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The primary goals of myPLACE are to equip students to (1) discover how God has uniquely created them, and (2) apply principles of PLACE to their relationships, careers, and ministries.
"Through the years several thousands of college students have completed the five PLACE Assessments. myPLACE will continue to utilize the five proven PLACE Assessment components as its base:"
P - Personality type.
L – Learning about spiritual gifts.
A – Abilities (optimal work environment).
C – Connecting with our passions.
E – life Experiences.
How myPLACE Works?
myPLACE gives intentional attention to follow-through and application, aimed for key issues college students have. myPLACE gives teaching, coaching and resources on three core long-life elements (relationships, careers, ministries) beyond the PLACE Assessments that prepare collegians for a more supportive, flexible, and sustainable future:
How my personality affects the one(s) I love most.
How to empower the people I care for.
Understand what drives the people who are closest to you.
Choosing a career that's in line with how God made me.
What if I could do what I love for a living?
How to understand my boss and co-workers.
Utilizing my life experiences in my career.
Can my spiritual gifts be used in my career? Absolutely!
God has created me for a purpose.
I can help others because of what I've been through myself.
Doing ministry where I'm most fulfilled.
Understanding the thoughts and actions of those with whom you serve.
+ Why the need for myPLACE?
Problems with Spiritual Gifts and Ministries
In 2013, I posted an article in my Jay's Journal blog. It was my called, "The Uselessness of Spiritual Gift Assessments." It was the most commented-on article then to date since I began PLACE Ministries in 1998. Understandably, the title shocked people who knew I'd developed and distributed one of the most widely used spiritual gift assessments in the U.S.
But the problem I addressed there is real. So many spiritual leaders sincerely want members to understand how God designed them uniquely, and what that means for their life. But, too often, spiritual gift assessment tools end up being pretty useless because they're used alone, without any system to help people gain and sustain momentum in using them.
To be specific, we've presented assessment results as "the" answer – but without additional teaching to help people understand what the components mean and without coaching to help them know how to interpret and apply their personal results.
That's not how I designed the system to work, but that's often what happens. And that's when assessments are about as useless as trying to get a drink from a gushing fire hose! The water's there, but the monumental force makes it too overwhelming to actually get what's needed. Keeping hydrated works better done in incremental doses – drinks from the water cooler, sips from a bottle along the way.
Or, to use another analogy, the assessments provide people with the bare framework about what they can do in ministry, based on their personality, spiritual gifts, abilities for best work environment, passions, and life experiences. It's like a skeleton with nothing on it and not yet alive. Teaching that explains the framework puts the muscles and mass on the skeleton. Coaching that personalizes the assessments and the teachings breathes life into the body and keeps it fit for functioning. Assessment, teaching, coaching – that's how it's supposed to work. – Jay McSwain
Problems with Relationships and Careers
So, that's the general problem we've seen play out with spiritual gifts and ministries. Meanwhile, I've continued to research next generations and watched what's happened with PLACE and young adults. A parallel problem shows up in two other crucial areas of life: relationships and careers. I've seen a lot of people now hitting the 40 year mark, and they're drained. They're often busy but with jobs they hate, their friendships aren't great, and they aren't doing what God made them for in ministry. They feel stuck, without passion, and in the wrong PLACE.
Even at 40-something or older, it's not impossible to find your way out of these dilemmas. But it is difficult and takes a lot of determination to make such major course corrections in mid-life.
Could that have been prevented? Could something have been done years earlier so they'd still have their flame on for serving in the Kingdom, instead of being burnt out? I believe so.
+ Why myPLACE Now?
College as an Opportune Situation for Lifetime Preparation
College is typically a place where people figure out a lot about their spirituality, their passions for service, and where they want to go for a career. It's where many start developing friendships that may last their lifetime. It's an opportune time for them to connect with life coaches and mentors, since it's easier to set people up for success versus fix them up after they fail.
