Designing Courses

Grants - Topic: Designing Courses - 67 results

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Teologia en Conjunto: Hispanic Perspectives in Theological Education

Awarded Grant
Sellers, Diana|Barton, Paul
Seminary of the Southwest
Theological School
2000
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Designing Courses

Proposal abstract :
Support to develop a program designed to train seminary faculty in Hispanic perspectives by directly working with Hispanic theologians to foster culturally inclusive courses for the M. Div. curriculum.
Proposal abstract :
Support to develop a program designed to train seminary faculty in Hispanic perspectives by directly working with Hispanic theologians to foster culturally inclusive courses for the M. Div. curriculum.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to provide support for seminary faculty in their efforts to include Hispanic perspectives and issues in the design and implementation of their courses. They hoped to increase faculty awareness of the experiences and worldviews of Latino/Latinas; to increase the library's Hispanic texts and resources; to increase their social justice awareness of the church's mission; to graduate competent multi-cultural ministers; and to establish ongoing relationships between seminary faculty and Hispanic scholars in each discipline.
The project director reports that significant learning included the following: awareness that cultural differences generate serious discomfort at times between scholars; doing theology in community challenges traditional approaches to theological education; doing theological education in community requires an interdisciplinary approach; theological education curricula need to highlight the cultural dimensions of theology and ministry; multiculturalism in theological education is an expensive concept, and finally, a multicultural curriculum entails political implications.
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The Sacred Sites of Asia: A Georeferenced Multimedia Instructional Resource

Awarded Grant
Holdrege, Barbara
University of California - Santa Barbara
Undergraduate School
2000
Topics: Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Designing Courses   |   Technology and Teaching

Proposal abstract :
Design and construction of a geospatially-referenced, multimedia World Wide Web site for the study of sacred sites in Asia that will provide an important instructional resource that can be utilized in a range of undergrad and grad courses on the religions of Asia in depts. of religion and theology in U.S.
Proposal abstract :
Design and construction of a geospatially-referenced, multimedia World Wide Web site for the study of sacred sites in Asia that will provide an important instructional resource that can be utilized in a range of undergrad and grad courses on the religions of Asia in depts. of religion and theology in U.S.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought funds to design and construct a "geospacially-referenced, multimedia World Wide Web site" for the study of 20 sacred sites in Asia. It sought to create a website with a network of interwoven map layers and multimedia resources to allow student interaction from a variety of perspectives.
The team of researchers was able to develop the website database, to develop the website architecture and user interfaces, to maintain and support the website, to collect field data, to collect archival and library data, to inventory and prepare multimedia resources, to design course lessons, and to develop guidebooks and student evaluation procedures.
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Learning to Integrate Theory & Practice: A Faculty Seminar on Interdisciplinary and Contextual Pedagogy

Awarded Grant
Cummings, George
American Baptist Seminary of the West
Theological School
2000
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Designing Courses   |   Relating Pedagogy and Curriculum

Proposal abstract :
Faculty will meet at monthly seminars to support and develop courses for the new curriculum proposed for 2001. At the center of the new design is a commitment to the integration of theory and practice to develop spiritual leaders for the changing churches of the new century.
Proposal abstract :
Faculty will meet at monthly seminars to support and develop courses for the new curriculum proposed for 2001. At the center of the new design is a commitment to the integration of theory and practice to develop spiritual leaders for the changing churches of the new century.

Learning Abstract :
The funds from the Wabash grant enabled us to develop and implement our seminar on interdisciplinary and contextual pedagogy. By all measures the project has been successful. We have met the first three goals of the project: 1) To engage faculty in a collegial process of new course design for implementation of a new M.Div. curriculum; 2) To improve the teaching competency of the faculty focused particularly on contextualization and interdisciplinary teaching; 3) To facilitate faculty integration of theory and practice in the design and teaching of core courses in the ABSW M.Div. curriculum. We are continuing to work on the implementation of the remaining three goals which focus on evaluation and training. We are making good progress on the following: 1) To develop an evaluation process for monitoring faculty growth in teaching and course design; 2) To develop an evaluation process for newly designed contextual and interdisciplinary courses; 3) To institutionalize teacher training into the life of the ABSW faculty.
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Through Hispanic Eyes: A Seminar for Non-Hispanic Faculty

Awarded Grant
González, Justo
Asociación para la Educación Teológica Hispana (AETH)
Non-Degree Agency
2000
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Designing Courses

Proposal abstract :
Support for 15 non-Hispanic faculty of theological seminaries to attend a Faculty Seminar on teaching Latinos/as in the various fields of theology and ministry.
Proposal abstract :
Support for 15 non-Hispanic faculty of theological seminaries to attend a Faculty Seminar on teaching Latinos/as in the various fields of theology and ministry.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought funds to support a group of non-Hispanic faculty from theological seminaries to attend a faculty seminar on teaching Latinos/as in the various fields of theology and ministry. This seminar of the Hispanic Summer Program would be held at the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, TX.
The group included a total of 22 participants from many areas of the theological curriculum. The largest number of participants was from the areas of Biblical studies, ethics and practical theology. Participants reported their desire to take steps so that similar seminars can take place in their own institutions for their faculty. Others reported their plans to rewrite their course syllabi with Hispanic perspectives included more intentionally. Several felt that through the experience they had found new ways to support and encourage Hispanic students and colleagues.
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An Exploration of Communicative Language Learning for Seminary Training in Biblical Hebrew

Awarded Grant
Overland, Paul
Ashland Theological Seminary
Theological School
2002
Topics: Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Designing Courses

Proposal abstract :
Project to increase retention of Hebrew literacy skills by taking advantage of discoveries in the field of Second Language Acquisition in order to develop communicative competence among students, establish an immersion environment of instruction, and facilitate retention by instructional songs and tutorial CD.
Proposal abstract :
Project to increase retention of Hebrew literacy skills by taking advantage of discoveries in the field of Second Language Acquisition in order to develop communicative competence among students, establish an immersion environment of instruction, and facilitate retention by instructional songs and tutorial CD.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to explore theories of communicative learning in the area of Second Language Acquisition, with the aim of enhancing literacy in Biblical Hebrew. Goals for the project included developing communicative competence among students, establishing an emersion environment of instruction, facilitating retention through instructional song, targeting relaxation as a conscious goal, and learning via Total Physical Response.

The project director reports that from his course work using these methods, ancient language acquisition students using communicative methods may achieve linguistic skills equivalent to those achieved in a non-communicative classroom. Learning needs of more students are better met via a communicative classroom than a traditional classroom. A student's ability to carry a language course to its completion may be enhanced by use of communicative instruction. Finally, he discovered that interactive computer tutorials find eager reception among students, especially when combined with instructional song.
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Learning Communities: Pedagogies for Congregational Change

Awarded Grant
Nieman, James
Wartburg Theological Seminary
Theological School
2002
Topics: Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Designing Courses   |   Educating Clergy

Proposal abstract :
The purpose of this project is to assess and recommend pedagogical approaches for use in congregational studies that can effectively assist the move from congregational analysis and assessment to critical engagement, creative reform, and genuine change.
Proposal abstract :
The purpose of this project is to assess and recommend pedagogical approaches for use in congregational studies that can effectively assist the move from congregational analysis and assessment to critical engagement, creative reform, and genuine change.

Learning Abstract :
When congregations enter into intentional theological self-appraisal, they can still feel unclear how to turn these insights toward genuine reform. There are, however, vast resources in the literature of transformative community pedagogy (community organizing, critical pedagogy, reflective practitioners, adult education, and leadership development) for learning how to face and enact change. These resources can be effectively employed in congregations provided that key leaders have themselves participated in training events that model these approaches and how to introduce them to others in a broadly-owned process. At the same time, such leaders should be aware that these methods adopt views of confrontation, politics, responsibility, and change that may seem at odds with congregations theologically committed to conflict avoidance or social stability. Since such characterization of these pedagogies is inaccurate, leaders must clarify that these methods share with Christianity a commitment to mutuality in ministry and the gift of abundant life for all.
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Reading Hebrew: A Biblical Hebrew Web Course

Awarded Grant
Bandstra, Barry
Hope College
Undergraduate School
2002
Topics: Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Designing Courses   |   Technology and Teaching

Proposal abstract :
To create Reading Hebrew which will be a complete first-year Biblical Hebrew language course of instruction that will be available over the Internet at no cost to students or their institution; it will include course management tools for instructors.
Proposal abstract :
To create Reading Hebrew which will be a complete first-year Biblical Hebrew language course of instruction that will be available over the Internet at no cost to students or their institution; it will include course management tools for instructors.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to create a web-based introductory course of instruction for Biblical Hebrew, including course management tools for instructors. The course hoped to provide a complete Biblical Hebrew learning package for individual students of biblical literature who may not have access to college or seminary instruction.
The project director reports that the course was successfully developed and can be found online at http://readinghebrew.org The program was demonstrated in the Pedagogy section of the 2003 international meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature at Cambridge University in England. This setting provided valuable scholarly evaluation and feedback on the work.
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The Architectonics of the Foundational Course: The Prior Question of Audience

Awarded Grant
Green, Barbara|Stortz, Martha
Graduate Theological Union
Theological School
2003
Topics: Designing Courses

Proposal abstract :
Support for a project that is focused on planning, executing, and evaluating the pedagogy of two foundational courses (Old Testament Foundations and Introduction to Christian History), so that the revised courses communicate basic material, addresses diverse audiences, and include appropriate means of assessment.
Proposal abstract :
Support for a project that is focused on planning, executing, and evaluating the pedagogy of two foundational courses (Old Testament Foundations and Introduction to Christian History), so that the revised courses communicate basic material, addresses diverse audiences, and include appropriate means of assessment.

Learning Abstract :
We embarked on this grant ready to unlock the secrets of teaching to the increasingly diverse student populations we find in our foundational courses,'Old Testament Foundations' and 'Introduction to Christian History.' We armed ourselves with books on multiple intelligences, articles on multiculturalism and diversity in the classroom, convinced that with our fine consultants and hard work we would be able to recraft our courses to address a real need.

As we moved into the literature, however, we became only more confused. We caught ourselves critiquing analyses on the basis of our own experience; we found ourselves challenging authors who -- we were certain! -- would have written differently had they known our classrooms. Only when we turned to crafing our sylabi did we find what we had been looking for.

In sum, our learning is two-fold: It is possible and desirable to create a common culture of teaching and learning in the classroom through the syllabus. And Assessment is more that a briefcase of tools to emply in a course. It is possible and desirable to create a culture of assessment, so that assessing what is going on becomes second nature to both the instructor and the students.

Finally, it was a great pleasure to work together, and we would wish every mid-career professor had the opportunity to work with another colleague of her cohort. Older faculty are often paired with new faculty for the laudable purpose of mentoring. But it is also important for older and mid-career faculty to collaborate together across disciplinary lines, particularly when all parties are seasoned teachers of excellence. Old dogs can learn new tricks!"
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The Role of the Religious Studies Introductory Course in Supporting the Jesuit Mission in Catholic Higher Education in the 21st Century

Awarded Grant
McGinn, Sheila
John Carroll University
Undergraduate School
2003
Topics: Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Designing Courses

Proposal abstract :
Support for a study leave grant to improve religious and theological education at the 28 Jesuit Catholic colleges and universities in the United States by structuring a conversation among the institutions concerning how their current introductory Religious Studies/Theology courses can better support the Jesuit mission in higher education in the current environment of religious pluralism, technological innovation, and a developing global culture in the 21st century.
Proposal abstract :
Support for a study leave grant to improve religious and theological education at the 28 Jesuit Catholic colleges and universities in the United States by structuring a conversation among the institutions concerning how their current introductory Religious Studies/Theology courses can better support the Jesuit mission in higher education in the current environment of religious pluralism, technological innovation, and a developing global culture in the 21st century.

Learning Abstract :
The primary points I learned from the data-collection and analysis phases of this project were that a) collecting and analyzing survey data takes at least five times more time and energy than projected, and (b) faculty and administrators are not nearly as responsive to a colleague's request for data as one might like.

1. Mail-in surveys have a notoriously low rate of return, so it takes considerable effort to follow up with recipients if you want a substantial response to the survey. We resorted to email, telephone calls, and even personal visits to certain key respondents in order to get a broad response to the questionnaires.

2. Collating the results - including generating the schema for collating the responses to the open-ended questions-took somewhat less time than anticipated, but the tremendous learning curve for using SPSS to analyze the student data more than compensated for this. I relied heavily on a colleague in the Psychology department for both a tutorial on how to use the program and suggestions about which kinds of analyses to run.

My success with the course re-design phase of the project reinforced for me the idea that it is essential to lay a solid foundation for collaboration if you want to gain a consensus on a key decision, particularly in the abbreviated time frame of a grant project. This project was designed to include consultation with a wide range of individuals and interest groups, and this consultation was key to achieving the final result of changing the course design in ways that all the faculty could support.
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CTS Faculty Seminar Retreat for Intensive Teaching Pedagogies

Awarded Grant
Schneider, Laurel
Chicago Theological Seminary
Theological School
2003
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Designing Courses

Proposal abstract :
Outside consultant-led retreats to prepare the faculty to teach new, intensive, upper-level theology or biblical courses. The retreats will include generative time on classroom strategies, issues of coverage, syllabus design, student expectations and evaluations.
Proposal abstract :
Outside consultant-led retreats to prepare the faculty to teach new, intensive, upper-level theology or biblical courses. The retreats will include generative time on classroom strategies, issues of coverage, syllabus design, student expectations and evaluations.

