowledge of servant leadership principles and attributes. Things that I heard from the students included, “humility”, “modeling the way”, “have an inspiring purpose”, “listen to gain understanding of what motivates your people”, and “my purpose is to make the world a better place each day”. These were comments from college students. Wow!

Clearly Professor Karel Sovak (who organized and made this trip and experience happen for the students) and the rest of the professors at U of Mary have done a magnificent job of training their students in the power and importance of servant leadership.

At the end of our training session each of the students commented on what they had taken from the day of training, and they made commitments on how they would build self-esteem in those people that they interact with back in Bismarck.

I am so encouraged when I think about the future with these young people in leadership positions wherever they end up serving in their careers. Any company or organization will be blessed to have them on their team!

My congratulations to the magnificent focus and purpose of U of Mary for the great work they are doing preparing students to be servant leaders that will truly make this world a better place.

Mark Deterding