With so much "stuff" bombarding college students these days, preparing college students for the future requires more intentional focus. Builder generation members often worked 40 hours a week for 40 years at the same job before retiring. Boomers often change jobs five or six times in their work career. Both patterns are becoming obsolete. Research as early as the 1990's suggested that, during their lifetime, emerging generations may change complete career fields five or six times! Also, in an increasingly mobile society, their friendships may be far less face-to-face than for generations past – despite so many more possibilities for virtual connection through social media and technology.
+ How myPLACE Works?
A Systems solution for three core concerns of College Students
We are recommending myPLACE as a preventive systems solution for the above problems. Here's how we see inME working out holistically in a college setting, through a college ministry on campus, within your church with college students or wherever.
There are four core components in a myPLACE Partnership Package:
The PLACE Online Assessment.
Through the myPLACE assessment (
), participants discover that God created them with unique personality, spiritual gifts, abilities, passions and experiences. Discovering God's purpose and plan for their lives helps students find their PLACE to develop great relationships, successful careers, and impactful ministries.
Teaching About the PLACE Profile.
In-person teaching by myPLACE staff to give college staff, ministry leaders and/or students an overview of the basics of the PLACE Profile. (Also provided to staff and ministry leaders as a supplement are PLACE video and print resources that detail the elements in the PLACE Assessment.)
Students can access the
Database, which can help them explore and understand personalities and spiritual gifts as it relates to their relationships, careers, or ministries endeavors. The Digital Sip and Drink Albums are created from a series of weekday and monthly resources and reminders.
Training for Coaches.
PLACE President Jay McSwain personally trains on-campus coaches and ministry leaders who will work directly with students in interpreting their myPLACE Profile results, whether in a one-time setting or multiple sessions. (Minimum time involved in working with an individual student to interpret his/her results is 75-90 minutes.) Coaching trainees might include Resident Assistants, Guidance Counselors, Student Life workers, Professors, Job or Ministry Placement Counselors, Campus Ministries leadership or Church leadership that disciples college students. myPLACE also provides a Connection Coach Training Guide, plus its new Coaching Video Series customized for working with college students.
Three other add-on components are available, with PLACE President Jay McSwain.
Teaching and Motivational Speaking.
Jay gives general sessions lasting 30 minutes or more (to motivate students to engage with
"the water cooler experience"
) , teaching sessions of one to three hours, and seminars (half-day, full day, or longer).
Customizing a Cohort System.
Jay works with members of college administration, staff, and/or faculty along with college ministry leaders that disciple college students to assess how best to create myPLACE connection experiences for students using a range of resources: relational, social media, and multimedia. This kind of customization is one additional way for the educational system to amplify the emphasis on developing quality relationships.
Jay works with groups whose members have gone through the myPLACE Assessment. He helps them understand how their Profiles affect teamwork, and how to utilize their diverse strengths for the best possible team experiences. Examples: athletics teams, student association leadership teams, and spring break mission teams.
What's the Format?
The system of media (and activities during teaching sessions) used in myPLACE is designed as a set to appeal to a range of learning styles. So, there is some redundancy because content needs to appear in different formats to connect with students who have particular learning styles. Here are three aspects of learning styles that serve as an invisible infrastructure in our creating of myPLACE resources:
How do we best remember – by what we hear (auditory; especially what we ourselves say aloud), what we see (visual), or what we do (kinesthetic; movement)?
(also known as Cognitive Style). Are we global and need the big picture before we can find our way into and through the details? Or are we analytic and start with details and work our way up to the themes and big picture?
According to Dr. Kathy Koch, the question is not how smart are we (i.e., IQ), but how are we smart (multiple intelligences)? The eight kinds of smart we consider are: words, logic (sequence), pictures, body (small and large motor control), music, nature (pattern recognition), self knowledge, and people (understanding others).
Please feel free to contact us at 877.463.2863 or via email at