Learning Abstract :
This grant-funded process allowed faculty to learn from one another regarding a new area of teaching (Intensives) that causes many of us anxiety. By spending time to generate questions about teaching intensives in an organic way, and then analyzing the syllabi and experiences of those already engaged in this teaching, and finally by spending time to generate specific suggestions for incorporating new models into the intensive classroom, the faculty developed itself as a resource on teaching. The retreats revealed a deeper need on the faculty to spend time talking together about our teaching. Faculty meetings are too full of other business. Because faculty members struggle (as do almost all faculties in small institutions) with the challenge of their own research and writing, it is difficult to find ways to support learning about teaching from one another in a sustained way. This process modeled that possibility by mining the existing wisdom over two years' meetings in a critical but supportive way.
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Collegial Observation and Pedagogy Enhancement

Awarded Grant
Quanbeck, Philip|Kleckley, Russell|Edwards Farley, Barbara
Augsburg College
Undergraduate School
2003
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Designing Courses   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
Support for the Augsburg College religion department faculty to assist one another to teach outside of their particular sub-disciplines; and support for an evaluation process designed and implemented by the faculty to assess both the teaching and learning that takes place in two new required courses at Augsburg College.
Proposal abstract :
Support for the Augsburg College religion department faculty to assist one another to teach outside of their particular sub-disciplines; and support for an evaluation process designed and implemented by the faculty to assess both the teaching and learning that takes place in two new required courses at Augsburg College.

Learning Abstract :
The most significant effect of the activities supported by the grant was the change in the Augsburg College religion department culture. We moved from being a collegial department to being a department of close collaboration in the teaching of the new religion courses within general education. It has become a practice and habit to see the courses (REL 100 and 200) as a shared enterprise. To that end we continue to develop shared projects and assignments and seek the expertise of colleagues. We also have created a shared culture of ongoing revision and adaptation in course content and teaching styles. The challenge now will be the sustaining of the culture. The greatest challenge we encountered had to do with assessment and differentiating assessment of student learning, assessment of teaching and assessment of the grant activities.
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Pearls and Treasure: Pearls of Wisdom; Stewardship of Treasure

Awarded Grant
Easter, Opal
Catholic Theological Union of Chicago
Theological School
2003
Topics: Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Designing Courses   |   Educating Clergy   |   Relating Pedagogy and Curriculum

Proposal abstract :
Support for the initiation of a teaching program in church administration at Catholic Theological Union that is specifically focused on the training of theology students in functions of church administration activities.
Proposal abstract :
Support for the initiation of a teaching program in church administration at Catholic Theological Union that is specifically focused on the training of theology students in functions of church administration activities.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to continue the work of the Wabash center grant received in 2002 (WC 2002-003) in order to bring it to its completion. The grant sought to fund an innovative course delivery for a seminary curriculum in church administration in partnership with the corporate community, experienced pastors in the field and other outside experts. The current request would fund resources for the publication and marketing of a teaching manual on the curriculum to be distributed to other schools of theology for implementation.
During the period of the grant the project director reports the following accomplishments: the Implementation Handbook was completed and distribution begun; enrollment in the program increased; and the program became a permanent part of the curriculum in the fall of 2004.
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Connecting Local History with National and Global Themes

Awarded Grant
Strobel, Johannes|Callahan, Richard
University of Missouri - Columbia
Undergraduate School
2003
Topics: Designing Courses   |   Technology and Teaching

Proposal abstract :
Support to design an exemplary class including the design of activities for the students and the teacher, implementation of appropriate technologies, assessment and evaluation.
Proposal abstract :
Support to design an exemplary class including the design of activities for the students and the teacher, implementation of appropriate technologies, assessment and evaluation.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to design a model class with a constructivist learning environment to support teaching and learning the history of religion in post-Civil War America. The design centered on a hyper text system, which contained the course content, rearranged around cases, perspectives and themes.
The project directors report the activities of the grant in the areas of instructional design, system development and content development. The class (with 65 enrolled) was redesigned to be "case-based oriented instead of coverage oriented". New assessment instruments were developed to fit the design. Also, system software was developed to link cases, perspectives and themes together for critical examination. Finally, the grant supported the development of model cases for use in the "crisscrossing" environment that the technology created. Researchers found that after initial conceptual adjustment by the students, the quality of their papers improved over time in this new learning environment.
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Teaching as a Practice of Cross-Cultural Encounter

Awarded Grant
Riggs, Marcia
Columbia Theological Seminary
Theological School
2004
Topics: Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Designing Courses

Proposal abstract :
Support for a study leave project that will seek to develop a pedagogical model that makes connections between religion, culture, and conflict. The model will integrate theories of the social construction of difference, cultural analysis of religion and conflict, communicative ethics, transformative mediation, and intercultural communication for use in both academic and congregational contexts.
Proposal abstract :
Support for a study leave project that will seek to develop a pedagogical model that makes connections between religion, culture, and conflict. The model will integrate theories of the social construction of difference, cultural analysis of religion and conflict, communicative ethics, transformative mediation, and intercultural communication for use in both academic and congregational contexts.

Learning Abstract :
The goals of my study leave grant were five fold. (1) To complete the research for and writing of a manuscript on a theory of ethics as cross-cultural encounter and the practice of religious ethical mediation and to translate that theory and practice into a pedagogical model. I have completed most of the research for the manuscript but have not completed writing the book yet. Additional theory work needed to be done prior to the writing. (2) To develop this pedagogical model for use in both academic and congregational contexts. (3) To develop a bibliography of audio-video resources and fiction that will supplement the use of traditional textual sources in this model of teaching and learning. (4) To redesign the required ethics course in the seminary's M.Div. curriculum using this pedagogical model and bibliography. Goals two, three, and four were linked. The bibliography has been completed and will be used in two ethics courses. The course syllabi will be submitted to the AAR Syllabus Project. (5) To design a workshop for clergy and lay leadership development that teaches the theory and practice of teaching as a practice of cross-cultural encounter for the continuing education program of the seminary. I hope to do a workshop next year. I have delayed presenting workshops on the material until after the book manuscript is completed.
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Promoting a Culture of Academic Excellence through General Education in Religious Studies

Awarded Grant
Yocum Mize, Sandra
University of Dayton
Undergraduate School
2004
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Designing Courses   |   Relating Pedagogy and Curriculum

Proposal abstract :
In Religious Studies at the University of Dayton, the majority of courses fulfill general education requirements. Students too frequently enter those courses expecting minimal academic requirements. Yet precisely because Religious Studies courses are central to the distinctive educational experience at the University of Dayton, they can make the study of religion central to students’ integration into the academic culture at the University of Dayton. This large group project involves all ...
Proposal abstract :
In Religious Studies at the University of Dayton, the majority of courses fulfill general education requirements. Students too frequently enter those courses expecting minimal academic requirements. Yet precisely because Religious Studies courses are central to the distinctive educational experience at the University of Dayton, they can make the study of religion central to students’ integration into the academic culture at the University of Dayton. This large group project involves all the Religious Studies instructors in a process that will produce a clear articulation of specific learning outcomes and pedagogical strategies to establish Religious Studies as a substantive influence in students’ developing a passion for academic excellence in the study of religion while at the University of Dayton and long after they graduate. Project Goals. Religious Studies general education instructors will collaborate in a year-long process to determine learning outcomes in Religious Studies general education courses, especially the university-wide requirement, REL 103 "Introduction to Religion," and to identify a range of pedagogical strategies for realizing those outcomes so that all undergraduates engage in the study of religion in ways that contribute substantively to the culture of academic excellence at the University of Dayton and give students the basic critical skills and intellectual confidence required to pursue the study of religion-related topics beyond the four years of undergraduate study. A written version of these learning outcomes and pedagogical strategies will serve as a resource for those who teach Religious Studies general education and as a point of departure for ongoing discussions of the teaching-learning process in Religious Studies.

Learning Abstract :
Participating in this year-long discussion of teaching general education courses, particularly the required introductory course, reaffirmed the importance of the required course in establishing a positive academic climate at our institution. A well-constructed, first-year course with clearly stated objectives and sound pedagogical strategies can have a significant influence on how a student engages in learning at the university. About 75% of this work is done before the course even begins through a carefully planned syllabus. The teaching consultants plus those who shared best practices re-confirmed how important it is for the teacher to have realistic expectations of students, and in general education courses that usually means expecting them to excel through gradually more challenging reading and writing assignments. The best teachers seem to have the best students, i.e., the students who are motivated to go beyond what they initially thought themselves capable. Though exceptional abilities in teaching are a gift, effective teaching is a skill that can be acquired and improved. To improve requires a willingness to be challenged to become a better teacher which in turn requires thinking of teaching as a communal activity - something for peers to observe and discuss with each other. The current focus on quantitative evaluation system, plus the divisions among adjunct, full-time, and graduate assistants, works against fostering a teaching community learning from each other and being supported by each other in their shared commitment to academic excellence. The grant provided an opportunity to see other possibilities, to recognize the communal dimension of teaching. Continuing to promote those practices that foster a teaching community in the Religious Studies Department is the legacy of this grant.
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Research Project: Integrative Seminars in Field Education

Awarded Grant
Drummond, Sarah
Andover Newton Theological School
Theological School
2006
Topics: Designing Courses   |   Educating Clergy

Proposal abstract :
Support for a research project related to the redesign process for the required practicum. The research project will focus on the central question: What should practicum become in order to meet its loftiest goal, which is to facilitate the integration of ministerial theory and practice among seminary students?
Proposal abstract :
Support for a research project related to the redesign process for the required practicum. The research project will focus on the central question: What should practicum become in order to meet its loftiest goal, which is to facilitate the integration of ministerial theory and practice among seminary students?

Learning Abstract :
The purpose of the grant was to investigate the most effective options available for the on-campus component of a theological field education program. We used our grant to do the following: 1) Pay the stipend for the Director and a Research Fellow to lead and assist in a research project on this topic; 2) Provide hospitality for focus groups brought together to discuss the impact of a pilot integrative seminar at Andover Newton; 3) Fund the acquisition of appropriate journals and other research materials; and 4) To provide training materials for the first group of instructors who will teach in the seminary's new model for the integration of theory and practice in field education.

The products of this project take two forms: New knowledge and a new way of offering a field education course. As for new knowledge, we not only learned a great deal but have begun to share our learnings more broadly. Two articles are currently being reviewed for publication. Additionally, in the fall of 2007 we will offer a field education course unlike any we have seen or heard of elsewhere. This was possible because of our pilot course and our research project. The new model will fully involve the Faculty and reconnect the Field Education Program's infrastructure with the core of the curriculum.
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Critical Reading, Writing, and Reflection: Developing Colloquies for First Year Seminary Students

Awarded Grant
Strom, Jonathan|O’Day, Gail
Candler School of Theology - Emory University
Theological School
2006
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Designing Courses

Proposal abstract :
Candler seeks support to design a pedagogical model to enhance critical thinking and disciplined theological reflection among first year seminary students. As students tend to find their first year courses to be especially challenging, both intellectually and emotionally, this program will allow students an opportunity to appropriate the material in writing and in small group discussions.
Proposal abstract :
Candler seeks support to design a pedagogical model to enhance critical thinking and disciplined theological reflection among first year seminary students. As students tend to find their first year courses to be especially challenging, both intellectually and emotionally, this program will allow students an opportunity to appropriate the material in writing and in small group discussions.

Learning Abstract :
This grant played a key role in shaping the pedagogical culture at Candler. It provided invaluable supervised teaching experience for doctoral students in the Graduate Division of Religion, and enabled Candler faculty and students to achieve greater clarity about the teaching and learning of critical theological thinking and of the place of those skills in ministerial formation. It was a major pedagogical and curricular undertaking. The proposal had a one-year planning period, but one of the biggest learnings in this project was that all the real planning and pedagogical work could only take place once MDiv students were actually taking the classes. The coordinators and faculty were able to identify key issues and emphases in advance, but how they played out in the curriculum could not be anticipated. The new curricular element challenged faculty and graduate teaching assistants to be better teachers, more intentional about pedagogy, and more attuned to the connections between meeting course learning goals and the types of assignments given. One of the goals of the grant was for the colloquy model to promote more focused training for doctoral students and to provide them with more intensive teaching experience to better prepare them for their careers as teachers. In this area, the "Teaching Through Theological Education" (TTTE) has been an unqualified success. An unexpected learning from the project is that ways were discovered in which TTTE can be used as a key element of MDiv program assessment. Assessment protocols linked to TTTE will continue to be developed in subsequent years.
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Growing a Department: Cultivating Beneficial Processes and Results in the Development of a Team-Taught Capstone Course

Awarded Grant
Stell, Stephen
Austin College
Undergraduate School
2006
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Designing Courses   |   Identity, Vocation, and Culture of Teaching

Proposal abstract :
This project is designed to cultivate healthy and productive processes for creating a departmental capstone course at Austin College. Through a constructive process, involving all three members of the religion department, the project will engage in critical reflection about issues related to collaborative processes, team teaching, and modeling of collaboration. Goals: 1) To provide a core knowledge of methodology for religion majors; 2) To enable religion majors to see the common core ...
Proposal abstract :
This project is designed to cultivate healthy and productive processes for creating a departmental capstone course at Austin College. Through a constructive process, involving all three members of the religion department, the project will engage in critical reflection about issues related to collaborative processes, team teaching, and modeling of collaboration. Goals: 1) To provide a core knowledge of methodology for religion majors; 2) To enable religion majors to see the common core in the three primary “tracts” of the religion major at Austin College; 3) To encourage religion majors to discern integrative connections and contrasting tensions among the three tracts; 4) To explore pedagogical approaches that contribute to a successful capstone experience; and 5) To build a healthier department, enhancing unity/community in the midst of diversity, through collaborative work and team-teaching.

