Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Grants - Topic: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices - 217 results

Close Filter Panel
Grants cover image

Nurturing ACT’s Vision

Awarded Grant
Saunders, Stanley
Association for Case Teaching
Agencies
2000
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Technology and Teaching

Proposal abstract :
This grant will support a planning session of current officers and other key leaders of the Association for Case Teaching, including selected members from each major region of the country to meet for three goals: 1) the revision of the organizational structure in order to facilitate regional offerings of workshops; 2) the development of a strategic plan for increasing ACT’s visibility and recruitment of potential workshop participants; and 3) the refinement of ...
Proposal abstract :
This grant will support a planning session of current officers and other key leaders of the Association for Case Teaching, including selected members from each major region of the country to meet for three goals: 1) the revision of the organizational structure in order to facilitate regional offerings of workshops; 2) the development of a strategic plan for increasing ACT’s visibility and recruitment of potential workshop participants; and 3) the refinement of case study curricula.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to fund a gathering of the executive committee of the Association for Case Teaching, in order to revision their organizational structure, to develop a strategic plan for reaching a wider constituency, and to refine their curricula for varied expressions of the case study workshop. The discussion was organized around the following topics: Learnings (revisiting Future Search goals), Leanings (rearticulating vision and establishing priorities), Landings (strategies and proposals regarding structure, leadership and funding), and Leaps (assigned responsibilities).
In order to nurture their vision for increased presence and workshops offerings regionally, they agreed to offer advanced training in the Case Method in conjunction with the annual workshops. They also created criteria for matching their organization to an appropriate home base, and developed improved Board procedures. Finally, they continued to develop ways of making their resources available electronically.
Grants cover image

Consultations to Develop Teaching and Learning Strategies in Three New Areas (Pastoral Care, Administration and Catechetics) for the Graduate Program

Awarded Grant
Dwyer, Ruth Eileen
St. Mary-of-the-Woods College
Undergraduate School
2000
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Educating Clergy

Proposal abstract :
Consultations between graduate school faculty and current professionals working in one of three specific ministry areas will elicit strategies for better teaching and learning in pastoral administration, pastoral care ministries, and catechetics.
Proposal abstract :
Consultations between graduate school faculty and current professionals working in one of three specific ministry areas will elicit strategies for better teaching and learning in pastoral administration, pastoral care ministries, and catechetics.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to fund three consultations "to assist the College in its development of additional curricular options and directions in its Graduate Program in Pastoral Theology." The consultation process involves three dialogic sessions of three days duration each and included program administrators, faculty and recognized professionals in the examined areas of Pastoral Administration, Pastoral care and Catechesis.
Content was specified for the new program and priorities within specialty areas were clarified. An appropriate and potentially effective strategy was designed for curricular delivery. A pedagogical model was constructed and agreed upon. Potential compatible faculty was identified within the consultative process.
Grants cover image

The Sacred Sites of Asia: A Georeferenced Multimedia Instructional Resource

Awarded Grant
Holdrege, Barbara
University of California - Santa Barbara
Colleges/Universities
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.
Grants cover image

Improving Classroom Instruction in the Department of Theology

Awarded Grant
Stanley, Christopher
St. Bonaventure University
Colleges/Universities
2000
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
A project to (a) assess the quality of classroom instruction in the Dept. of Theology at SBU and (b) give faculty the resources they need to create a more stimulating educational experience for general education students, majors, and Masters students.
Proposal abstract :
A project to (a) assess the quality of classroom instruction in the Dept. of Theology at SBU and (b) give faculty the resources they need to create a more stimulating educational experience for general education students, majors, and Masters students.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to assess the quality of classroom instruction in the Department of Theology and to give the faculty resources to create a more stimulating educational experience. With the funds they intended to cover three types of activities: personalized consultations and classroom observations by an educational consultant for each department member; workshops led by experts in educational theory and practice; a series of discussions among theology faculty base don common readings in educational theory and practice.
They found that university-wide curricular changes that affected their department created an environment of openness to new ideas for teaching. They were able to take good advantage of this energy for departmental renewal. Evaluations of participants indicated that the activities of the grant had a major impact on all department members, many of whom found themselves rejuvenated as teachers as a result of the success of new models of instruction. On a departmental level it created an unprecedented ongoing dialogue about pedagogical matters that, in their assessment, transformed the culture of the department. Finally, it generated an interest in assessment and evaluation within the department. Overall, enrollments increased as students responded favorably to the changes.
Grants cover image

Through Hispanic Eyes: A Seminar for Non-Hispanic Faculty

Awarded Grant
González, Justo
Asociación para la Educación Teológica Hispana (AETH)
Agencies
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.
Grants cover image

Studying the Impact of Distance Learning on Learning, Quality and Community

Awarded Grant
Laughner, Thomas
University of Notre Dame
2000
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Technology and Teaching

Proposal abstract :
Three goals. Determine whether students taking online courses that are offered many miles from them are able to learn material presented to them via WebCT? Does the manner in which online materials are provided affect how students process them? Determine if a sense of community can be provided on-line.
Proposal abstract :
Three goals. Determine whether students taking online courses that are offered many miles from them are able to learn material presented to them via WebCT? Does the manner in which online materials are provided affect how students process them? Determine if a sense of community can be provided on-line.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to study the quality of instruction provided to participants in the Institute for Church Life's distance education program, as well as help to understand the implications of Notre Dame's efforts to implement a distance education program. The goals were to assess the course delivery method and interface design, and to determine if a sense of community can be built online between the class and the instructor and each other.
Researchers found that with few exceptions users found the interface easy to use and well-organized. In terms of the creation of community, they found 12 key factors that contributed to a sense of community in the online course. The most important of these were small group chat sessions and online biographies and photos. In general, any strategy that added a personal, human component was well-received and contributed to a sense of community in the online classroom.

