In a new grant program initiative, the Wabash Center will gather representatives from 7 schools to discuss the grant projects each of these schools has undertaken through Wabash funding. The cohort group will be led through a process to refine the design, implementation, and assessment of their grant projects.
Each of these 7 projects share a common focus: to explore the process of teaching ministry formation in contexts outside of the classroom.
Their task is to address pedagogical strategies enabled by these non-classroom contexts with each school's understanding of ministry formation and the well-formed minister.
Meeting Dates: May 15-17, 2012
Sarah Drummond, Academic Dean - Andover Newton Theological School
Nadine Pence, Director - Wabash Center
Paul Myhre, Associate Director - Wabash Center
Thomas Pearson, Associate Director - Wabash Center
Aquinas Institute of Theology (Project Director: Marian Love)
"Lay Ministry Formation for Hybrid Pedagogy: Building a Quality Formation Opportunity for Students at a Distance""
This project will develop a formation program for the increasing number of non-cohort students in the Masters in Pastoral Studies who live at a distance and take courses according to a hybrid formula of online work in combination with mid-course intensive face-to-face seminars. Our priorities include 1) consistent and frequent experience of community, 2) affirmation and critical feedback with prayer and discussion, and 3) formative experiences that will be meaningful to individual online students while being expressive of community. Working with the American Bishops' document on formation for lay ecclesial ministry, "Co-Workers in the Vineyard", we will ensure that all four areas of formation—spiritual, human, intellectual, and pastoral—are addressed. We seek to gather information about best practices, engage a knowledgeable dialogue partner with whom our Director of Lay Spiritual Formation can develop the formation activities, and launch a pilot program in academic years 2013–14 and 2014–15.
Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond (Project Director: Caleb Oladipo)
"A Leap of Faith: Transforming Seminary Cultural Immersion Programs to New Heights of Pedagogy"
The Mission Immersion Experience (MIE) Program is a requirement of our Master of Divinity students. The primary goal is to enhance our students' global view of the Church during their formative years in Christian ministry and strengthen their cross-cultural perspectives. In an increasingly interactive global Church, every opportunity to engage in cross-cultural pedagogical experiences benefits their formation as 21st century ministers. The MIE is a pedagogical approach that supports transformative learning experiences outside the comfortable boundaries of the classroom and fully immersed in an ever-changing world. Our project is to introduce a new training opportunity for the field coordinators to ensure a thorough understanding of the larger context of the MIE Program, build community and understanding around expectations for the MIE experience and communicate how critical their role is to the success of the program and its philosophy.
Bethany Theological Seminary (Project Director: Tara Hornbacker)
"Exploring Incarnational Ministry Formation through Contextual Pedagogy"
This project will examine current and proposed ministry formation contexts to determine the best pedagogical strategies for encouraging personal, spiritual, and professional growth for an Incarnational education in the 21st century. A team of faculty will visit current and proposed ministry settings to discern the best pedagogical methods to form the reflective practitioner and well-formed minister. In light of primary contextual research, current readings in theological education, and a deep concern for improved assessment of our distance MDiv program, the team will compose a definition of ministry formation in language coherent with our seminary's new mission statement: Bethany Theological Seminary equips spiritual and intellectual leaders with an Incarnational education for ministering, proclaiming, and living out God's shalom and Christ's peace in the church and world.
Hebrew College/Andover Newton Theological School (Project Directors: Or Rose and Jennifer Peace)
"Religious Leadership Formation in an Inter-Religious Context"
Over the last several years, Andover Newton Theological School (ANTS) and Hebrew College (HC) – immediate neighbors – have developed a variety of innovative inter-religious programs for our school communities and for the public. One key pedagogic practice guiding our efforts at co-formation has been havruta (from the Aramaic word for "tie together"). This traditional form of Jewish peer learning involves partners meeting over a sacred text, and reading and interpreting together. This dialogical model encourages holistic engagement in which participants help each other in their intellectual and spiritual growth. This grant project would provide ANTS and HC the opportunity to reflect on the role havruta learning has played and can play in the formation of our students, faculty, and institutions. The grant would support analysis of the use of havruta in our inter-religious work to date, and the refinement and expansion of this educational model – both its theory and practice – through faculty development.
Iliff School of Theology (Project Directors: Katherine Turpin and Deborah Creamer)
"Born Digital: Negotiating Formation in the Hybrid/Online Classroom"
This project seeks to explore the unique capacities of the digital environment to support intellectual and professional formation of ministry students with divergent religious and cultural backgrounds, vocational goals, and institutional locations. The collaborative and constructive nature of the online/hybrid classroom may provide unique solutions to the negotiations of student formation in such a rapidly changing context. Faculty members of the Iliff School of Theology will engage in internal faculty collaboration and experimentation concerning hybrid/online pedagogical strategies and their relationship to the diverse intellectual and professional formation of students. Through this process, the faculty will shift from translation of residential pedagogical thinking to transformed pedagogy germane to the capacities of the online environment.
Jewish Theological Seminary of America (Project Directors: Mychal Springer and Ute Steyer)
Wake Forest University School of Divinity (Project Director: John Senior)
"Ministry Formation in Jewishly-Grounded, Seminary-Based Clinical Pastoral Education"
The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) now requires all rabbinical students to complete units of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE). Our Center for Pastoral Education is unique in that it operates in a multi-faith context (open to seminarians and clergy of all faiths) and, whereas most CPE programs are situated in hospitals, we place students in social service agencies, hospices, and other innovative settings. The process of ministry formation has neither been sufficiently studied in the non-classroom context of a CPE program nor in a Jewish context. We will make an important contribution by investigating ministry formation for Jewish students in CPE field units, during which they are challenged to engage with different theological approaches as well as practice in diverse settings in partnership with agency professionals. The study will entail textual research, interviews and a current/former participant survey, and result in a paper for publication and dissemination.
"Partners in Ministerial Formation: Shifting the Pedagogical Center"
This project proposes a new model for creating cooperative pedagogical spaces for ministry formation. Wake Forest University School of Divinity will convene a year-long seminar in 2012-13 for ministry leaders and theological educators to develop cooperative pedagogies of ministerial formation, which will be implemented in newly designed courses to be offered in the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 academic years. These courses will shift the conventional center of theological education pedagogies from the classroom to the ministry site, positioning faculty and clergy as partners in ministerial formation.
Nadine S. Pence
Director, Wabash Center