Learning Abstract :
The grant and consultation allowed our department to weave the diverse threads of this course (multiple aims, objectives, rationales and motivations for teaching) into a more integrated design. We gained skill in the practices/processes of identifying competing and complementary perspectives and negotiating their coherent inclusion in the course. In the process we also discussed the following: the assessment of student learning; the most constructive pedagogical approaches given the diversities of the class; various course design options for the future; the roll of the syllabus in communicating aims and objectives of the course and structuring these into class sessions and assignments. These concerns were developed in relationship to the ongoing goal of providing a venue for departmental colleagues to engage in scholarly exchange with one another, thereby enhancing departmental community and providing our majors with opportunities to integrate diverse perspectives. These processes remain valuable for continual revisions of the course.
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Conversations on Teaching about Religion in an Interdisciplinary, Interdepartmental Context

Awarded Grant
Kilde, Jeanne|Waltner, Ann
University of Minnesota
Undergraduate School
2008
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Designing Courses   |   Relating Pedagogy and Curriculum

Proposal abstract :
In Fall 2008 we will implement a new interdepartmental religious studies major that requires students to take courses from a variety of departments. Given the potential for students to come away from this program with a fragmented understanding of the study of religion—as they are exposed to a variety of approaches to religion and methods for studying it—we aim to develop coherence in the major by developing deeper intellectual ...
Proposal abstract :
In Fall 2008 we will implement a new interdepartmental religious studies major that requires students to take courses from a variety of departments. Given the potential for students to come away from this program with a fragmented understanding of the study of religion—as they are exposed to a variety of approaches to religion and methods for studying it—we aim to develop coherence in the major by developing deeper intellectual and collegial relationships among those who will be teaching in it. We seek to learn about one another’s approaches to religion, to discuss and reflect upon strategies for interdisciplinary teaching, and to develop ways to foster students’ experience of a coherent, unified degree program. Toward these ends, we will hold a four-day workshop in June 2008, preceded by a planning meeting in March; create a formal collaborative group; make information available on the web; and confer with invited scholars.

Learning Abstract :
This project, developed in anticipation of the launching of a new interdepartmental major in Religious Studies, was intended to foster new relationships and connections among the faculty, coming from several different departments, who would be teaching our courses, in an effort to ensure that students' learning in the new program would be coherent. The centerpiece of the project was a three- and one-half day summer workshop, whose content was developed by the participants in spring planning meetings. The workshop was highly successful in fostering intellectual community among the participants and instilling a commitment to self-reflection and innovation in teaching about religion in the context of the interdepartmental program. A second one day conference was held the following summer which involved religion faculty from other schools in the area. The community that developed from the project has been apparent in and beneficial to both the functioning of the steering committee which guides the new Religious Studies Program and in the monthly workshops, attended by both faculty and students.
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The Most Difficult Religious Conversation? Pedagogical Strategies for Teaching the Complexities of Abortion

Awarded Grant
Hornsby, Teresa
Drury University
Undergraduate School
2008
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Designing Courses   |   Relating Pedagogy and Curriculum

Proposal abstract :
This project will provide pedagogical strategies for having difficult conversations in a classroom by using abortion, perhaps the most contentious conversation, as a model. We propose to hold a series of six workshops to 1) identify and evaluate existing models of teaching about abortion; 2) consider the range of pedagogical decisions teachers must make in order to encourage learning among students (and educators) who have already made decisions about the topic in ...
Proposal abstract :
This project will provide pedagogical strategies for having difficult conversations in a classroom by using abortion, perhaps the most contentious conversation, as a model. We propose to hold a series of six workshops to 1) identify and evaluate existing models of teaching about abortion; 2) consider the range of pedagogical decisions teachers must make in order to encourage learning among students (and educators) who have already made decisions about the topic in advance of encountering it; 3) create an emic model that explores ‘insider’ information side-by-side with academic religious pedagogy and lived experiences; 4) provide guidelines and strategies that give confidence to the instructor and provide an atmosphere where respectful conversation and learning, rather than conflict, happens. Ultimately, these workshops seek to create guidelines that can be used to teach either a course or a unit within a course on a difficult topic in general (or abortion specifically).

Learning Abstract :
These are some of the learnings that I take from the project. Use sensitivity and understanding; recognize that the student's approach is more personal than academic; student responses will be as complex as the topic. "Virtue Language" is most effective - avoid "right, wrong" or "good,bad;" instead ask, "Was she courageous (strong) in making her choice?" This creates potential for agreement rather than divisiveness. For credibility, use stories of actual (not hypothetical) situations. Students are more comfortable talking about abortion when it concerns ‘others,' e.g., women in non-industrialized countries or historical women. Start there and bring the conversation closer to their own demographic in increments. Bring in guest speakers at the onset who will represent and articulate the various views of the students. If not, students fear that they will have to do it themselves and they do not feel confident in their own ability to articulate their positions effectively. They become defensive.
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Cooperative Action Research as a Strategy for Developing a Cross-Professional, Cross-Disciplinary 008Pedagogy for Higher Education

Awarded Grant
Thornton, Sharon
Andover Newton Theological School
Theological School
2008
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Designing Courses   |   Relating Pedagogy and Curriculum

Proposal abstract :
Faculty in both theological schools and post-baccalaureate education programs need to be able to communicate across training differences, appreciate common educational and societal concerns, and learn cooperative practices to function as effective teachers of future leaders in church and society today. This project proposes a pedagogy of cooperative action research for seminary teachers and teachers of higher education in the university setting to foster a shared approach to teaching and ...
Proposal abstract :
Faculty in both theological schools and post-baccalaureate education programs need to be able to communicate across training differences, appreciate common educational and societal concerns, and learn cooperative practices to function as effective teachers of future leaders in church and society today. This project proposes a pedagogy of cooperative action research for seminary teachers and teachers of higher education in the university setting to foster a shared approach to teaching and learning around issues of common concern. The issue of common concern that will animate the action research pedagogy in our classrooms is “children at risk” in our respective communities. The action research proposed here is designed as a pilot project which will, hopefully, seed further adaptations of this pedagogy for higher education and community use.

Learning Abstract :
This project addressed the need for faculty in both theological schools and post-baccalaureate education programs to engage common educational and societal concerns and learn cooperative practices to function as effective teachers of future leaders in church and society today. Specifically this project explored a pedagogy of cooperative action research for seminary teachers and teachers of higher education in the university setting to this end. The issue of common concern that animated the action research was "children at risk" in our respective communities, urban Boston and rural Appalachia. Questions brought to this concern were: What is happening to children in our schools, communities, churches? What is at stake for their well-being? What roles do we play in their future?

In order to deepen and broaden a text approach to these questions we chose participatory social inquiry, a form of action research, as the pedagogical vehicle to both model and help students learn the skills to make the connections between what they are reading in our courses and how to apply that theory to the analysis of the research they conducted within their respective communities around these formative questions. And then, how to share their findings cross-professionally.
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A Constructivist Approach to Teaching Theological Literacy

Awarded Grant
Vial, Theodore
Iliff School of Theology
Theological School
2008
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Designing Courses   |   Relating Pedagogy and Curriculum

Proposal abstract :
This project seeks to re-conceive the second course in a series of three theology courses that are part of Sequence Four of the M.Div. at Iliff by using a genuinely “constructivist” pedagogy. The course, titled Theological Imagination and Construction I, helps students begin to find and take confidence in their own voice. Beyond the success of this one class, and the growth of my own pedagogy, the institutional effects ...
Proposal abstract :
This project seeks to re-conceive the second course in a series of three theology courses that are part of Sequence Four of the M.Div. at Iliff by using a genuinely “constructivist” pedagogy. The course, titled Theological Imagination and Construction I, helps students begin to find and take confidence in their own voice. Beyond the success of this one class, and the growth of my own pedagogy, the institutional effects could be significant since pedagogical reform is on the front burner at Iliff and this course is a linchpin in their curriculum.

Learning Abstract :
The most successful parts of the project (from the students' perspective) were the ones in which I already had greatest experience: lecturing and facilitating seminar-style discussion. The small group projects were more frustrating for the students, yet these form the core of the constructivist enterprise. I can make some adjustments as I gain skill in this pedagogy, but I am also willing to accept that the part of the course that most contributes to the formation of my students may never be the most popular, and that the results of this particular pedagogy will not be apparent in any immediately assessable way.
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Interdisciplinary Interpretive Issues

Awarded Grant
Liew, Tat-siong Benny
Pacific School of Religion
Theological School
2008
Topics: Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Designing Courses

Proposal abstract :
This project is a development of a course, “Interdisciplinary Interpretive Issues,” for GTU’s doctoral students in the area of Interdisciplinary Studies. Such a course will help me not only to teach students how to do interdisciplinary work, but also to think through how to do interdisciplinary teaching.
Proposal abstract :
This project is a development of a course, “Interdisciplinary Interpretive Issues,” for GTU’s doctoral students in the area of Interdisciplinary Studies. Such a course will help me not only to teach students how to do interdisciplinary work, but also to think through how to do interdisciplinary teaching.

Learning Abstract :
The goal here was to develop a course on "Interdisciplinary Interpretive Issues" for GTU's students in the area of Interdisciplinary Studies. Several key questions arose in designing this course. First, given the scope of the course and the amount of new materials students are likely to encounter, should such a course use mainly essays or books as assigned readings? Second, is such a course best taught by a team or by a single individual, and how would that decision impact our understanding of team teaching vis-a-vis interdisciplinarity? Third, within the context of a freestanding seminary, where would students "go" after taking such a course if they desire to go deeper into disciplines beyond the confines of theological studies? Fourth and finally, given the globalized, hybridized, and pluralistic world most of us live in today, is there a way to combine interdisciplinary studies with inter-religious conversations in a single course?
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Integration of Learning in the Master of Divinity Program

Awarded Grant
Woodward, Scott
Oblate School of Theology
Theological School
2008
Topics: Designing Courses   |   Relating Pedagogy and Curriculum

Proposal abstract :
Oblate School of Theology values integrative learning. However, faculty have reviewed and discussed the results of the final Integrating Seminar in the Master of Divinity program and have found the results were not what was desired. In particular, students have not adequately demonstrated integration of learning as measured by the Integrating Seminar. This project seeks to design and implement curricular and pedagogical changes based on articulated outcomes on integration of ...
Proposal abstract :
Oblate School of Theology values integrative learning. However, faculty have reviewed and discussed the results of the final Integrating Seminar in the Master of Divinity program and have found the results were not what was desired. In particular, students have not adequately demonstrated integration of learning as measured by the Integrating Seminar. This project seeks to design and implement curricular and pedagogical changes based on articulated outcomes on integration of learning.

Learning Abstract :
This project identified five particular skills related to integration of learning and where and how these skills were taught in the Master of Divinity curriculum at OST. Using the approach of backwards design, faculty have learned how to develop rubrics for specific assignments based upon competency-based skill rubrics. The intentional identification of pedagogical and curricular points of contact on each skill has resulted in a more consistent approach to teaching these skills. At the mid-point of the project, faculty and students report improvement in the use of all five skills. Faculty have begun the task of developing consistent and constant pedagogical approaches to be used with each skill throughout the curriculum. The use of competencies has demonstrably improved teaching and learning.
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Exploring Constructivist Pedagogies in Theological Education

Awarded Grant
Danaher, William
Huron University College
Theological School
2008
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Designing Courses

Proposal abstract :
This project brings together professors teaching in religion and theology for a two-day workshop on constructivist pedagogies, in particular “learner-centered,” “inquiry-guided,” “problem-based,” or “community-based” approaches to teaching. Briefly, constructivism holds that learning occurs in a holistic (intellectual, affective, and social) way through developing an enlarged sense of the “whole.” Consequently, constructivist pedagogies emphasize strategies for problem-solving and dialogue so that students use their prior experience to acquire knowledge. They also ...
Proposal abstract :
This project brings together professors teaching in religion and theology for a two-day workshop on constructivist pedagogies, in particular “learner-centered,” “inquiry-guided,” “problem-based,” or “community-based” approaches to teaching. Briefly, constructivism holds that learning occurs in a holistic (intellectual, affective, and social) way through developing an enlarged sense of the “whole.” Consequently, constructivist pedagogies emphasize strategies for problem-solving and dialogue so that students use their prior experience to acquire knowledge. They also seek to harness students’ motivation and creativity in order to heighten the interaction within which learning optimally occurs. Participants in this project will develop familiarity with constructivist pedagogies and explore ways to incorporate its insights within the disciplines of theological education and religious studies. As a result, this project will help professors explore how constructivist pedagogies can provide an effective approach to teaching at an institution where students in different degree programs (M.Div., M.T.S., M.A., B.A., B.Th.) from different backgrounds, and with different life experiences, take many of the same classes.

Learning Abstract :
This project brought together professors teaching in religious studies and theology for a two-day workshop on constructivist pedagogies - in particular "learner-centered," "inquiry-guided," "problem-based," or "community-based" approaches to teaching - to explore the ways it can create synergy between theological education and religious studies at an institution where both disciplines are taught. As a result, this project helped professors develop more effective approaches to teaching students in different degree programs (M. Div., M.T.S., M.A., B.A., B. Th.) from different backgrounds, and with different life experiences.
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Enriching Pedagogical Intersections: Teaching Worship as Ethics

Awarded Grant
Laytham, D. Brent
North Park Theological Seminary
Theological School
2008
Topics: Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Designing Courses

Proposal abstract :
This project develops two pedagogical dimensions of ‘worship as ethics’ pedagogy (associated with Stanley Hauerwas). First, it reworks the course design, content and pedagogy of an introductory course in Christian Ethics to fit a student body that is evangelical and multi-ethnic. It seeks to overcome the pedagogical limits of conceiving worship ‘liturgically,’ and to utilize the pedagogical potential of diverse forms and traditions of worship. Second, it conveys to teaching ...
Proposal abstract :
This project develops two pedagogical dimensions of ‘worship as ethics’ pedagogy (associated with Stanley Hauerwas). First, it reworks the course design, content and pedagogy of an introductory course in Christian Ethics to fit a student body that is evangelical and multi-ethnic. It seeks to overcome the pedagogical limits of conceiving worship ‘liturgically,’ and to utilize the pedagogical potential of diverse forms and traditions of worship. Second, it conveys to teaching colleagues the pedagogical potential and limits of the worship as ethics approach, and invites them to consider whether worship might offer a pedagogically fruitful intersection with their discipline as well. The results and learnings of the project will be written up for a teaching journal and will be presented to colleagues in Christian ethics.