Grants cover image

The Vocation of Teaching Theologians in the ELCA: A Pair of Programmatic Consultations

Awarded Grant
Strandjord, Jonathan
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Agencies
2001
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Identity, Vocation, and Culture of Teaching

Proposal abstract :
Teaching theologians, church leaders, and bishops will gather for two consultations between their regular biennial meetings to develop, identify and promote practices in pedagogy that are congruent with the theology of the ELCA.
Proposal abstract :
Teaching theologians, church leaders, and bishops will gather for two consultations between their regular biennial meetings to develop, identify and promote practices in pedagogy that are congruent with the theology of the ELCA.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to gather together teaching theologians of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and church leaders to clarify their vocation as teachers and to strengthen their roles in the life of the church. They hoped to develop ways of thinking and to initiate practices that better express and embody their vocation as teaching theologians. They also hoped to promote pedagogical practices congruent with the theology of the church.
The first consultation focused on the vocation of the teaching theologian in the ELCS. While no clear relationship between Lutheran theology and pedagogy was established, clear understanding of "Lutheran Leanings" in scholarship and teaching was articulated. It especially affirmed its character as requiring teachers to "teach in an ecclesially public manner." The second consultation focused on Evangelical theology and oversight in a pluralistic society. This allowed both bishops and teaching theologians to develop better common purpose and understanding of each other. An important outcome of the consultation was the proposal of a new association of teaching theologians in the ELCA who will meet regularly.
Grants cover image

Putting Bible 105 on Solid Ground: Strengthening Messiah College by Improving its Basic Bible Class

Awarded Grant
Cosby, Michael
Messiah College
Colleges/Universities
2001
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Technology and Teaching    |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
Faculty workshop to explore and develop a pedagogical philosophy, structure, and resources for improving the required introductory Bible class at Messiah College.
Proposal abstract :
Faculty workshop to explore and develop a pedagogical philosophy, structure, and resources for improving the required introductory Bible class at Messiah College.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought funding for a faculty conference aimed at improving the content and delivery of the basic Bible course. This included developing a consistent methodological approach, a statement of philosophy and expectations, the construction of web pages for biblical resources for teaching, and the development of computer-generated visual aids for instruction. An important outcome they hoped to achieve was the assessment and mentoring of adjunct biblical faculty.
The faculty conference enabled curriculum standardization. The remainder of the project focused on evaluating and mentoring the Bible teachers in the school, especially the adjunct professors. A high quality of teaching was observed and individualized mentoring had the effect of affirming teaching and strengthening morale. A website was developed and used to great benefit by the faculty.


Grants cover image

Two-day meeting on Interdisciplinarity

Awarded Grant
Holeman, Toddy (Virginia) |Green, Joel
Asbury Theological Seminary
Theological Schools
2001
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Two-day meeting of faculty to focus on methods for co-teaching interdisciplinary courses.
Proposal abstract :
Two-day meeting of faculty to focus on methods for co-teaching interdisciplinary courses.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought funding for a day-long faculty workshop for those involved in teaching two new interdisciplinary core courses for the seminary. The purpose of the meeting was to enable faculty to think in a disciplinary way, so that they can teach in an interdisciplinary fashion and model "interdisciplinarity" for their students. It was hoped that this would help students to embrace interdisciplinarity as an organizing principle of their seminary and ongoing education.
Participant evaluations confirmed that the workshop successfully helped faculty understand a range of new models of interdisciplinarity. In addition, faculty were able to clearly differentiate between "co-teaching and serial teaching." The one-day format allowed for faculty discussion on the creation of a new course module reflecting interdisciplinarity from two core Integrative Studies courses. While this was helpful, participants requested more concrete modeling of such a module in future gatherings. Overall, they felt the Wabash grant provided an important start in the development of their understanding of interdisciplinarity.
Grants cover image

Mining the Motherlode: Teaching and Learning African American Religious Life

Awarded Grant
McNary-Zak, Bernadette|Aponte, Edwin
Perkins School of Theology Southern Methodist University
Theological Schools
2001
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Support for three meetings of seventeen faculty to develop and distribute materials that explore methods for teaching about African American religious traditions.
Proposal abstract :
Support for three meetings of seventeen faculty to develop and distribute materials that explore methods for teaching about African American religious traditions.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to gather a group to develop and distribute materials that explore methods of teaching and learning about African American religious traditions. They hoped to discuss issues related to teaching and learning, and to examine innovative ways to engage African American students, in particular, and all students, in general, in the study of African American religious traditions. The result of their gathering and work together would be a book on the topic. The group members were all participants of the 1999-2000 AAR Teaching and Learning Workshop, "Mining the Mother Load of African American Religious Life."
The project directors report that the group met three times between November, 2001 and October, 2002. The manuscript was written through a collaborative process of dialogue and engagement which the formal gatherings made possible. The completed work was accepted for publication at Oxford University Press.
Grants cover image

Faculty Development for Teaching and Learning in Drew’s Culturally Diverse Community

Awarded Grant
Westfield, Nancy
Drew Theological School
Theological Schools
2001
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Two weekend faculty retreats that will enhance teaching theory and skills specifically for a racially/culturally diverse seminary population.
Proposal abstract :
Two weekend faculty retreats that will enhance teaching theory and skills specifically for a racially/culturally diverse seminary population.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to engage the theological faculty in two retreats to enhance their teaching theory and skills specifically for their racially/culturally diverse seminary population. They hoped to be able to become more aware of and responsive to the complexity of their current and future student body and their diverse learning style needs due to their cultural and racial diversity. In addition, they hoped to reflect deeply on their teaching practices in such a diverse context.
The project director reports that the project goals were met. The faculty expressed appreciation of the uninterrupted time in consultation together. They also felt that the consultant proved to be "invaluable" to the process of learning. They report that their conversation raised their level of awareness and demonstrated to them the complexity of teaching in diversity. One outcome of the retreats was the creation of a "peer development system," a voluntary system of pairing faculty peers together for ongoing conversation and mentoring on issues of teaching and learning, as well as classroom visitations with constructive feedback.
Grants cover image

