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Brian Burns at CU Lead

CU Lead 2020: Lead Like Jesus

by Lauren McGuire, Student Public Relations Writer

Thomas White at CU LeadThe sixth annual CU Lead Conference will be Saturday, Jan. 18, starting at 10 a.m. in the Dixon Ministry Center at Cedarville University.

The conference theme is “Lead Like Jesus” and is organized in three tracks: high school students, Cedarville students interested in a leadership role on campus and Cedarville students who currently hold a leadership position. Cedarville’s touring vocal performance team, HeartSong, will lead worship at this event.

CU Lead will feature main speakers Dr. Jeremy Kimble, associate professor of theology; Brian Burns, director of campus experience; Aaron Cook, director of discipleship; and Mindy May, director for student development. Cook will share a 10-minute talk on leading like Jesus, May will share about leading through influence and Burns will finish with what it means to lead through service.

— Paige Martin

“So many times we look at leadership books and CEOs and think that is who we want to be,” Burns said. “People are good to look at, but why aren’t we looking at Jesus?”

High school students will focus on a learning laboratory, which will feature hands-on activities in small groups teaching participants how to handle communication and conflict in groups. They will also hear from Kimble on the importance of living out their faith in a way that allows them to lead.

Cedarville students who want to fill a leadership role will have the opportunity to hear from six breakout speakers, including Dr. Greg Couser, senior professor of Bible and greek; Dr. Rick Melson, vice president for advancement; Lt. Gen. (ret.) Loren Reno, senior advisor to the president; Dr. Janice Supplee, vice president for marketing and communications; Dr. Kristin DeWitt, professor of psychology; and Dr. Scott Van Loo, vice president for enrollment management. Students who are currently serving in leadership will go with their corresponding groups to conduct more of an in-service on how they can serve in their prospective areas.

Paige Martin, Burns’ assistant, was instrumental in planning the conference this year.

“As Christians we are called to be influencers; that’s at the heart of leadership,” she said. “We are called to a life of leadership and a life that looks different. There’s a lot of leadership tools out there, and a lot of them are secular, so it’s valuable to see leadership through a biblical worldview.”

To register for the conference, visit

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,380 undergraduate, graduate and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and high student engagement ranking. For more information about the University, visit

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