Learning Abstract :
Even where the study body is quite diverse and how to worship is strongly contested, a teacher can guide students to discover the intrinsic relationships between worship and ethics. It is not the teacher, however, but the students themselves who best serve as guides to the particularities of diverse worship traditions and cultures. The greatest pedagogical challenge is neither managing diversity nor dethroning white privilege, but embracing judgment, inasmuch as most students think worship expresses their preferences rather than embodies normative claims.

Most theological educators include classroom worship in each class session, and many do so with a strong and sophisticated rationale, and a careful and creative enactment. Yet classroom worship remains largely unexamined and unheralded as a powerful pedagogical practice and a significant implied curriculum. In addition, most theological educators engage worship as classroom content, regardless of the course's topic or the teacher's discipline. Thus, worship forms and integrates.
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Greek in the Seminary Classroom: A Communicative Approach

Awarded Grant
Polaski, Sandra
Baptist Theological Seminary, Richmond
Theological School
2008
Topics: Designing Courses

Proposal abstract :
The proposed project will explore communicative approaches to ancient language learning and contribute to the development of this effort by proposing strategies for teaching biblical (Koine) Greek in the seminary or divinity school setting. Communicative Language Learning (CLL) involves emphasis on communicative competence rather than emphasis on grammar and translation (known as the Grammar Translation Method). In CLL, classroom instruction is organized around linguistic functions rather than grammatical structures, and ...
Proposal abstract :
The proposed project will explore communicative approaches to ancient language learning and contribute to the development of this effort by proposing strategies for teaching biblical (Koine) Greek in the seminary or divinity school setting. Communicative Language Learning (CLL) involves emphasis on communicative competence rather than emphasis on grammar and translation (known as the Grammar Translation Method). In CLL, classroom instruction is organized around linguistic functions rather than grammatical structures, and grammar serves a supporting rather than central role. Current work in a CLL approach to biblical Hebrew suggests that instructors find the approach exciting and productive, and students experience a greater level of comprehension and a lower level of frustration than in typical language courses. I will develop a website with information on the use of communicative language teaching for Koine Greek, a first unit of classroom materials, and a draft table of contents for further units in an introductory course.

Learning Abstract :
Research shows that foreign language learning happens most effectively when language is presented in a meaningful context, as opposed to lists and paradigms. Most seminary language teaching does not yet follow principles of communicative language teaching (CLT). A promising effort in Hebrew has been launched by the Cohelet project (www.ashland.edu/cohelet), but no similar project has yet been completed in Koine Greek. This project was designed to take first steps toward such a course. As I researched CLT and imagined a course design, I realized that the process of fundamentally rethinking the way I teach Greek is an extraordinarily difficult one. Nonetheless I have sketched a course that has potential for a CLT approach to Koine Greek.

Expanding the conversation about CLT Koine teaching is the next step in this process. A complete course that can be "field-tested" with real students will be the proof of the validity of these theories.
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Designing an On-line Course in New Testament

Awarded Grant
Park, Eugene
San Francisco Theological Seminary
Theological School
2009
Topics: Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Designing Courses

Proposal abstract :
The grant will support a project to design an online course for New Testament Introduction (Gospels and Acts) by 1) composing a syllabus; 2) creating a Moodle site for the course; 3) creating lecture notes, a discussion room, a chat room, and mid-term exam and quizzes. Two colleagues will be consulted during the grant period to help with pedagogical issues and viability of the project as an actual online course offering.
Proposal abstract :
The grant will support a project to design an online course for New Testament Introduction (Gospels and Acts) by 1) composing a syllabus; 2) creating a Moodle site for the course; 3) creating lecture notes, a discussion room, a chat room, and mid-term exam and quizzes. Two colleagues will be consulted during the grant period to help with pedagogical issues and viability of the project as an actual online course offering.

Learning Abstract :
The activities of the fellowship included an updating of skills and tools used for online courses both in an onsite context as well as in a satellite class which addresses the various kinds of learners found in contemporary classrooms as well as a time of critical reflection on the pros and cons of a hybrid course that meets the requirements of the seminary.
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Enhancing Capacities for Diversity through Awareness, Knowledge and Skill Development

Awarded Grant
White, David
Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary
Theological School
2009
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Designing Courses

Proposal abstract :
Many students come to seminary with a normalized sense of identity and worldview from their home communities. While seminary tends to destabilize these sensibilities, rarely are students challenged to appreciate the differences of other racial/ethnic groups. Because Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, like much of the contemporary United States, exists at the intersection of multiple ethnic cultures which congregations must navigate in light of Christian faith, it therefore seems imperative ...
Proposal abstract :
Many students come to seminary with a normalized sense of identity and worldview from their home communities. While seminary tends to destabilize these sensibilities, rarely are students challenged to appreciate the differences of other racial/ethnic groups. Because Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, like much of the contemporary United States, exists at the intersection of multiple ethnic cultures which congregations must navigate in light of Christian faith, it therefore seems imperative to recontextualize theological education in relation to diverse ethnicities/cultures. Thus, APTS intends to inaugurate a program to enhance diversity in theological education which will include faculty roundtable discussions, campus workshops and roundtable discussions, and consultations in course development. These programs will draw on the local expertise and experience of Dr. Michelle Guzman and the University of Texas’ department of diversity education. This grant proposal represents the first of a three stage, six-year initiative. These phases will be elaborated below, but for the purposes of this grant we are only requesting funding for the first phase. Other phases are elaborated to provide context for the requests of this first phase.

Learning Abstract :
In 2007 the faculty of Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary requested and received a grant to help the institution more faithfully navigate issues of race and diversity. We recognized that if diversity was to be an integral part of our curriculum, then we needed a more diverse faculty and staff. President Wardlaw convened a Commission on Diversity to oversee all matters of diversity across the life of the institution. We are close to achieving the commission's recommendation that the next 4 of 5 faculty hires be members of racial/ethnic minority groups and that 3 of these 5 should be women. The commission has also recommended targets for diversity on the board of trustees. We have instituted yearly staff training events and are strategizing about recruiting staff personnel from among minority communities. We are also learning how important it is to build for conversations rather than simply jumping into controversial topics. It may be frustrating for students to delay the satisfaction of combat, but in the long run it makes better conversations. When we conceived this project, we imagined designing interventions that would be immediately transformative. In reality, faculties are constantly juggling so many urgent issues that another project, even a very important one, is just one of many demands. However, it is not fair to say that diversity is not already deeply ingrained in their consciousness, since most have long embraced such commitments. I believe we may be learning that our faculty, and perhaps others, simply need concrete practical suggestions.
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Teaching Sense: The Arts in Theological Education

Awarded Grant
Cameron, Euan
Union Theological Seminary, NY
Theological School
2009
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Designing Courses

Proposal abstract :
Pedagogy in religion and theology has traditionally concentrated on a narrow range of cognitive-centered learning styles, neglecting a wider range of “ways of knowing” that, on a day to day basis, structure the educational experiences of students and teachers alike. The proposal “Teaching Sense” expresses a desire to open the teaching-door onto a broader world of learning—the world of touch, smell, emotional knowing, visual/spatial engagement, and so on, ...
Proposal abstract :
Pedagogy in religion and theology has traditionally concentrated on a narrow range of cognitive-centered learning styles, neglecting a wider range of “ways of knowing” that, on a day to day basis, structure the educational experiences of students and teachers alike. The proposal “Teaching Sense” expresses a desire to open the teaching-door onto a broader world of learning—the world of touch, smell, emotional knowing, visual/spatial engagement, and so on, by asking the question: how might learning be enriched by a fuller appreciation for the ways in which learning engages all the senses? The proposal uses art to bring pedagogy into classrooms across the curriculum. To this end, the project will take a two-pronged approach that alternates between disrupting and provoking traditional pedagogy by engaging in partnerships with “sense practitioners” (professional artists), and by consolidating and stabilizing the pedagogical shifts through four all-faculty workshops over the course of an academic year.

Learning Abstract :
Participation in Teaching Sense provided an opportunity for faculty to discuss both the obstacles to and benefits of partnering with non-seminary professionals in the classroom and generated important reflection on teaching styles and approaches across the seminary curriculum. The partnerships with artists provided unique discussions about pedagogical practice, teaching and learning styles, and the role of sensory-based education in traditional seminary disciplines. Out of conversations about their artist-partnerships, faculty discovered similar challenges in the classroom and were able to share strategies as teachers that created common ground across disciplines. As a result, the participating faculty committed to creating an ad-hoc group that will continue to meet and discuss innovative pedagogy and share teaching experiences. Reflection also prompted a commitment to collaboration among faculty participants and a commitment to greater use and awareness of the resources of city artists and the New York urban environment.
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Teaching About Sexuality & Morality in the Liberal Arts Classroom

Awarded Grant
Majeed, Debra
Beloit College
Undergraduate School
2009
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Designing Courses   |   Relating Pedagogy and Curriculum

Proposal abstract :
While much has been written about the sexual activity of college students, less is known about the extent to which religion shapes their sexual decision-making, and the potential of the liberal arts classroom as a site for examining such a process. This project will invite an interdisciplinary group of faculty on a secular campus to consider how they could integrate discussions about the sexual attitudes and practices of college students ...
Proposal abstract :
While much has been written about the sexual activity of college students, less is known about the extent to which religion shapes their sexual decision-making, and the potential of the liberal arts classroom as a site for examining such a process. This project will invite an interdisciplinary group of faculty on a secular campus to consider how they could integrate discussions about the sexual attitudes and practices of college students into their courses. Through focus groups, textual resources, and a four-week colloquy, this project will characterize liberal arts teaching as a “purposeful social construction” through which faculty critically think about sexuality and transform the classroom into a more accessible space for students to think through their sexual decision-making. Thus, this project advocates for the development of pedagogy that views the exploration of sexuality education as an innovative means of addressing critical thinking goals and equips students to think about healthy spiritual and mental growth.

Learning Abstract :
This project was designed to engage a secular liberal arts undergraduate institution around the sexual attitudes and practices of college students. Our findings indicate that personal safety, awareness, background, and context influence the interest of students and commitment of faculty to explore issues of sexual morality in the classroom. While students advocate for using intellectual space for such discussions – particularily in environments void of faculty promotion of their personal values – pedagogical concerns and personal comfort determine whether and the extent to which faculty members resist their efforts. Interdisciplinary collaborations that promote critical thinking about moral issues are more likely to create safe space for both faculty and students to reflect on and dialogue about the formation of sexual values and actions among college students.
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Teaching through the Senses: Updating REL 220 Religion in the United States to Include Sound, Sight, and Movement

Awarded Grant
DeRogatis, Amy
Michigan State University
Undergraduate School
2009
Topics: Designing Courses   |   Technology and Teaching

Proposal abstract :
This project to include sensory learning in my survey course was inspired by conversations with members of the Mid-Career Colloquy. Over five weeks I plan to read theory about the pedagogical use of sight, sound, and movement in teaching and to refashion 25 PowerPoint lectures to include music and film clips. I also intend to craft 12 short movement exercises to link physical movement with learning once per week in this class. ...
Proposal abstract :
This project to include sensory learning in my survey course was inspired by conversations with members of the Mid-Career Colloquy. Over five weeks I plan to read theory about the pedagogical use of sight, sound, and movement in teaching and to refashion 25 PowerPoint lectures to include music and film clips. I also intend to craft 12 short movement exercises to link physical movement with learning once per week in this class. To do this I will learn how to “rip” film and embed them in PowerPoint slides. My goal is to reinvigorate this course to engage students through multiple sensory experiences and reach students on multiple levels of intelligence. I will evaluate the success of sensory inclusion through student surveys and conversations with other faculty who teach a similar course. I will disseminate my findings through discussions with colleagues and in a teaching note submitted to Teaching Theology & Religion (spring 2010).

Learning Abstract :
I devoted five weeks during the summer of 2009 to reading theory about the pedagogical use of sight, sound, and movement in teaching. After I completed the reading I restructured 25 PowerPoint lectures to include music and film clips and I also crafted 12 short movement exercises to link physical movement with learning. My goal was to engage students through multiple sensory experiences and levels of intelligence. The students evaluated the success of sensory inclusion through informal surveys and self-reflective writing assignments. I evaluated the success of the project by comparing the students' ability to recall and synthesize information on exam questions related to sensory exercises with questions unrelated to sensory exercises. After teaching the course this past semester, I found that at 2/3rds of the students performed better on exam questions that corresponded to sensory exercises and over 75% acknowledged in their final self-evaluation that the sensory components were critical to their learning in the course. The only drawback to the inclusion of sensory exercises was that I did not always allow for enough class time for the students to reflect on the meaning and purpose of each activity.
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Religious Studies Capstone Course: Research and Workshop

Awarded Grant
Miller, Charles
University of North Dakota
Undergraduate School
2009
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Designing Courses

Proposal abstract :
The fellowship will offer the necessary support, both in terms of time and resources, so that the research and planning needed to facilitate a three-day workshop/retreat for the other religion faculty can be accomplished. During the workshop, the religion faculty will work on the planning and development of the new, required, and recently approved course for Religion majors: RELS 480: Religion Capstone, which will be taught in the fall semester ...
Proposal abstract :
The fellowship will offer the necessary support, both in terms of time and resources, so that the research and planning needed to facilitate a three-day workshop/retreat for the other religion faculty can be accomplished. During the workshop, the religion faculty will work on the planning and development of the new, required, and recently approved course for Religion majors: RELS 480: Religion Capstone, which will be taught in the fall semester of 2010.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to bring together the religion faculty to share their diverse ideas about the newly approved and soon to be taught religion capstone course. The hope was that, at the end of our time together, we would have developed a shared vision of this course, as well as articulated solutions to the many practical matters inherent in such a project – including everything from which classroom would be best, to articulating objectives and assessments. During the faculty's time together, we were able to explore in depth our own ideas about what a capstone course should be, as well as to enter into dialogue about how we might meld our disparate ideas into a coordinated effort. We were not able to accomplish as much as we had hoped, but did make decisions regarding several fundamental issues (for example, the three primary foci of the course that will become basic to our course objectives). We also agreed to continue meeting during the upcoming semester so that progress toward realizing our goal might continue.
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The Pedagogy of Transnational Education: Enhancing Faculty Creativity and Student Learning

Awarded Grant
Petersen, David|O’Day, Gail
Candler School of Theology - Emory University
Theological School
2009
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Designing Courses

Proposal abstract :
At a time when the lines between global and local are fast disappearing, Candler School of Theology is committed to developing a fresh model for transnational theological education. In the past several years, Candler has evaluated the programs and services it offers to its international students, and is committed to a strategy of internationalizing across the curriculum. To achieve that goal, Candler seeks grant support over the next three years ...
Proposal abstract :
At a time when the lines between global and local are fast disappearing, Candler School of Theology is committed to developing a fresh model for transnational theological education. In the past several years, Candler has evaluated the programs and services it offers to its international students, and is committed to a strategy of internationalizing across the curriculum. To achieve that goal, Candler seeks grant support over the next three years to further its understanding of the effectiveness of current pedagogy and course curricula, reflect upon the pedagogical challenges and opportunities of the transnational context of theological education, and develop a new repertoire of courses that fully integrate into the Candler curriculum transnational perspectives on theological education and ministerial formation. After Candler measures the impact that the revised curriculum is having on both domestic and international students, it will share with other theological educators a fresh model for transnational theological education.