The Virtual World Project: Creating a Virtual World of the Bible and The Early Church

Awarded Grant
O’Keefe, John|Simkins, Ronald
Creighton University
Colleges/Universities
2002
Topics: Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Technology and Teaching

Proposal abstract :
Support for modern computer imaging technology to create virtual tours of ancient sites for use in teaching biblical studies and history of Christianity.
Proposal abstract :
Support for modern computer imaging technology to create virtual tours of ancient sites for use in teaching biblical studies and history of Christianity.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to use computer imaging technology to create virtual towns of ancient sites for use in the teaching and learning of students of the Bible and early Christianity. They hoped to make the archeological remains of the ancient world more accessible. They also hoped to link those images to interactive maps, photographs of the excavations and artifacts, voice narrations, and samples of ancient texts.
The project directors were able to visit and photograph ten archeological sites in Turkey and six sites in Greece. They produced nearly 8000 photographs, 500 of which are "stand alone" photos depicting details from the various sites visited. The remaining photos were in the process of being assembled into approximately 750 Quick Time Virtual Reality movies of the sites. They also continued development of the Virtual World website, found at http://www.virtualworldproject.org/
Grants cover image

Teaching the Bible: How the History and Culture of Biblical Interpretation in the Bible Belt has Influenced Teaching and Learning in Theology

Awarded Grant
Bonilla, Max
University of St. Thomas (MN)
Colleges/Universities
2002
Topics: Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Technology and Teaching

Proposal abstract :
To make explicit the cultural assumptions of the Bible Belt that affect teaching and learning in biblical studies by videotaping interviews with Southern pastors, students, and teachers; to develop web resources from the data collected for exploring the formational aspects of learning.
Proposal abstract :
To make explicit the cultural assumptions of the Bible Belt that affect teaching and learning in biblical studies by videotaping interviews with Southern pastors, students, and teachers; to develop web resources from the data collected for exploring the formational aspects of learning.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to understand how teaching trends contributed to the development of hermeneutical and theological assumptions concerning the Bible in the "Bible Belt." Through interviews with pastors, students and professors, the research hoped to discern primarily the role that "Bible Belt" culture plays in the teaching and learning process, as well as the influence of the teaching process directly on the "Bible Belt" cultural perception of the Bible. Hoped for results included a website of collected data and a course on the topic.
Research data collected was put into a website as www.biblebeltresearch.org. The course that emerged was well attended and included a variety of pedagogical strategies including field research and multimedia presentations. Important outcomes of the research also included a paper entitled, "Hermeneutics of the Bible Belt: Struggles in Interpretation" and various talks to local churches to raise awareness of the culture and cultural dynamics of their context.
Grants cover image

An Exploration of Communicative Language Learning for Seminary Training in Biblical Hebrew

Awarded Grant
Overland, Paul
Ashland Theological Seminary
Theological Schools
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.
Grants cover image

Learning Communities: Pedagogies for Congregational Change

Awarded Grant
Nieman, James
Wartburg Theological Seminary
Theological Schools
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.
Grants cover image

Reading Hebrew: A Biblical Hebrew Web Course

Awarded Grant
Bandstra, Barry
Hope College
Colleges/Universities
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.
Grants cover image

Curriculum and Teaching

Awarded Grant
Seymour, Jack
Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary
Theological Schools
2002
Topics: Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
The intent of the project is to connect curriculum to teaching practices through examination and analysis of selected seminary mission statements in relation to curriculum design and teaching practices.
Proposal abstract :
The intent of the project is to connect curriculum to teaching practices through examination and analysis of selected seminary mission statements in relation to curriculum design and teaching practices.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to examine the interface between seminary mission statements, curricula and its implications for teaching in theological school curricula. This would be accomplished through interviews at selected seminaries.
The project director reports that the grant provided the opportunity to visit face-to-face with 25 persons at 12 seminaries, and by phone with another 5 persons at 5 additional seminaries. He consulted deans, assessment officers, faculty members and researchers in theological education. In his work he discovered that "a culture of learning and teaching within the institution can be fueled by curricular conversation itself, or by faculty development efforts where the content and methods of courses are shared and clarifications made about how these courses fit into a whole pattern."
Grants cover image

Ecumenical Spirituality: A Collaborative Paradigm for Teaching and Learning Theology

Awarded Grant
Reistroffer, Dianne|Kilcourse, George
Bellarmine University
Colleges/Universities
2002
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Support for the development of an innovative process for faculty team-teaching and cohort student learning through an intentionally ecumenical perspective on the history, theology, and ministry issues for both non-professional and professional students.
Proposal abstract :
Support for the development of an innovative process for faculty team-teaching and cohort student learning through an intentionally ecumenical perspective on the history, theology, and ministry issues for both non-professional and professional students.

Learning Abstract :
Five consultations anchored the faculty from Bellarmine University and Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in our joint task of improving teaching for the newly offered Master of Arts in Spirituality degree. Each consultation, led by an outside facilitator, addressed unique topics: 1) Teaching Ecumenical Spirituality; 2) Teaching Adults/Adult Learning; 3) Creative Ecumenical teaching and learning; and 4) Collaborative teaching involving prayer, worship, art and music. The final session allowed the group to "exit" this cumulative process of the last 2 1/2 years with a wisdom, energy, and commitment that would not have been imaginable at the beginning as we completed a session on Ecumenical assessment.
Grants cover image

www.HolyLandPhotos.org Development Project

Awarded Grant
Rasmussen, Carl
Bethel College
Colleges/Universities
2003
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Technology and Teaching

