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Release date: August 17, 2004
Summers certified in Birkman Method

PLAINVIEW - Micheal Summers, director of church services at Wayland Baptist University, returned from Houston this week with his second new certification in as many weeks.

              Two weeks ago, Summers received certification as Director of National Inservice Guidance Association which recognizes a leader's ability to direct students going into the ministry and allows them to lead the students through the necessary courses and programs.

              In Houston, Summers received his certification in the Birkman Method, a personality and career management profile used for self development, team building, organizational dynamics, conflict resolution and job success.

              The Birkman Method has become popular among large corporate offices, including NASA, IBM, Microsoft and the petroleum industry.

              "There are more than two million in the database that have taken this test," Summers said. "It has withstood court cases and is very well respected and unchallenged in its validity compared to other tests."

              The Baptist General Convention of Texas requires all ministerial students receiving financial assistance at its universities to take the test as part of their career evaluation. Summers said the personality study won't tell students what they need to do as far as a career choice, but will compare their data with others in a database and make suggestions as to where someone with a certain personality type may be most happy and successful. It also plays an important role in team-building exercises and can help enlighten different personality types on how to best handle conflict.

              Summers said it has been invaluable in helping ministerial students understand how to deal with a church congregation and staff.

              Wayland has been using the test for several years, but was not able to access the Birkman database or interpret the information. That had to be done elsewhere and the results sent back to Wayland. Now, Summers will be able to interpret and present the results.

              Not only did the certification process require that Summers take the test and go through the interpretation process, but he also had to take more than 40 hours of additional training and coursework at the Birkman International corporate offices.

              According to Summers, the test was designed by a man whose father and grandfather were pastors. As opposed to following in their footsteps, he found that he could help others succeed in what God wanted them to do through psychology, rather than the pulpit.

              Summers said Wayland has only begun to tap the potential of using the personality profile. He hopes to see it implemented in other areas of the campus. He also wants to make it available to the area school districts, churches and other organizations.

              "This tells you your strengths, needs, how you act under stress . It has 11 different components," Summers said.

              The test takes about 40 minutes to complete and the interpretation process takes 1-to-2 hours. Summers said the profile also lends itself to seminars on various career management and conflict issues.

              Groups interested in finding out more about how the Birkman Method can benefit them may contact Summers at 806-291-1165.