Learning Abstract :
Faculty began this project with different conceptions of transnational pedagogy. Some wanted to improve the way they teach courses about topics that are transnational in nature. Others intended to diversify course material to include more perspectives from around the globe. Some preferred to focus on pedagogical skills that improve learning in ethnically and culturally diverse classrooms. Clarifying the import and implications of these different conceptions was essential to faculty dialogue, just as integrating them was essential to the successful revision of courses. In addition to diversifying assigned readings, transnational pedagogy requires considerable reflection about how best to frame, order, and approach them. It requires pedagogical practices that help students engage actively with material that seems remote or other. It requires skillful facilitation to foster respectful listening, honest expression, and constructive critique. Finally, transnational pedagogy requires faculty colleagues willing to debate the important issues that accompany this kind of teaching.
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Adjusting North American Pedagogical Strategies to Effectively Teach Non-North Americans: Learning from our Alumni who are International Teachers

Awarded Grant
Geddert, Timothy
Fresno Pacific Univ Biblical Seminary
Theological School
2009
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Designing Courses

Proposal abstract :
Pedagogical strategies that have proven effective in North America are not always optimally suited for international students with significantly different educational backgrounds and cultural contexts. Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary has trained many international scholars who now teach and lead in seminaries around the world. Our goal is to learn from them how best to train international leaders for the next generation. This project brings to our campus as consultants three ...
Proposal abstract :
Pedagogical strategies that have proven effective in North America are not always optimally suited for international students with significantly different educational backgrounds and cultural contexts. Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary has trained many international scholars who now teach and lead in seminaries around the world. Our goal is to learn from them how best to train international leaders for the next generation. This project brings to our campus as consultants three such international scholars (likely from Switzerland, Paraguay and India). Through public lectures and extensive dialog with us, they will help us devise strategies that maximize our effectiveness in training current and future international students. The entire faculty of Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary will be interacting with the three international scholars over a period of 7 - 10 days, examining case studies together, sharing best practices, reflecting on the pedagogical implications of diverse educational contexts, and formulating plans for improved educational strategies and outcomes.

Learning Abstract :
The "Consultation on Cross-Cultural Education" featured three international speakers who engaged in conversation regarding the way in which their engagement in international theological education was shaped by the cultures in which they ministered. Through lectures, case studies, and seminar presentations the learning community explored the challenges of the way in which differing learning styles, expectations, and values shaped the pedagogical process. Careful budgeting allowed for a second-stage of learning and for application of consultation outcomes through a gathering of scholars serving the Seminary's sponsoring denomination in Angola, Colombia, Congo, French- and English-speaking Canada, Germany, India, Paraguay, Switzerland, and US to write curriculum for online courses. While the curriculum project continues, the reinforcement of the notion of different learning styles and the significance of requiring assignments that involve not only such academic tasks as reading and writing but also practical ministry has been a significant pedagogical learning outcome.
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Storytelling as a Pedagogical Tool Within an Introductory Classroom

Awarded Grant
Martínez-Vázquez, Hjamil
Texas Christian University
Undergraduate School
2009
Topics: Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Designing Courses

Proposal abstract :
One of the major problems with education today is the lack of connection between the subject matter and the student-learners. Because students come into the classroom with the perception that knowledge is something to be grasped and attained, they concentrate in acquiring information not in actually thinking critically about it or actually learning it. While there may be multiple group activities and other pedagogical strategies to address this issue, I ...
Proposal abstract :
One of the major problems with education today is the lack of connection between the subject matter and the student-learners. Because students come into the classroom with the perception that knowledge is something to be grasped and attained, they concentrate in acquiring information not in actually thinking critically about it or actually learning it. While there may be multiple group activities and other pedagogical strategies to address this issue, I argue that storytelling as an active participatory activity would get students involved within the process of learning. Through storytelling, students are able to put themselves inside of the action and not stay as passive “recipients.”

Learning Abstract :
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Teaching Womanist Theory in a Religious Studies Course

Awarded Grant
Chireau, Yvonne
Swarthmore College
Undergraduate School
2009
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Designing Courses

Proposal abstract :
This project examines approaches to teaching womanist theory in the Religious studies classroom. Specifically, the project explores the identification and definition of womanist pedagogy from the point of view of womanist practitioners. The goals of this project include: 1) Identify and define womanist pedagogy using the point of view of womanist teachers; 2) Deepen and enrich my ability to implement womanist pedagogical strategies in my teaching; 3) Develop a practical study that articulates ...
Proposal abstract :
This project examines approaches to teaching womanist theory in the Religious studies classroom. Specifically, the project explores the identification and definition of womanist pedagogy from the point of view of womanist practitioners. The goals of this project include: 1) Identify and define womanist pedagogy using the point of view of womanist teachers; 2) Deepen and enrich my ability to implement womanist pedagogical strategies in my teaching; 3) Develop a practical study that articulates womanist pedagogical strategies; 4) Generate a data collection of transcribed interviews and research on womanist instructors’ reflections on their scholarship and pedagogy; and 5) Utilize womanist approaches to improve teaching and learning in the Religious Studies classroom by developing a course.

Learning Abstract :
With this project, I deepened my understanding and ability to implement womanist pedagogical strategies, particularly in the Religious Studies classroom, which differs significantly from that of the Theological studies classroom in its methodological, theoretical, and institutional formulations. In speaking with founding womanist instructors and contemporary womanist scholars, I was able to create an intellectual history. Not only was it useful to teach and learn about the development of womanist methodology, but, through reflection upon the emergence of womanist thought, we have a direct impact on how such approaches are utilized. In sharing my insights with students, I also discovered how valuable it is for us to understand the historical contexts in which our learning models originate, as well as their relationship to theory - which exists not in a vacuum, but within particular discourses that are replicated in the public study of Religion. How gratifying it can be for both students and teachers to explore and to recognize the sources of current academic practices!
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Developing Departmental Conversations about a New Major

Awarded Grant
Japinga, Lynn
Hope College
Undergraduate School
2009
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Designing Courses

Proposal abstract :
The primary purpose of this project is to develop a new structure for the religion major in a church-related liberal arts college. It should involve a radical re-thinking of the way the department teaches religion rather than simply tinkering with the details. In order to prepare for this difficult but essential conversation, faculty in the department will meet three times to share syllabi and discuss Stephen Prothero’s Religious Literacy. ...
Proposal abstract :
The primary purpose of this project is to develop a new structure for the religion major in a church-related liberal arts college. It should involve a radical re-thinking of the way the department teaches religion rather than simply tinkering with the details. In order to prepare for this difficult but essential conversation, faculty in the department will meet three times to share syllabi and discuss Stephen Prothero’s Religious Literacy. A Wabash Consultant will then lead the department in a two-day retreat to begin discussion of learning objectives and possible shapes for a new major. The department will then meet 3-6 times over the next year to flesh out the new major.

Learning Abstract :
This grant enabled the faculty of the religion department to work toward developing a new structure for the religion major. After several conversations about the field of religious studies, and after a two day retreat with a consultant, the department decided not to create a new major from the ground up, but instead to adjust our current curriculum to allow students to specialize in Bible, history/theology, or ethics/culture, or to continue with the old major which emphasized breadth of exposure. We found that starting from scratch was a very labor-intensive process that we were not prepared to do. The project was expanded to include a series of dinner meetings with faculty colleagues from other disciplines to discuss faith and vocation. My colleagues and I appreciated the space to discuss important issues and questions in a safe and supportive environment. Such conversations have the potential to build strong bonds among faculty and a deeper sense of vocation.
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Teaching New Testament Introduction Latinamente: An Exploration

Awarded Grant
Agosto, Efrain
Hartford Seminary
Theological School
2009
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Designing Courses

Proposal abstract :
This project will explore how New Testament scholars of Latin American descent in the United States teach New Testament Introduction or Survey classes. What kinds of resources do they use - a traditional introductory textbook or materials that explore more critical approaches to New Testament from diverse cultural, racial and ethnic perspectives? How do they teach New Testament Introduction in the classroom - do they explore traditional historical-critical questions about ...
Proposal abstract :
This project will explore how New Testament scholars of Latin American descent in the United States teach New Testament Introduction or Survey classes. What kinds of resources do they use - a traditional introductory textbook or materials that explore more critical approaches to New Testament from diverse cultural, racial and ethnic perspectives? How do they teach New Testament Introduction in the classroom - do they explore traditional historical-critical questions about each New Testament book, or are there more political, historical, literary and ethnic issues that inform the critical analysis of these ancient documents such that one can see a discernible difference because this or that professor is Latino or Latina? Do they use resources from Hispanic/Latino/a realities in the United States, be they biblical, theological, cultural, or historical? At the end we hope to know something more about what it means to teach, not just New Testament Studies in general, but the core or foundational experience that students in colleges or seminaries encounter when they take an introductory course in New Testament with a Latino or Latina professor. What are the discernible aspects of teaching New Testament Introduction Latinamente?

Learning Abstract :
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Faculty/Student Collaboration: New Perspectives, New Challenges

Awarded Grant
Lanci, John
Stonehill College
Undergraduate School
2009
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Designing Courses

Proposal abstract :
This project explores a novel form of teaching religion through active learning. Developed from our college’s undergraduate research program, it encourages undergraduates to become junior colleagues and co-learners with the faculty with whom they work. This kind of collaboration utilizes many of the best practices recommended by mainstream scholars in teaching and learning for attaining the most desirable learning outcomes; however, little has been written about this kind of ...
Proposal abstract :
This project explores a novel form of teaching religion through active learning. Developed from our college’s undergraduate research program, it encourages undergraduates to become junior colleagues and co-learners with the faculty with whom they work. This kind of collaboration utilizes many of the best practices recommended by mainstream scholars in teaching and learning for attaining the most desirable learning outcomes; however, little has been written about this kind of collaboration. This project, which will result in a journal article, will further our collective conversation about teaching, raising important questions about the role of the teacher in relation to student learning. Moreover, the co-learner model of collaboration offers a way for students both to address their spiritual concerns and, at the same time, to explore in detail the academic content of our fields.

Learning Abstract :
After reading widely over the past year, it became apparent that there is much more research and theory supporting the idea of faculty/student co-learning and collaboration than I had thought, though few in religious studies are writing about it. I spent five weeks drafting a 10,000 word article on one aspect of my thesis - about bridging the gap between faculty and student expectations in introductory religion classes through the use of active pedagogy. There is a great deal more to be done, and I have begun to outline a number of other articles or essays. I will continue the writing process in the fall semester with another article in which I will argue that mid/late career faculty who utilize engaged pedagogical approaches are well positioned to be particularly effective with the current crop of students, the "millennials."
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Pedagogies of Multifaith Education in the American Seminary

Awarded Grant
Baird, Justus
Auburn Theological Seminary
Theological School
2010
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Designing Courses   |   Relating Pedagogy and Curriculum

Proposal abstract :
Increasingly, theological schools are training religious leaders to serve in a religiously diverse context. Most seminary faculty have moved beyond the framework of ‘world religions’ courses and are exploring various pedagogies to teach other faiths, such as interfaith dialogue, team teaching, mixed-student classrooms, clinical pastoral education (CPE), experiential site visits, travel learning programs, and field placements. Yet among seminary educators, there is little shared understanding about exactly how such pedagogies ...
Proposal abstract :
Increasingly, theological schools are training religious leaders to serve in a religiously diverse context. Most seminary faculty have moved beyond the framework of ‘world religions’ courses and are exploring various pedagogies to teach other faiths, such as interfaith dialogue, team teaching, mixed-student classrooms, clinical pastoral education (CPE), experiential site visits, travel learning programs, and field placements. Yet among seminary educators, there is little shared understanding about exactly how such pedagogies impact the formation of a religious leader. This project will survey 100 faculty involved in multifaith education at seminaries, then create a “brain trust” of seminary educators to explore and write about pedagogies of multifaith education. Participating faculty will prepare written reflections for publication and identify best practices in their context. The results of the survey, “brain trust,” and reflections (both written and streaming video) will form the content of a new web-based faculty resource.