Proposal abstract :
Support for a project to redevelop, expand, and maintain a web site that provides free, hi-resolution, and PowerPoint-ready images of biblical sites in Greece, Turkey, Israel, and other places.
Proposal abstract :
Support for a project to redevelop, expand, and maintain a web site that provides free, hi-resolution, and PowerPoint-ready images of biblical sites in Greece, Turkey, Israel, and other places.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to redevelop, expand and maintain a web site that provides free, Hi-Resolution and Power Point ready images of biblical sites in Greece, Turkey, Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Iran.
The site developed can be found at http://www.holylandphotos.org/ As a result of the grant, the site was redesigned to be more functional, the database more flexible, the search engine more powerful and the user interface more attractive. A new "build your own collection" feature was added. Also, they selected, posted and linked over 1000 new images and associated maps. As of the project report the site held 1782 images. The site grew from registering 3,000 views per day to 15,000 – 20,000 per day.
Grants cover image

Consultation on Teaching Religion 121: The bible in Culture and Community

Awarded Grant
Odell, Margaret|Langerquist, L. DeAne
St. Olaf College
2003
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Support for a 2-day workshop for faculty devoted to enhancement of teaching and learning in The Bible in Culture and Community. Goals for the project include: enhancing student learning in The Bible in Culture and Community course, exploring modes of instruction appropriate to first year students and to biblical materials with the goal of developing students' abilities as interpreters of biblical materials, and to increase interaction and collaboration between instructors ...
Proposal abstract :
Support for a 2-day workshop for faculty devoted to enhancement of teaching and learning in The Bible in Culture and Community. Goals for the project include: enhancing student learning in The Bible in Culture and Community course, exploring modes of instruction appropriate to first year students and to biblical materials with the goal of developing students' abilities as interpreters of biblical materials, and to increase interaction and collaboration between instructors of the course.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to hold a two-day workshop for specific St. Olaf faculty devoted to enhancing the teaching and learning in their required first-year course in Biblical and Theological Studies, called the Bible in Culture and Community.
With a strong turnout, almost ¾ of the faculty who teach this course attended the workshop. The project director reports as particularly useful, "a long conversation about what sorts of interpretive assignments are appropriate to the particular set of students in these courses." Another goal was to explore modes of instruction. This was met with examples provided by an outside consultant. Enhancing student learning was a goal, and it could not be evaluated until used in classes. However, they planned to evaluate the new techniques upon use to determine effectiveness. Finally, informed follow-up appeared to be occurring as colleagues reported results to each other. More formal sessions were planned for ongoing critique and evaluation.
Grants cover image

Teaching Biblical Exegesis More Effectively

Awarded Grant
Brown, William
Union Presbyterian Seminary
Theological Schools
2003
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
A department retreat and year-end follow-up session to develop a common exegetical method and effective ways of teaching it.
Proposal abstract :
A department retreat and year-end follow-up session to develop a common exegetical method and effective ways of teaching it.

Learning Abstract :
The grant effectively enabled the biblical department at Union - PSCE to review and improve how the department teaches biblical exegesis, particularly in its core courses (i.e., Introduction to the Old Testament and Introduction to the New Testament). The biblical faculty had noticed throughout recent years a decline in the quality of exegesis papers and in the passing rate on the Bible ordination exams of the Presbyterian Church (USA). Many students felt that the various faculty members were teaching exegesis in different ways and expressed the need for more uniformity in method and expectations.

Following an all-day retreat in the fall, the use of a new exegetical guide in the introductory courses during the year, and new strategies of teaching exegesis throughout the school year, the biblical faculty met again at the end of the school year to assess both the new guide and the teaching strategies in light of the goal of improving students' exegetical skills.
Grants cover image

Bringing Peace Into the Room: A Pedagogical Model Based on the Theory and Practice of Transformative Meditation

Awarded Grant
Riggs, Marcia
Columbia Theological Seminary
Theological Schools
2003
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Identity, Vocation, and Culture of Teaching

Proposal abstract :
Ten seminary colleagues of differing race, ethnicity, and gender will be invited to join in a process of reflection and analysis of their character and practice as teachers by participating in two workshops based upon the pedagogical model of transformative mediation.
Proposal abstract :
Ten seminary colleagues of differing race, ethnicity, and gender will be invited to join in a process of reflection and analysis of their character and practice as teachers by participating in two workshops based upon the pedagogical model of transformative mediation.

Learning Abstract :
This project was designed as a collaborative investigation of the applicability of the theory of transformative mediation to teaching in the seminary classroom. To that end, the project director invited nine colleagues to participate in two workshops during the fall and spring semesters of the 2003-2004 academic year and to complete weekly exercises for self-reflection and self-assessment during the fall semester.

Participants expressed appreciation for the opportunity to reflect on their teaching both individually and with a small group of colleagues. The single consistent criticism was difficulty with finding time every week to write out responses to the weekly exercises on-line. If this project were undertaken in the future, the participants might be organized in dialogue dyads or triads bi-weekly to discuss the impact of the theory's insights on their teaching.
Grants cover image

CTS Faculty Seminar Retreat for Intensive Teaching Pedagogies

Awarded Grant
Schneider, Laurel
Chicago Theological Seminary
Theological Schools
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.
Grants cover image

Retreat for building Department Relations and Fostering the Sharing of Teaching and Learning Resources

Awarded Grant
Ross, Susan
Loyola University Chicago
Colleges/Universities
2003
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Relating Pedagogy and Curriculum

