Lolan is a light in this world.He brings heart, pizazz and polish to every conversation.I had the opportunity to have a conversation with Lolan about his recent start at the Center for Personal Development in Chicago.We explored how his time at IPS informed and prepared him for his new career.His reflections focused on the broad reach of an IPS Pastoral Counseling Degree.He noted that the transition between a faith-based experience, such as his residency at the Claret Center, and a human-centered practice, which is how he would characterize his current position, was seamless.He attributed the ease of transitioning between these different spaces to common language and the universal values of intention, grace and hope.He said that, “IPS has given me the language and confidence to engage people in any community around meaning – making for people.”
He reflected on some apprehension he had around a “Pastoral Care” degree in a human-centered organization.This apprehension evaporated in his first staff meeting.Drawing on those universal meaning-making values, his colleagues accepted his degree as it were any other counseling degree, completely respecting spirituality as a facet of meaning-making in the counseling room.He also reflected on acknowledging that faith-based institutions have been a source of hope for many, but also a source of harm, and how his time at IPS gave him the ability to navigate the tensions represented in that institutional history.
Lastly, we talked about what wisdom he could share with those of us still in the journey.He said, ‘Everything counts.’All the professional and personal experiences one has had up until entering IPS and thereafter, all count towards realizing the vocation to which one is called.He encouraged future graduates to reach out to alum who are out in the world making their way.Ask questions, find out about how they got there and allow those conversations to build your confidence in the path you’re currently on. As a current IPS graduate student, I was encouraged to hear him say this:
“IPS is a bridge that allows your past and present to talk – embrace reintegrate and reconstitute your life journey.”