Learning Abstract :
As multifaith education grows at seminaries across America, more attention should be paid to pedagogy. A wide variety of teaching methods are in use to teach other faiths to future religious leaders, and educators do not have shared understanding about their impact. From a diverse array of factors that affect learning, the theological and religious backgrounds of the learner appear to have a particularly strong impact on the learning process. American seminary faculty are engaging in a creative array of pedagogies, often with little knowledge of their colleagues' work. Favorite teaching methods may be linked to the passions and skills of the teacher more than the needs of the learner. Multifaith educators generally agree that studying another tradition ultimately sharpens and strengthens one's relationship with one's own tradition, except in the tiny minority of cases where such learning eventually leads to conversion or departure from the home faith.
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Students Finding Success: Learning to Use Theological Archives at Whitworth

Awarded Grant
Hauck, Janet
Whitworth University
Undergraduate School
2010
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Designing Courses

Proposal abstract :
This project will promote student success in using theological archival resources in the Whitworth University Archives. Through a series of workshops and meetings, the archivist will collaborate with five theology faculty members to design successful research assignments. Through group instruction and individual assistance, the archivist will work with students in these faculty’s courses as they successfully carry out their research. A final de-briefing session will provide for discussion of ...
Proposal abstract :
This project will promote student success in using theological archival resources in the Whitworth University Archives. Through a series of workshops and meetings, the archivist will collaborate with five theology faculty members to design successful research assignments. Through group instruction and individual assistance, the archivist will work with students in these faculty’s courses as they successfully carry out their research. A final de-briefing session will provide for discussion of assignments and evaluation of project success. The goals for this project are taken from Initiative #2 in Whitworth University’s Strategic Plan for 2010-2015, which is: “Strengthen Whitworth’s intellectual vitality through innovative pedagogy, experiential learning, academic rigor, faculty research, and personal attention toward students.”

Learning Abstract :
The Whitworth University Archivist conducted a year long project entitled "Students Finding Success: Learning to Use Theological Archives at Whitworth." This project was designed to promote student success in using theological archival resources, through the development of collaborative relationships between the archivist and Theology Department faculty members. This collaboration took place during the development stage of a given faculty member's research assignment, when the faculty member's goals for that assignment were matched with carefully selected resources in the University Archives. In this way, student success was made attainable from the start, since both faculty member and archivist knew that students would find appropriate material to complete their research. Favorable comments were received throughout the project from both students and faculty, and final assessment was carried out through analysis of students' successfully completed research assignments. As a result, a collaborative model for development of research assignments has been established at Whitworth University.
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Metacognition: The Key to Teaching Divinity Students How to Learn

Awarded Grant
Thompson, George
Interdenominational Theological Center
Theological School
2010
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Designing Courses

Proposal abstract :
Divinity Students enter graduate programs with widely varying past experiences, academic skills, and motivation levels. Faculty often lament that students are focused on attaining the degree,but do not want to invest much effort in learning. And many students think that memorizing information just before examinations is tantamount to learning, and therefore spend considerably less time studying than is commensurate with their grade expectations. This interactive workshop will help faculty ...
Proposal abstract :
Divinity Students enter graduate programs with widely varying past experiences, academic skills, and motivation levels. Faculty often lament that students are focused on attaining the degree,but do not want to invest much effort in learning. And many students think that memorizing information just before examinations is tantamount to learning, and therefore spend considerably less time studying than is commensurate with their grade expectations. This interactive workshop will help faculty understand why many of today’s students lack effective learning strategies and critical thinking skills, and will present cognitive science research based methods that can be used to enhance and assess student learning.

Learning Abstract :
In my roles as a professor and a mid-level administrator, I see the significance of this workshop positively and hopefully. It seems that broad-based collaboration does not come easily in higher education, and ITC is no exception. What I think we witnessed in this workshop is that most of our faculty are seriously interested in helping students learn. Hopefully, this interest has been piqued sufficiently that it moves us into the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) project with a greater willingness to work together. The QEP design requires a level of collaboration that I have not seen sustained among the faculty. In other words, momentum is a challenge. In a time of transitions for American Higher education, this workshop experience suggests to me that it is fruitful to work step by step.
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Integrating Teaching and Learning Across the Curriculum

Awarded Grant
Ramsay, Nancy
Brite Divinity School at TCU
Theological School
2010
Topics: Designing Courses   |   Relating Pedagogy and Curriculum

Proposal abstract :
Brite Divinity School wishes to focus on enhancing integration of teaching and learning across its new M.Div. curriculum to be implemented this fall. Brite seeks funding to support the work of the faculty-student task force which will guide research; wide consultation with Brite students, alums, and faculty; and development of a five-year plan for enhancing integration. This grant is intended to support expert consultation for the task force and ...
Proposal abstract :
Brite Divinity School wishes to focus on enhancing integration of teaching and learning across its new M.Div. curriculum to be implemented this fall. Brite seeks funding to support the work of the faculty-student task force which will guide research; wide consultation with Brite students, alums, and faculty; and development of a five-year plan for enhancing integration. This grant is intended to support expert consultation for the task force and opportunities for faculty consultation during a retreat. The plan will include careful strategies for assessing the effectiveness of its efforts.

Learning Abstract :
Brite Divinity School has used a small grant to support its use of an expert consultant and the work of a select group of faculty and students to conceptualize and articulate a proposal for enhancing student's capacities for integrative learning across the MDiv curriculum. In particular Brite identified models that enhance integrative learning and pedagogical practices to support such learning. We developed a five year plan to implement our proposal. We developed formative and summative assessment strategies to support our goals. Brite used a highly consultative model for developing the proposal including four occasions for consultation with students, alums, and denominational partners as well as multiple consultations with faculty colleagues and periodic conversations with Board members. As a consequence of this work, there is widespread familiarity with and enthusiasm about this emphasis that accompanies a newly implemented MDiv curriculum.
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Akouete, Legete, Anaginōskete (Hear, Speak, Read)

Awarded Grant
Hutson, Christopher
Abilene Christian University Graduate School of Theology
Theological School
2011
Topics: Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Designing Courses

Proposal abstract :
Four undergraduate Greek instructors at ACU are collaborating on designs to improve the ways we teach Greek at all levels, especially by using more inductive methods. This project will jump start a new engagement with techniques for teaching students to hear and speak Koine Greek, adapting methods from Second Language Acquisition theorists. We seek funding (a) to convene an on-campus workshop for all four of our instructors to interact with ...
Proposal abstract :
Four undergraduate Greek instructors at ACU are collaborating on designs to improve the ways we teach Greek at all levels, especially by using more inductive methods. This project will jump start a new engagement with techniques for teaching students to hear and speak Koine Greek, adapting methods from Second Language Acquisition theorists. We seek funding (a) to convene an on-campus workshop for all four of our instructors to interact with two outside resource persons in order to demonstrate, analyze, and discuss oral/aural teaching methods for language acquisition, and (b) to send one of our instructors to an 8-day immersion program in spoken Koine Greek, so that she can become our in-house expert to help us all improve the ways we use this method.

Learning Abstract :
Before this project, we were intrigued by the possibilities of teaching Greek using oral techniques. We had heard about colleagues in other institutions who were using Second Language Acquisition theories for teaching biblical languages, but we did not know how to begin. After the project, we ourselves can employ Total Physical Response and other oral and visual techniques within an overall inductive approach to Koiné Greek. Further, we have moved as a department away from the common Erasmian pronunciation system to Demotic and Reconstructed Koiné pronunciation that are more realistic representations of the way people spoke Greek in the first century. Early indications are that our students, who used to think of Greek as a drudge or a test of intellectual fortitude, are now approaching Greek with enthusiasm as a real language for communication. We think they are more likely to become better readers and life-long readers.
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Cultivating a Pedagogy of Place in Religious Studies

Awarded Grant
Jensen, Molly
Southwestern University
Undergraduate School
2011
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Designing Courses

Proposal abstract :
The “Cultivating a Pedagogy of Place” project enables Southwestern University religion faculty to collaboratively develop, implement, and evaluate place-based ecological learning. As part of the project, religion faculty will research and review other ecological learning and ethnobotany models before adapting or creating campus experiential learning sites and activities for Southwestern religion courses. The goal of the pedagogical innovation is to effectively engage students in the interconnections between religious systems and ...
Proposal abstract :
The “Cultivating a Pedagogy of Place” project enables Southwestern University religion faculty to collaboratively develop, implement, and evaluate place-based ecological learning. As part of the project, religion faculty will research and review other ecological learning and ethnobotany models before adapting or creating campus experiential learning sites and activities for Southwestern religion courses. The goal of the pedagogical innovation is to effectively engage students in the interconnections between religious systems and the natural world in order to prepare students to thoughtfully encounter religious diversity and to nurture the ecological diversity in which human culture is rooted.

Learning Abstract :
Working collaboratively with one another, a conservation biologist, and plant specialists, the religion faculty developed campus nature walks and ecological learning sites. These place-based learning elements were incorporated into religion courses to heighten student awareness of their ecological context and to encourage critical reflection on the role of place in diverse religious expressions. In response to project activities, most students indicated an interest in becoming more deeply engaged in local ecology and community efforts. Student research and writing assignments demonstrated an increased critical awareness of the influence of place and the impact of ecological change or migration on religious rituals, narratives, and identity. The project results suggest that grounded and engaged learning promotes student interest in continued community engagement and enhances skills for examining dynamic and diverse religious forms.
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Faculty Conversations and Strategic Planning for a New Major in Religious Studies

Awarded Grant
Johnson, Lee
East Carolina University
Undergraduate School
2011
Topics: Designing Courses   |   Relating Pedagogy and Curriculum

Proposal abstract :
This grant will primarily fund a four-day workshop for the four core faculty of the Religious Studies Program at East Carolina University, the focus of which will be the evolution of the Religious Studies Program from its current existence under the Multidisciplinary Program to a stand-alone major in the fall of 2011. The workshop will provide a venue for discussions on the direction of the program as well as facilitate faculty ...
Proposal abstract :
This grant will primarily fund a four-day workshop for the four core faculty of the Religious Studies Program at East Carolina University, the focus of which will be the evolution of the Religious Studies Program from its current existence under the Multidisciplinary Program to a stand-alone major in the fall of 2011. The workshop will provide a venue for discussions on the direction of the program as well as facilitate faculty collegiality. In addition, the remaining grant money will serve as seed funding to bring to the ECU campus in the fall of 2011 Dr. Tim Renick, Professor and Associate Provost for Academic Programs at Georgia State University, who successfully developed a department of Religious Studies at that institution. He has agreed in preliminary conversations to consult with religious studies faculty, contributing faculty from other departments, and key administrators about the advancement of the Religious Studies degree at ECU.

Learning Abstract :
The RS Program at ECU, like many of our peer institutions, struggles to find ways to thrive in difficult financial circumstances. Thus, the theme of the conversations from our grant proposal shifted from planning for a new major to strategic conversations on how to thrive under our current structure until the economic situation improves. The summer faculty retreat enabled us to chronicle the history of RS at ECU, to brainstorm ways to raise the profile of the programs, to address misconceptions about RS at ECU and to negotiate for greater autonomy for RS as a sub-unit of the Philosophy Department. The brainstorming ideas of the summer developed into systematic planning in the fall with the consultative visit from Dr. Timothy Renick, whose expertise provided us with prioritized goals for the future success of RS: expansion of the major, cultivation of external funding, and collaboration efforts with local and regional colleagues.
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Students Finding More Success: Theological Information Literacy at Whitworth

Awarded Grant
Hauck, Janet
Whitworth University
Undergraduate School
2011
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Designing Courses

Proposal abstract :
This project addresses the question, “Does collaboration between librarian/archivist and theology faculty lead to success for students as they research and write papers for their theology classes?” It will expand upon Whitworth’s 2010 project, for which archivist and professor collaboration led to student success when working with archival theological resources. This project will address the entire spectrum of information literacy by also instructing students in the use of secondary ...
Proposal abstract :
This project addresses the question, “Does collaboration between librarian/archivist and theology faculty lead to success for students as they research and write papers for their theology classes?” It will expand upon Whitworth’s 2010 project, for which archivist and professor collaboration led to student success when working with archival theological resources. This project will address the entire spectrum of information literacy by also instructing students in the use of secondary theological resources. There are two main goals, derived from both the Whitworth Theology Department: “Students will receive an introduction to the use of primary and secondary source texts,” and the Library: “The Library provides personnel, services, facilities, and instructional programs that promote effective use of information resources.” Through a series of meetings, the librarian/archivist will collaborate with theology faculty to design successful assignments. Through group instruction and individual assistance, the librarian/archivist will work with students as they successfully conduct their research.

Learning Abstract :
The Whitworth University Archivist conducted a year long project entitled "Students Finding More Success: Theological Information Literacy at Whitworth." This project was designed to promote student success in using theological primary and secondary resources, through the development of collaborative relationships between the Librarian/Archivist and Theology Department faculty members. This collaboration took place during the development stage of a given faculty member's research assignment, when the faculty member's goals for that assignment were matched with carefully selected resources in the Whitworth University Library and Archives. In this way, student success was made attainable from the start, since both faculty member and Librarian/Archivist knew that students would find appropriate material to complete their research. Favorable comments were received throughout the project from both students and faculty, and final assessment was carried out through analysis of students' successfully completed research assignments. As a result, a collaborative model for development of research assignments has been established at Whitworth University.
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A Framework for Developing Training Modules for Seminary Faculty that Roots the Classical Disciplines of Seminary Curricula in their Multi-Religious Contexts

Awarded Grant
Premawardhana, Shanta
SCUPE (Seminary Consortium for Urban Pastoral Education)
Undergraduate School
2012
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Designing Courses

Proposal abstract :
This project is the first step towards a larger project for developing training modules for seminary faculty. It will bring expert seminary faculty to a dinner meeting at the American Academy of Religion (AAR) and Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) meetings to be held in Chicago in November 2012, with the invitation to critically examine the project, undertake collaborative research and writing and within six months produce a framework that outlines ...
Proposal abstract :
This project is the first step towards a larger project for developing training modules for seminary faculty. It will bring expert seminary faculty to a dinner meeting at the American Academy of Religion (AAR) and Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) meetings to be held in Chicago in November 2012, with the invitation to critically examine the project, undertake collaborative research and writing and within six months produce a framework that outlines the methodology and content for developing training modules for seminary faculty that roots the classical disciplines of seminary curricula in their multi-religious contexts.