Proposal abstract :
Support for a departmental retreat to clarify faculty responsibilities and share resources as teachers of undergraduate and graduate students, to specify the role of Theology in undergraduate curriculum and how Loyola religion department faculty might best contribute to a revised core curriculum, to foster a sense of corporate identity as a department, and to continue exploring the nature of theology in relation to the requirement for the mandatum.
Proposal abstract :
Support for a departmental retreat to clarify faculty responsibilities and share resources as teachers of undergraduate and graduate students, to specify the role of Theology in undergraduate curriculum and how Loyola religion department faculty might best contribute to a revised core curriculum, to foster a sense of corporate identity as a department, and to continue exploring the nature of theology in relation to the requirement for the mandatum.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to gather faculty from the department of theology for a retreat to reflect upon the enormous changes and challenges of their new context within the university structure and to address these challenges effectively. Specifically, they hoped to share teaching and learning resources for their new situation in the university, specify the role of theology in the university's revised curriculum, and to foster a sense of corporate identity as a department.
The faculty retreat was held in 2003 before the beginning of the new academic year. The project director highlights the following successes of the retreat: the department was able to reconnect personally; they were able to hold "serious conversations about teaching and techniques for classroom management," and they were able to set priorities for future work together. As a result, "the department has been working towards a renewed sense of its identity and mission."
Grants cover image

Nurturing a Racially and Culturally Inclusive Teaching and Learning Environment

Awarded Grant
Ramsay, Nancy|Hester, David
Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary
Theological Schools
2003
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Support for the faculty of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary (LPTS) to engage in a series of consultations with expert educators in order to prepare the faculty to construct more effective teaching and learning environments with racially and culturally diverse students.
Proposal abstract :
Support for the faculty of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary (LPTS) to engage in a series of consultations with expert educators in order to prepare the faculty to construct more effective teaching and learning environments with racially and culturally diverse students.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to develop an antiracist and multicultural environment for teaching and learning at Louisville Seminary. This project actively involved the board of trustees, faculty and students in antiracism training in order to aid the seminary in becoming a racially and culturally inclusive learning environment. The trustees engaged in a day-long workshop and the faculty and students engaged in a day-long "teach-in" experience oriented toward the aims of the project.

Grants cover image

Teaching through Oral History Resources- Phase Three of the Oral History Project: Composing A Life- Women Changing the Church & Society

Awarded Grant
Moore, Mary Elizabeth
Emory University
Colleges/Universities
2003
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Support for the conversion of interviews and oral history materials to accessible and enduring formats for purposes of teaching with future generations. Goals include: conversion of oral history materials to digital, audio-visual, and print formats; preservation of stories of women who have composed strong lives through their moral authority; and development of a pedagogy for engaging with oral history resources in classroom teaching and independent research.
Proposal abstract :
Support for the conversion of interviews and oral history materials to accessible and enduring formats for purposes of teaching with future generations. Goals include: conversion of oral history materials to digital, audio-visual, and print formats; preservation of stories of women who have composed strong lives through their moral authority; and development of a pedagogy for engaging with oral history resources in classroom teaching and independent research.

Learning Abstract :
The primary learning is that the inclusion of teaching resources in the Oral History Project has made it more far-reaching and long-lasting than it would otherwise be. The power points are effective in classroom teaching, as are the DVD's. Finally, the project director is grateful for the opportunity to contribute a large collection of permanent teaching resources to the Pitts Theology Library archives.
Grants cover image

Teaching through Oral History: Phase Two of the Oral History Project: Composing A Life- Women Changing the Church & Society

Awarded Grant
Moore, Mary Elizabeth
Emory University
Colleges/Universities
2003
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Preparing Graduate Students to Teach

Proposal abstract :
Support for a project to engage students with women who have potential to inspire and guide, to uncover realities of Christian tradition as embodied in diverse lives and contexts. Specific pedagogical goals include: teaching the art of oral history; teaching the art of hermeneutics with living texts; teaching the art of discerning dynamics and patterns of religious life; creating a collection of teaching resources; and teaching through oral history in ...
Proposal abstract :
Support for a project to engage students with women who have potential to inspire and guide, to uncover realities of Christian tradition as embodied in diverse lives and contexts. Specific pedagogical goals include: teaching the art of oral history; teaching the art of hermeneutics with living texts; teaching the art of discerning dynamics and patterns of religious life; creating a collection of teaching resources; and teaching through oral history in extra-curricular and public venues.

Learning Abstract :
The project director and associates learned the power of teaching through oral history, especially the inspiration and wisdom that emanates from people's lives when others listen with care. In particular, they learned the many different ways by which oral history can contribute to teaching and learning. It can be especially effective in the following forms: 1) Central focus of pedagogical content and method, as in the Prophetic Pioneers course that draws heavily upon biography and life story; 2) Case studies that reveal how human lives interact with a particular subject or issue in religion and theology; 3) Source for contextual or theological analysis, revealing complexities in social and theological movements in different times and places; 4) Enrichment of textual analysis, especially when combining textual interpretation with an author interview; 5) Methodological tool for developing skills, especially skills in significant conversation, active listening, and interpreting human lives.
Grants cover image

Religious Identities in the Religion Classroom

Awarded Grant
Shapiro, Faydra
Wilfrid Laurier University
Colleges/Universities
2003
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Identity, Vocation, and Culture of Teaching

Proposal abstract :
Support for a conference with the goals of intellectual, pedagogical, and community development around concerns about the insider/outsider (subjectivity/objectivity) issue in teaching Religious Studies. Professors and grad students will be encouraged to develop, discuss and share strategies for dealing with religious identities in the classroom. Professors and undergrad students will be encouraged to recognize the parts they play as a shared learning community in the Religious Studies classroom.
Proposal abstract :
Support for a conference with the goals of intellectual, pedagogical, and community development around concerns about the insider/outsider (subjectivity/objectivity) issue in teaching Religious Studies. Professors and grad students will be encouraged to develop, discuss and share strategies for dealing with religious identities in the classroom. Professors and undergrad students will be encouraged to recognize the parts they play as a shared learning community in the Religious Studies classroom.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to fund the conference of religion scholars to examine teaching and learning issues around negotiating both a private religious identity and a public academic identity. They hoped to examine ways that teachers are both insiders and outsiders to the tradition they teach, and the teaching strategies that are approach to that reality.
The project director reports that the conference occurred in February 2004 with a total of 60 participants. They found that the small group discussions were quite worthwhile for both students and faculty. Overall, they were most pleased with the diversity of the audience, with the mix of faculty, undergraduate, and graduate students.
Grants cover image

