Westmont Magazine Serving Leaders
During his 20 years with churches, ministries and studies, Keith Wright ’83 always found himself drawn to leaders. He enjoyed their company and wanted to understand how they were wired to help them grow in their ability to lead. As a student in the doctor of ministry program at Fuller Theological Seminary, he began writing a dissertation on ministering to professionals, or people in classic professions such as medicine, law or education. As he worked on the project, he realized there is a particular strategy of ministering to this group — and that the church isn’t very good at it.
This background led Wright to become executive director of the National Center for Leadership in Washington, D.C. He was looking for a ministry that would enable him to concentrate almost exclusively on leaders and mobilize them to make a difference for Christ. The National Center for Leadership was founded in 1995 to “develop and sustain Christ-centered leadership through innovative programs of intellectual inquiry, spiritual discipline and committed service.” It is located on the campus of the National Presbyterian Church.
Wright had spent the majority of his life working as a pastor and saw how people entered their professions with the grandest of ideals, but soon became victims of the daily grind of their jobs. He also thought the church was underutilizing professionals. His hope is that through his work he can give people tools to discover God’s calling in the everyday work of their careers, while capitalizing on opportunities to minister at the professional level. He explains, “Professionals have so many chances to minister in places that other people, and the church in general, never access. I am excited about equipping professionals with the tools and the vision to minister in the place God calls them.”
As executive director, Wright is responsible for raising funds for the center through writing and speaking. He also oversees their National Fellows in Leadership Program.
Much of what Keith learned about leadership came from his years at Westmont, a time he calls, “the single-most influential experience of my life.” He served as a resident assistant, did missions work with Potter’s Clay and participated in the standard dorm pranks. His college years helped him understand how to integrate faith with the learning experience.
Keith and his wife, Karen Salomon Wright ’91, an attorney, have a son and a daughter.
For more information about the National Center for Leadership, see their Web site at www.leadershipcenter.org.