Learning Abstract :
This project was the first step towards a larger project for developing training modules for seminary faculty in order to root the classical disciplines of seminary curricula in their multi-religious contexts. Notable seminary faculty and scholars in the field of religious diversity and inter-religious relations collaborated with SCUPE in researching and writing a framework that outlines the methodology and content for developing training modules for seminary faculty. These experts have been willing not only to be engaged in the development of this framework, but have also agreed to participate in its implementation.
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Discovering Student Learning in the Religious Site Visit Assignment

Awarded Grant
Banas, Mark
Georgia Perimeter College
Undergraduate School
2013
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Designing Courses

Proposal abstract :
Support for a small research project to identify the goals of the religious site visit assignment with respect to student learning. Specific project goals include: 1) a workshop for Georgia faculty to discuss the religious site visit assignment and determine how best to assess student responses in an experiential learning environment; 2) conduct research using student survey responses to visiting religious sites as well as faculty reflective responses on its implementation; 3) from ...
Proposal abstract :
Support for a small research project to identify the goals of the religious site visit assignment with respect to student learning. Specific project goals include: 1) a workshop for Georgia faculty to discuss the religious site visit assignment and determine how best to assess student responses in an experiential learning environment; 2) conduct research using student survey responses to visiting religious sites as well as faculty reflective responses on its implementation; 3) from the data determine practices which either benefit or limit student learning using the experiential pedagogy of a religious site visit assignment; 4) share the results via publication and presentation.

Learning Abstract :
This small grant project was comprised of two parts: a workshop of 18 faculty teaching in Georgia, and a student survey. At the workshop, participants had the opportunity to learn about some of the advantages and challenges of utilizing a religious site visit assignment in their courses through both presentation materials and roundtable peer discussions. Out of this experience a student survey was developed and then implemented in three Georgia institutions during the Spring 2014 semester to collect data on student perspectives in their religious site visits. Though the overall influence on students' attitudes towards other religions was rather unclear from the survey results, they still pointed in two directions. First, some students maintained an essentialist understanding of religion, which was a little surprising since the assignment was geared to thwart this potential pitfall. Second, other students found this assignment extremely worthwhile from an experiential standpoint.
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Students Finding Virtue: Theological Information Literacy and Intellectual Tenacity

Awarded Grant
Hauck, Janet
Whitworth University
Undergraduate School
2013
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Designing Courses

Proposal abstract :
This project addresses the question, “How can the virtue of “intellectual tenacity” be instilled in theology undergraduates as they conduct library research?” It expands upon two previous 2010 and 2011 Whitworth projects, for which librarian-and-professor collaboration produced student success when working with primary and secondary theological resources. It will address the entire spectrum of information literacy, as well as develop processes for resource quality evaluation. Whitworth’s mission is “to provide its ...
Proposal abstract :
This project addresses the question, “How can the virtue of “intellectual tenacity” be instilled in theology undergraduates as they conduct library research?” It expands upon two previous 2010 and 2011 Whitworth projects, for which librarian-and-professor collaboration produced student success when working with primary and secondary theological resources. It will address the entire spectrum of information literacy, as well as develop processes for resource quality evaluation. Whitworth’s mission is “to provide its diverse student body an education of mind and heart.” In this project, the mind of each student will be educated through a successful research experience, and the heart strengthened through acquiring the virtue of intellectual tenacity. The librarian will meet and collaborate with theology faculty to design successful assignments and develop processes by which students will evaluate resources. Through group instruction and individual assistance, the librarian will work with students as they successfully conduct their research.

Learning Abstract :
This year-long project entitled Students Finding Virtue: Theological Information Literacy and Intellectual Tenacity promoted student success in using theological information sources. In addition, it sought to answer the question, "How can students be taught to be tenacious in finding the best sources when doing research, not just settling for the first sources they find?" Through collaboration between the Library and Theology faculty, student success was made attainable from the start, by matching faculty members' goals for a given research assignment with resources in the Whitworth Library. The project also explored how to teach students to assess the results of their research, and found that a mid-semester evaluation of annotated bibliographies was most effective. The virtue of intellectual tenacity was encouraged in each student, as each persevered to find higher quality sources to incorporate into the final paper. As a result, a collaborative model for student research success has been established at Whitworth University.
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Teaching Doctor of Ministry Students: Toward Contextuality- and Culturally-Attentive Pedagogical Approaches

Awarded Grant
Sauceda, Teresa
San Francisco Theological Seminary
Theological School
2014
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Designing Courses

Proposal abstract :
What understandings are key to teaching Doctor of Ministry degree program students - students experienced in the practice of ministry in a diverse range of cultural contexts? How do approaches to Doctor of Ministry teaching need to be different from Master of Divinity and Doctor of Philosophy teaching? Through a three-year series of conversations on these and related questions interwoven with collaborative experiments in alternative teaching/learning activities, ministry project ...
Proposal abstract :
What understandings are key to teaching Doctor of Ministry degree program students - students experienced in the practice of ministry in a diverse range of cultural contexts? How do approaches to Doctor of Ministry teaching need to be different from Master of Divinity and Doctor of Philosophy teaching? Through a three-year series of conversations on these and related questions interwoven with collaborative experiments in alternative teaching/learning activities, ministry project advising, and faculty resourcing, this project will encourage and enable efforts to address the challenges of teaching a new generation of post-M.Div. practitioners in ministry and international D. Min. students seeking alternatives to "classical Western education." Participants will be resourced by consultants in cross-cultural education and faculty colleagues open to engaging in D. Min. teaching/learning experiments. Potential outcomes include: 1) changed understandings of the teacher-student/teacher-learner relationship; 2) revised D. Min. learning objectives, assessment rubrics and proficiency criteria; and 3) new resources for course design, ministry projects, and signature assignments.

Learning Abstract :
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Humor, Departmental Identity, and Religious Commitments

Awarded Grant
Houck, Anita
Saint Mary's College - Notre Dame
Undergraduate School
2014
Topics: Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Designing Courses

Proposal abstract :
This grant project was conducted in the context of the Wabash Center’s Colloquy on Religious Commitments in the Undergraduate Classroom. This project aims to compare how faculty members and students in Roman Catholic institutions view religious commitments in the classroom. In particular, the project addresses three questions: 1) Do faculty and students agree on the extent to which their courses should and do engage religious commitments? 2) Does the name of ...
Proposal abstract :
This grant project was conducted in the context of the Wabash Center’s Colloquy on Religious Commitments in the Undergraduate Classroom. This project aims to compare how faculty members and students in Roman Catholic institutions view religious commitments in the classroom. In particular, the project addresses three questions: 1) Do faculty and students agree on the extent to which their courses should and do engage religious commitments? 2) Does the name of a department - Theology, Religious Studies, or Theology and Religious Studies - shape students' expectations of how the course will engage their and their teachers' religious commitments? and 3) In what ways might humor be an effective tool in religious studies and theology classes, particularly for engaging religious commitments? The project will investigate these questions through a literature review and online student and faculty surveys. Faculty participants, who have been recruited from a range of Roman Catholic colleges and universities, will then gather at the annual meeting of the Catholic Theological Society of America to discuss the findings and distill insights.

Learning Abstract :
Through surveys and faculty conversations, this project compared the views of faculty and students in Roman Catholic institutions on three topics. First, faculty and students differed in their perceptions of how much their courses engaged students' religious commitments; in a follow-up conversation, faculty hypothesized that students have a narrower view than faculty of what constitutes "religious commitments." Though courses varied in the extent to which students and instructors reflected on their religious commitments, most students reported that the level of reflection worked well for them. Second, students did not perceive significant differences among three common names of departments in Catholic institutions (Theology, Religious Studies, Theology and Religious Studies). Third, faculty and students agreed that humor has significant pedagogical benefits, though their views of certain kinds of humor differed. Students with clear, strong religious commitments, and students who found their courses especially challenging, had less positive views of humor.
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Revitalizing the Learning Infrastructure: Transformative Learning theory, Interdisciplinary Learning methods and Adaptive Leadership learning strategies

Awarded Grant
McNeil, J. Derek
The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology
Theological School
2014
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Designing Courses

Proposal abstract :
In order to prepare adult learners for a shifting cultural environment, the faculty will reimagine the means and the methods of delivering the curriculum. The core faculty will attend three (3) two-day retreats, led by three educational consultants, to increase their knowledge and capacity to utilize a Transformative Learning model, Interdisciplinary Learning methods (problem-centered) and Adaptive Leadership learning strategies. The intention of this one-year project is to align the efforts of ...
Proposal abstract :
In order to prepare adult learners for a shifting cultural environment, the faculty will reimagine the means and the methods of delivering the curriculum. The core faculty will attend three (3) two-day retreats, led by three educational consultants, to increase their knowledge and capacity to utilize a Transformative Learning model, Interdisciplinary Learning methods (problem-centered) and Adaptive Leadership learning strategies. The intention of this one-year project is to align the efforts of the faculty by introducing Transformative Learning theory as a conceptual and functional model to anchor the formative methods and goals of the curriculum. Interdisciplinary Learning is used to support the collaborative work of the faculty across the curriculum and equip them to teach and model a problem-centered approach to focus the curriculum. Adaptive Leadership strategies, such as case-in-point teaching, will offer the faculty additional student-centered learning methods. This project is the first of a three-year focus on faculty development and curricular alignment.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to increase the collaborative efforts of an interdisciplinary faculty by introducing three learning models that focused on student formation and meaningful learning. The faculty attended four (4) two-day retreats, led by three educational consultants and a learning specialist, to increase their knowledge and capacity to utilize a Transformative Learning model, Interdisciplinary Learning methods (problem-centered) and Adaptive Leadership learning strategies. The result of this project was a higher expressed desire for collaborative efforts and connective relationships among the faculty. Moreover, Transformative Learning theory was identified as a conceptual frame to view the formative goals of the curriculum, and knowledge of Interdisciplinary Learning and Adaptive Leadership strategies were increased. The project revealed the importance of faculty spending time building relationships, talking together about teaching and learning and their individual learning practices. This was found to enhance their desire for collaborative teaching, scholarship and curricular evaluation.
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Learner-Centered Teaching for Divinity Faculty

Awarded Grant
Voss Roberts, Michelle
Wake Forest University Divinity School
Theological School
2015
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Designing Courses   |   Relating Pedagogy and Curriculum

Proposal abstract :
The teacher-scholars of Wake Forest University School of Divinity recently revised the school's curriculum to reflect the diversity of the student body and contemporary ministry contexts. This academic year, we want to extend this process and consider the pedagogical shifts that will mirror the values embedded in our curriculum. To this end, we propose to convene a series of five faculty conversations on learner-centered teaching. The goals of the project ...
Proposal abstract :
The teacher-scholars of Wake Forest University School of Divinity recently revised the school's curriculum to reflect the diversity of the student body and contemporary ministry contexts. This academic year, we want to extend this process and consider the pedagogical shifts that will mirror the values embedded in our curriculum. To this end, we propose to convene a series of five faculty conversations on learner-centered teaching. The goals of the project are threefold: 1) to convene a formal conversation that will develop the pedagogical implications of the curricular revision; 2) for a majority of our regular teaching faculty to develop a learner-centered technique in one of their courses within the next year; and 3) to equip faculty with the ability to help students to reflect on how they learn in divinity school, including strategies for overcoming resistance to learner-centered pedagogy.

Learning Abstract :
How can faculty at an ecumenical divinity school nurture a learning climate that mirrors the great value the school places on diversity? The teacher-scholars of Wake Forest University School of Divinity were motivated to pursue this question after completing a curricular revision in the 2014-2015 academic year. This revision added four "Area Requirements," which name core competencies for contemporary religious leadership in relation to gender and sexuality, race and class, religious pluralism, and ecological well-being. The goal of the grant project was to develop the pedagogical implications of the curricular revision by creating a conversation around learner-centered teaching and implementing learner-centered techniques in our courses. We imagined that learner-centered teaching might be an ideal means to help students reflect on how they learn in divinity school, so that they might overcome various forms of resistance to the self-examination that this transformative education requires.
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The Hebrew Learning Project

Awarded Grant
Seow, Choon-Leong
Princeton Theological Seminary
Theological School
2000
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Designing Courses   |   Technology and Teaching

Proposal abstract :
Provide learning-focused opportunities for reflection on, conversation about, and experimentation with Hebrew language pedagogy, especially related to uses of electronic media.
Proposal abstract :
Provide learning-focused opportunities for reflection on, conversation about, and experimentation with Hebrew language pedagogy, especially related to uses of electronic media.

Learning Abstract :
Project sought to fund a research seminar for both professors and graduate students on the teaching of the Hebrew language. It sought to reflect upon, dialogue about and experiment with Hebrew language pedagogy that focused on learning. Other goals included exploring the ways in which electronic media might foster interactive learning and to create an archive of effective teaching and learning aides.