The Dancing Church Around the World

Awarded Grant
Kane, Thomas
Weston Jesuit School of Theology
Theological Schools
2003
Topics: Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Technology and Teaching

Proposal abstract :
Support for the production of a two-disc DVD that will provide teachers with visual educational materials about liturgy and culture and to design liturgical/theological methodologies with teaching strategies for using digital material in the classroom and for students to use in independent projects.
Proposal abstract :
Support for the production of a two-disc DVD that will provide teachers with visual educational materials about liturgy and culture and to design liturgical/theological methodologies with teaching strategies for using digital material in the classroom and for students to use in independent projects.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to develop a two-disk DVD that would provide teachers with visual educational materials about liturgy and culture for use with teaching strategies for the application of digital materials in the classroom and in independent projects. This would be accomplished through the transfer of the three existing Dancing Church documentaries to the DVD format, as well as adding newly edited material. Finally, it sought to design and develop web-based materials providing teachers with teaching methods and strategies for using video material in the classroom, and students with strategies for using the materials independently.
The project director reports that all goals were met and a two –disk DVD was produced entitled, The Dancing Church Around the World. A web site was developed with an order form, study guides, bibliographies and teaching strategies. It can be found at www.thedancingchurch.com
Grants cover image

Teaching Pentecostalism

Awarded Grant
Wacker, Grant|Blumhofer, Edith
Wheaton College - Illinois
Colleges/Universities
2003
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Support for a day-long invitational consultation, followed by collaboration to create a web-based global conversation on teaching Pentecostalism. Purpose of the project is to address particular pedagogical challenges and construct models for teaching the history of Pentecostalism.
Proposal abstract :
Support for a day-long invitational consultation, followed by collaboration to create a web-based global conversation on teaching Pentecostalism. Purpose of the project is to address particular pedagogical challenges and construct models for teaching the history of Pentecostalism.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to address particular pedagogical challenges and construct models through a consultation of scholars. They hoped to identify challenges and concerns, offer several models and rationales and prepare web resources.
The consultation was hosted by the Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals at Wheaton College. Scholars invited to the consultation prepared syllabi for reflection and discussion on teaching about these movements. They summarized the practical implications of their discussion as follows: 1) most secondary sources by insiders are "unapologetically normative"; 2) "the secondary materials produced by outsiders commonly reflect a mirror image of the insider sources; 3) "the primary materials are packaged with claims of supernatural activity"; 4) the majority of the sources are not published books and articles; 5) "the definition of the subject itself is problematic"; 6) the study of Pentecostalism is politically charged; 7) unlike some of the traditions historians study, Pentecostalism is "rapidly growing and changing"; 8) "Pentecostalism is no longer, if it ever was, primarily a North American phenomenon."
Grants cover image

Andragogy and Technology Workshop

Awarded Grant
Mahfood, Sebastian
Kenrick-Glennon Seminary
Theological Schools
2003
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Technology and Teaching

Proposal abstract :
Support for a summative faculty workshop to help interpret the meaning of their investment in resources over the past three years from the Lilly grant and to discuss future directions they will take in the use of educational technologies to support their teaching and learning environment. The workshop will be led by James Rafferty from the MN Consortium of Theological Schoools.
Proposal abstract :
Support for a summative faculty workshop to help interpret the meaning of their investment in resources over the past three years from the Lilly grant and to discuss future directions they will take in the use of educational technologies to support their teaching and learning environment. The workshop will be led by James Rafferty from the MN Consortium of Theological Schoools.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to fund a one-day faculty workshop with an outside speaker to assess the meaning of their investment in educational technologies over the previous three years, as well as to discuss future directions for the use of these technologies in their teaching-learning environment. In particular, they hoped to engage the subject of student motivation and learning styles, and how teachers can engage students through available technologies.
The project director reports that in the workshop the questions they explored involved what they were communicating and how effective it was in a student population with a very different profile from which they as a faculty were trained. These new students do not come with graduate level skills in reading, writing and speaking, and do not have previous exposure to philosophy, theology or history. These core skills must be taught in the curriculum. Also, they must be taught for parish work, not academic work. Thus, they needed to determine how to best contextualize their teaching strategies.
Grants cover image

Revolutionaries Come to Life: Using Technology for Active Shared Learning

Awarded Grant
Oliver, Dianne
University of Evansville
2004
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Technology and Teaching

Proposal abstract :
This project seeks to enhance teaching and learning by creating an active, shared learning environment through the use of web-based, interactive, student generated materials and discussion forums rather than only traditional papers evaluated exclusively by the professor. Specifically, the project includes development of assignments and the necessary technological foundations and evaluative mechanisms for student work to be done in a communal, shared setting on the web.
Proposal abstract :
This project seeks to enhance teaching and learning by creating an active, shared learning environment through the use of web-based, interactive, student generated materials and discussion forums rather than only traditional papers evaluated exclusively by the professor. Specifically, the project includes development of assignments and the necessary technological foundations and evaluative mechanisms for student work to be done in a communal, shared setting on the web.

Learning Abstract :
The project developed a course utilizing technology to create an active, shared learning environment where assignments themselves and the evaluation of student learning occurred mainly in a more public, communal space online to enhance its "active" nature. Project learnings included: 1) requirements for students to share their work and to interact helps create learning community, even for a general education class where students are not always open to the course goals and content; in addition, requiring students to interact with the course materials and with one another regularly online helps develop critical and analytical thinking skills; 2) making assignments more "public" creates a different ownership of the learning process and allows students to learn from and with one another; 3) software and hardware used to create websites and to do online discussion are becoming ubiquitous enough that using these tools as a mechanism for student learning doesn't require significant training.
Grants cover image

Teaching and Learning Scriptural Reasoning

Awarded Grant
Ochs, Peter
University of Virginia
Colleges/Universities
2004
Topics: Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Support for a study of how to teach and learn a new approach to religious studies called "Scriptural Reasoning." "Scriptural Reasoning" refers to two dimensions of practice: a learning practice that engages students of all three Abrahamic traditions in the activity of scriptural study, and a scholarly practice of generating theories that both guide and account for this learning practice.
Proposal abstract :
Support for a study of how to teach and learn a new approach to religious studies called "Scriptural Reasoning." "Scriptural Reasoning" refers to two dimensions of practice: a learning practice that engages students of all three Abrahamic traditions in the activity of scriptural study, and a scholarly practice of generating theories that both guide and account for this learning practice.

Learning Abstract :
During the leave period I completed all background research and composed most of the book manuscript. Following the leave period I continued to work on the book and acquired a book contract with Eerdmans/SCM Press. As noted in my application, Scriptural Reasoning names a new approach to scriptural study and interpretation. Nurtured over the past 10-15 years by a still expanding movement of Christian, Jewish, Muslim scholars, SR has at least two purposes: (a) To show how scriptural study serves as a neglected source of instruction in patterns of reasoning that apply not just to religious life but also for all manners of reflection on what we are to make of this world and how to live in it; (b) To show how such patterns of reasoning can be drawn out of each of the three Abrahamic traditions of scriptural study. For, the more deeply they study scripture together, the more these erstwhile religious adversaries may begin to see in each other's faces evidence of an analogous love of God. I would not have felt it so important to write a book about SR if it were not for these unexpected outcomes.

While members of SR fellowships have begun to write about SR in journal essays and some collected works, there is as yet no singly authored volume on the character and implications of SR practice.

The book will have three basic foci. First, it welcomes university and seminary teachers, and other interested readers, to "observe" scriptural reasoning as it has been practiced in several fellowships. Second, it gives a speculative account of the kinds of reasoning the SR folks are engaged in. Third, it focuses more concretely on how SR might be introduced into various classroom settings in the university and in the seminaries.

The book is due to be published in late Fall of 2006.
Grants cover image

Deeper into Ancient Cyberspace

Awarded Grant
Royalty, Robert
Wabash College
2004
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Technology and Teaching

Proposal abstract :
The purpose of this grant is to review, index, and revise existing web-based teaching materials produced at Wabash College from 1999 - 2003; to supplement these sites with additional digital resources; to make these materials more accessible to students and scholars of ancient Judaism and early Christianity; and to evaluate the pedagogical implications of digital rather than traditional research assignments in teaching the social history of religion at the college level.
Proposal abstract :
The purpose of this grant is to review, index, and revise existing web-based teaching materials produced at Wabash College from 1999 - 2003; to supplement these sites with additional digital resources; to make these materials more accessible to students and scholars of ancient Judaism and early Christianity; and to evaluate the pedagogical implications of digital rather than traditional research assignments in teaching the social history of religion at the college level.

Learning Abstract :
The work on this grant changed over the course of three years. The original proposal focused more on improving the project director's own sites, particularly the "Asia Minor" course developed with students after travel to Turkey in March 2003 and the websites of other courses taught prior to that time. As the project evolved, it became more important for the project director to add the various components, resources, and documents he used and to have narrative descriptions of the "whys" and "why nots" regarding his decisions about including various pieces so that other teachers could see how the course worked pedagogically. This "narrative syllabus" is a model for a transparent approach to putting courses on the web. The insights gleaned from this project go far beyond the teaching of ancient religion or biblical studies and extends to folks teaching in a liberal arts college as well.
Grants cover image

Preparing PhD Students for Careers as Teachers Through Collaborative Experiments with Pedagogies of Intercultural Service-Learning

Awarded Grant
Priest, Robert
Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Theological Schools
2004
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Preparing Graduate Students to Teach

Proposal abstract :
Support for a three-year project designed to give PhD students in Intercultural Studies supervised experience as teachers who will prepare future pastors to acquire appropriate cross-cultural skills and understandings. The focus will be on a pedagogy of intercultural service-learning, organized around "short-term mission trips," and designed to integrate theory and practice, school and community, experimentation and in preparing pedagogical materials. Research on program design and educational outcomes will accompany each ...
Proposal abstract :
Support for a three-year project designed to give PhD students in Intercultural Studies supervised experience as teachers who will prepare future pastors to acquire appropriate cross-cultural skills and understandings. The focus will be on a pedagogy of intercultural service-learning, organized around "short-term mission trips," and designed to integrate theory and practice, school and community, experimentation and in preparing pedagogical materials. Research on program design and educational outcomes will accompany each stage of the project.

Learning Abstract :
This several year project was focused on service-learning within the framework of MDiv student mission trips to Peru (and to urban Chicago). As doctoral students helped with research, filming, and with designing pedagogical exercises, a great deal of enthusiasm was generated, motivating several to do their PhD dissertations on the topic. Both doctoral students and the project director published articles related to this. An educational DVD on mission trips was produced. Our team came to appreciate the importance of clearly identifying intended learning outcomes, and incorporating into our learning exercises 1) appropriate biblical texts and theological themes; 2) relevant experiences of intercultural service and learning; 3) attention to the voices of Christians in destination sites; and 4) active efforts at understanding. The value of a learning community of PhD students, faculty, and visiting scholars (who attended conferences we hosted), where all were focused on service-learning mission trips, came to be deeply appreciated.
Grants cover image

Writing-across-the-Curriculum in Theology Education: Faculty Development Workshop to facilitate implementation in new curriculum

Awarded Grant
Mawhorter, Jennifer
Claremont School of Theology
Theological Schools
2005
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Support for a faculty development two-day faculty workshop to facilitate implementation of new curriculum involving writing across the curriculum for first-year master of Divinity classes.
Proposal abstract :
Support for a faculty development two-day faculty workshop to facilitate implementation of new curriculum involving writing across the curriculum for first-year master of Divinity classes.