Grant funding resulted in the creation of a CD-ROM with PowerPoint presentation of Hebrew grammar that allows for class interactivity. Also, the group developed an innovative vocabulary learning program called "Living Words", which teaches Hebrew vocabulary through pictures and Hebrew words occurring in the contexts of the Hebrew Bible. The project had an immediate impact at the seminary, prompting the Bible department to discuss changes and the language programs and its overall curriculum.
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Arampur: A Virtual Indian Village on the World Wide Web

Awarded Grant
Schmalz, Mathew|Gottschalk, Peter
College of the Holy Cross
Undergraduate School
2000
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Designing Courses   |   Technology and Teaching

Proposal abstract :
Support for creation of a virtual Indian village on the World Wide Web to engage students in the exploration of issues of religious and cultural difference through the specificity of North Indian rural life.
Proposal abstract :
Support for creation of a virtual Indian village on the World Wide Web to engage students in the exploration of issues of religious and cultural difference through the specificity of North Indian rural life.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to engage students in the exploration of religious and cultural differences through a website designed to be a virtual tour of a North Indian rural village. As a teaching aide it sought to introduce students to religious life in rural North India, to engage students in the examination of the relationship between religion and society and to provide instructional support for courses considering South Asian civilization and issues of cross-cultural understanding.
The Virtual Village website was developed and can be found at: http://virtualvillage.wesleyan.edu/
The researchers found the experience formative for themselves as teacher-scholars. Their research showed how their investigative techniques developed, and showed them their ability to work collaboratively with each other and with the residents of the village upon whom the site is based. The website design required awareness of the diverse learning styles of students and the pedagogies needed to match those styles. The open structure of the website reflects for them their commitment to develop their teaching further.
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Faculty Formation for Technologically Enhanced Instruction in Theology

Awarded Grant
Bouchard, Charles
Aquinas Institute of Theology
Theological School
1999
Topics: Designing Courses   |   Technology and Teaching

Proposal abstract :
Enhance faculty’s effective pedagogical use of technology by providing training and support with an on-site instructional technology coordinator, two pilot distant learning courses, a series of workshops on teaching and information technology, and a strategic plan to improve institutional infrastructure for new technology.
Proposal abstract :
Enhance faculty’s effective pedagogical use of technology by providing training and support with an on-site instructional technology coordinator, two pilot distant learning courses, a series of workshops on teaching and information technology, and a strategic plan to improve institutional infrastructure for new technology.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to support the development of faculty in their use of technology in teaching at Aquinas Institute. Specifically, their goals were 1) to develop a program of faculty formation to help faculty find technology suited to their discipline; 2) to develop a pilot distance learning course; 3) to provide teaching and technology workshops; 4) to develop a strategic plan for infrastructure improvement so as to take advantage of new technologies.
They were able to fund five faculty development seminars in technology. They developed two distance learning course models, one in Ecclesiology and one in Moral Theology. They built course web-pages beyond the two pilot courses. From their work, five professors began developing course web-pages. Their experience in developing these courses helped them to define a hardware standard that would go into effect throughout the institution.
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Collaboration on a Religion and Culture Course

Awarded Grant
Denzey, Nicola
Skidmore College
Undergraduate School
1999
Topics: Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Designing Courses   |   Technology and Teaching

Proposal abstract :
Three religion faculty collaborate to shape a new introductory course with an emphasis on team-teaching, multimedia presentations, an interactive website with course resources and databases, and an honors section.
Proposal abstract :
Three religion faculty collaborate to shape a new introductory course with an emphasis on team-teaching, multimedia presentations, an interactive website with course resources and databases, and an honors section.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to shape a new introduction to religion course with hopes of it invigorating the new religion major at the school. The course would be team taught by scholars of religion with different specializations and would involve creation of a course website with resource and databases. The course would also have an additional, jointly taught session for students in the Skidmore Honors Forum.
Grant money allowed them to bring in outside resources to the course and include a field trip for religion majors. Changes in the required faculty load made it impractical to include an extra Honors Forum section. They incorporated that work into the course instead. The major success of the course was the development of website of resources including online syllabi, course assignments and readings, religion links, an online image database and a glossary of course terms.
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The Church as a Community of Practice

Awarded Grant
Pauw, Amy
Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary
Theological School
1999
Topics: Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Designing Courses   |   Technology and Teaching

Proposal abstract :
Develop a seminary course to better support students’ ministry by making vivid the centrality of practices in the life of the church, using Powerpoint to draw in the images and sounds of ritual, music, nurture, and outreach, and exploring Internet and media resources for teaching theology.
Proposal abstract :
Develop a seminary course to better support students’ ministry by making vivid the centrality of practices in the life of the church, using Powerpoint to draw in the images and sounds of ritual, music, nurture, and outreach, and exploring Internet and media resources for teaching theology.

Learning Abstract :
Project sought to teach ecclesiology in a new way by focusing on the Christian church as a community of practice and by the use of the computer assisted instruction to teach those practices.
Students responded positively to this new approach to teaching ecclesiology. They felt that it "helped them to link historical study and theological reflection with contemporary church life." Several learnings were reported on the use of computer technology for teaching theology. One reflection involved the amount of time needed in order to teach with computer technology, both in its preparation and implementation. The second point involved the discipline specific nature of technology and teaching. It appears most useful for courses with visual and material examples as a central component. Finally, it was learned that computer technology cannot replace reading, lecturing, discussing texts and writing papers. Rather, it is a useful supplement to these approaches.
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Critical Introduction of Multicultural Pedagogical Approaches to Selected Required Courses in a Master of Divinity Degree Program

Awarded Grant
Caldwell, Elizabeth|Daniels, David
McCormick Theological Seminary
Theological School
1999
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Designing Courses

Proposal abstract :
To redesign the pedagogy of a selected group of required courses through the critical introduction of multicultural teaching methods
Proposal abstract :
To redesign the pedagogy of a selected group of required courses through the critical introduction of multicultural teaching methods

Learning Abstract :
The project sought funds to redesign the pedagogy of a select group of courses through the critical introduction of multicultural teaching methods. The goals of the project were to introduce multicultural pedagogical methods to the faculty, to redesign a specific set of M. Div. courses, and to reflect upon and evaluate their experiences of experimenting with different approaches to multicultural teaching.
A group of eleven faculty participated in the project. They held workshops on intercultural communication, multicultural pedagogy (facilitated by outside consultant Eric Law), learning styles and multiple intelligences theory. They learned that small group learning is effective in certain introductory courses, that Law's mutual invitation method and "photolanguage" method is useful for small group dialogue, and the use of open-ended sentences as a teaching method for all students, not just those with limited English speaking abilities.
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Towards an Infusion Model of Experiential Learning

Awarded Grant
Holmes, Barbara|Dekar, Paul
Memphis Theological Seminary
Theological School
1999
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Designing Courses   |   Relating Pedagogy and Curriculum

Proposal abstract :
Develop a team-taught course as a pilot program for an institutional alliance in the Mississippi Delta region to appropriate the rich and diverse religious, educational and cultural options in the region. The course will identify and share speakers, artistic, historic, and cultural resources and multimedia products with the seminary and wider community.
Proposal abstract :
Develop a team-taught course as a pilot program for an institutional alliance in the Mississippi Delta region to appropriate the rich and diverse religious, educational and cultural options in the region. The course will identify and share speakers, artistic, historic, and cultural resources and multimedia products with the seminary and wider community.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to develop a course that would identify and incorporate wider issues of cultural diversity through an infusion educational model that emphasized experiential learning at the local level. This pilot project sought to create institutional alliances with the diverse religious, educational and cultural options in the region
The experiential learning of the course enriched urban and cross-cultural ministry training. Students discovered ways to become pastors who exegete the diversity of their local communities well. Also, the course helped the students and faculty to build community relationships that may endure. Finally, they looked for ways to develop a track in the M.Div. and D.Min. programs that attended to diversity issues in ministry. Overall, the course helped both students and faculty "to discover and reflect upon the changing face of diversity at the local community level."
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A Multi-Disciplinary Team-taught Advanced Research Seminar Examining Discourse on “Spiritual Warfare”

Awarded Grant
Priest, Robert
Columbia International University
Theological School
1998
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Designing Courses

Proposal abstract :
Collaborative design and implementation of a team-taught seminary course that integrates the various disciplines of faculty with popular religious discourses of spiritual warfare.
Proposal abstract :
Collaborative design and implementation of a team-taught seminary course that integrates the various disciplines of faculty with popular religious discourses of spiritual warfare.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to develop a multi-disciplinary team-taught advanced research seminar examining discourses on "spiritual warfare." The course proposal was a response to the reality that narratives of demonic and satanic have become central to the spiritualities of many North American evangelical Christians in ways that seem to diverge markedly from prior evangelical understandings. Such discourses make claims which impinge on the full spectrum of disciplinary expertise represented in seminary education.
The students reported the course to be successful, especially in its modeling of cross-disciplinary integration, both in content and in faculty interaction. A significant learning, by way of critique, was the general belief that the interaction of the class was generally between the faculty members, rather than between faculty and students. This issue is central in team-taught pedagogy.
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Summer Grants for Course Development

Awarded Grant
Cavadini, John
University of Notre Dame
Undergraduate School
1998
Topics: Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Designing Courses

Proposal abstract :
Matching funds to provide summer grants to faculty members for creating new versions of the first required course in theology, especially fostering a new pedagogy in the teaching of the Bible to first-year undergraduates.
Proposal abstract :
Matching funds to provide summer grants to faculty members for creating new versions of the first required course in theology, especially fostering a new pedagogy in the teaching of the Bible to first-year undergraduates.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to provide summer grants to faculty members who were interested in creating new versions of the department's first required course in theology. This course, largely centered on the Bible, needed to be revised to include a more theologically oriented perspectives and pedagogy. Grant money would fund release time for faculty from summer teaching so as to engage in this research and revisioning.
The program was very successful in creating new models for the foundations course. The new models have become prototypes encouraging other members of the faculty to take new initiative with the course. The faculty who received these grants expressed willingness to work with a teaching workshop for graduate students. Faculty found it intellectually stimulating and pedagogically useful to learn ways to combine historical and theological approaches.
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Enhancement of Teaching Pilot Project

Awarded Grant
Cohen, Norman
Hebrew Union College - New York Jewish Institute of Religion
Undergraduate School
1998
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Designing Courses

Proposal abstract :
A one-year pilot project to enhance the quality of teaching and learning based on a succesful American Association for Higher Education program to formalize peer mentoring among faculty and to create a culture which promotes commitment to strengthening faculty teaching skills.
Proposal abstract :
A one-year pilot project to enhance the quality of teaching and learning based on a succesful American Association for Higher Education program to formalize peer mentoring among faculty and to create a culture which promotes commitment to strengthening faculty teaching skills.

Learning Abstract :
The program sought to conduct a one-year pilot project to enhance the quality of teaching and learning among the faculty at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. This would include the following components: a) teaching as scholarship - - reflections on syllabi; b) capturing the particulars of classroom practice; c) putting the focus on student learning.
The pilot project was developed at the Los Angeles campus. Some of the issues raised included the following: the strengths and limitations of content coverage versus depth of knowledge; the tension between imparting practical, professionally oriented training and encouraging abstract, critical thinking and scholarly rigor; the relationship between academic learning and experience in the field; articulating expectations to learners effectively; and faculty assumptions about students' backgrounds, knowledge, needs, expectations, and habits of mind.
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The Life and Thought of Paulo Freire: Insights for Theological Education and Ministerial Formation

Awarded Grant
Guider, Meg
Weston Jesuit School of Theology
Theological School
1998
Topics: Designing Courses   |   Identity, Vocation, and Culture of Teaching

Proposal abstract :
To examine the life and works of Paulo Freire (1921-1997) and demonstrate the relevance of Freire’s theories and methods for the study of theology and the practice of ministry in the twenty first century.
Proposal abstract :
To examine the life and works of Paulo Freire (1921-1997) and demonstrate the relevance of Freire’s theories and methods for the study of theology and the practice of ministry in the twenty first century.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to develop a course on the work of Paulo Freire focusing on insights and implications for theology and ministerial practice in the 21st century. Other aspects of the project involved the development of an article on Freire's pedagogy as well as a presentation to the AAR annual meeting.
The course sought to integrate the process of doing theology in liberating, relevant and meaningful ways, without the form and content of liberation theology dominating. The course was successful in its creative design and faithfulness to the grant intentions. The major learning involved the opportunity for the professor to reflect with greater intentionality on her own professional development. Engaging this material in course design provided renewed focus and enthusiasm for the professor's teaching, with greater explicit articulation about her commitment as a teacher.
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An Introduction to the Study of Christianity -- Developing Collaboratively Authored Curriculum Resources

Awarded Grant
Ruiz, Jean-Pierre
St. John's University (Jamaica, NY)
Undergraduate School
1998
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Designing Courses

Proposal abstract :
Develop a textbook and other curricular resources in support of a new core-curriculum undergraduate introductory course in theology, doing so through a process of collaborative authorship among members of the department faculty.
Proposal abstract :
Develop a textbook and other curricular resources in support of a new core-curriculum undergraduate introductory course in theology, doing so through a process of collaborative authorship among members of the department faculty.

Learning Abstract :
As initially designed, this project fell short in its estimate of the amount of time and energy that would be required to implement a core curriculum course with as many sections, as many students and as many adjunct faculty members as came to be the case for our Perspectives on Christianity: A Catholic Approach. As a result, the process of consensus building among the faculty has proceeded much more slowly than was originally anticipated. In addition, institutional complications, including the organizational details of a new university-wide core-curriculum, the need to coordinate course offerings across several campuses and with theology faculty in two distinct colleges of the university, and the implementation of new features of a university-wide information technology infrastructure have increased the challenges involved in this process.

It quickly became clear that the original intention, to produce a collaboratively authored printed textbook for our Perspectives on Christianity: A Catholic Approach represented an inadequate solution. This initial disappointment actually opens doors to opportunities of a different sort: it becomes increasingly clear that the St. John's University's Academic Computing Initiative will play an important role in the development of curriculum resources and course materials. These course materials, taking advantage of the flexibility and scalability of digital technology, can be customized and updated much more easily than conventional printed textbooks. In addition, digital technology has the potential for facilitating more interactive teaching and learning. Web-CT, the St. John's Campus Pipeline gateway, the wireless network and the notebook computers in the hands of freshmen provide both an incentive and a practical opportunity for our faculty to implement appropriate and well-designed digital technological teaching and learning resources. Because digital technology looms large in the consciousness of our undergraduate students, as a "given" of their world, it also provides faculty with an opportunity to tap into the "new literacy" in teaching theology and religion. The university administration has shown considerable interest in this dimension of the project, and has encouraged the department to proceed.

On the plus side, our faculty's intensive and systematic attention to the design and implementation of Perspectives on Christianity: A Catholic Approach has yielded significant positive outcomes, inasmuch as this work has focused our attention intentionally and deliberately on issues of teaching and learning. Implicit assumptions about successful teaching came to the surface for examination and for revision. At the same time, the department's collaboration in the design of this course has resulted in a stronger sense of the department's shared mission, and has increased the concern of the full-time faculty for the faculty development of our adjunct faculty colleagues.
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