Learning Abstract :
Grants cover image

GTU Mentoring and Modeling Effective Teaching in Religious Studies

Awarded Grant
Holder, Arthur
Graduate Theological Union
Theological Schools
2005
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Preparing Graduate Students to Teach

Proposal abstract :
Support for the development of doctoral students as teachers in religious studies. The project seeks to model effective doctoral-level study by highlighting the exemplary work of advanced doctoral students to their peers.
Proposal abstract :
Support for the development of doctoral students as teachers in religious studies. The project seeks to model effective doctoral-level study by highlighting the exemplary work of advanced doctoral students to their peers.

Learning Abstract :
With this grant the Professional Development Program was able to offer a series which was first called "First Friday Teaching Talks." In this series, eight advanced doctoral students with teaching experience presented interactive lectures on innovative approaches to teaching and learning in undergraduate and graduate religious studies and theology classrooms. The lectures were generally well-attended by both GTU faculty and students, providing an important occasion for the modeling of effective doctoral-level study by highlighting the exemplary work of advanced teaching and learning in religious studies and theology. Indeed, the series was considered such a significant learning opportunity, as well as an occasion to honor the achievements of doctoral students, that is has been institutionalized as the GTU Teaching Scholars Awards.

Overall, the grant has enabled the GTU's Professional Development Program to enrich the conversation about teaching and learning among both doctoral students and faculty. It has further enabled us to recognize exemplary teaching among doctoral students as they move more fully into the profession, and it has served as the anchor for a now-institutionalized program that will allow GTU to continue the conversation.
Grants cover image

Teaching the Introductory Course in Theology: Orientation and Best Practices Workshop

Awarded Grant
Hinze, Christine|Dempsey, Deirdre
Marquette University
Colleges/Universities
2005
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Support for a faculty workshop that seeks: 1) to provide new teachers with a clear picture of the background, purposes, and core learning objectives of the foundational course; 2) to communicate with newer teachers concerning the range of options available for structuring this course and for employing the required set of scripture and classical theological readings; 3) to provide a forum wherein veteran teachers can share tips and “best practices” with newer teachers; 4) ...
Proposal abstract :
Support for a faculty workshop that seeks: 1) to provide new teachers with a clear picture of the background, purposes, and core learning objectives of the foundational course; 2) to communicate with newer teachers concerning the range of options available for structuring this course and for employing the required set of scripture and classical theological readings; 3) to provide a forum wherein veteran teachers can share tips and “best practices” with newer teachers; 4) to establish lines of communication (initiated during the workshop and continued by means including the course website) for newer and veteran teachers of this course to continue such sharing and communication.

Learning Abstract :
The grant provided support for a workshop for new teachers in the theology core at Marquette. The workshop involved discussions about best practices for core course teaching, syllabus/class management, use of technology in the theology classroom, aiding students in the close reading of texts, and issues pertaining to lectures: purposes, potentials, and limitations.
Grants cover image

Modern Methods for an Ancient Language: A Workshop on Second Language Acquisition and Biblical Hebrew

Awarded Grant
Overland, Paul
Ashland Theological Seminary
Theological Schools
2005
Topics: Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
The overarching goal is collaboratively to advance pedagogy of Biblical Hebrew by 1) exploring strategies for adapting to Hebrew the insights uncovered in Second Language Acquisition (including Communicative Language Teaching), b) to train a pilot-group of teachers who will field-test communicative methods in their Hebrew classrooms, and c) to asses these methods’ effectiveness with a view to extending their use among both English-speaking and non-English-speaking students of Hebrew.
Proposal abstract :
The overarching goal is collaboratively to advance pedagogy of Biblical Hebrew by 1) exploring strategies for adapting to Hebrew the insights uncovered in Second Language Acquisition (including Communicative Language Teaching), b) to train a pilot-group of teachers who will field-test communicative methods in their Hebrew classrooms, and c) to asses these methods’ effectiveness with a view to extending their use among both English-speaking and non-English-speaking students of Hebrew.

Learning Abstract :
What we learned - As to product: Second Language Acquisition principles generate genuine benefit for students of ancient languages. Adaptation and implementation of these principles to Hebrew is achievable.
As to process: a group of cordial, competent, and dedicated strangers will foster a synergy escorting all to achievements none could have imagined alone. Also, to generate a complex, novel, and cohesive written tool requires uncommon forethought and considerable dedication.
Recommendations for teaching and learning: 1) import skills from experts in parallel fields; 2) collaborate, forming teams reaching beyond known networks; 3) when unearthing fresh pedagogy, plot not only to inform but actually to train teachers; 4) arrange to field test discoveries; 5) maximize any design efforts by asking early, "How could this be ‘wrapped' for easiest access in a non-English context?"; 6) state any technology-for-teaching as a second layer, after primary content is solidly in place.
Grants cover image

Intercultural Training for JSTB Professors

Awarded Grant
Fernández, Eduardo
Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University
Theological Schools
2005
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Educating Clergy

Proposal abstract :
The purpose of this grant is to enable 4 faculty members of the JSTB to attend a week’s workshop to be held from January 2-6th, 2006 in the Los Angeles area, designed to train people in intercultural teaching and ministry.
Proposal abstract :
The purpose of this grant is to enable 4 faculty members of the JSTB to attend a week’s workshop to be held from January 2-6th, 2006 in the Los Angeles area, designed to train people in intercultural teaching and ministry.

Learning Abstract :
Among the most valuable things we learned in this project is that personal input and stories are indispensable to achieve this type of learning. Culture is much too complex to be studied at only the level of theory or presented in lectures. Since all the participants have worked interculturally with groups of various kinds, they brought that experience with them to the overall process. Another factor which surfaced was the need to distribute power at the level of leadership. Composition of planning and leadership groups, therefore, is key to greater involvement at all levels. Several of the fruits of this project which will contribute to our expanding conversation on teaching and learning are 1) the fact that ALL people have and act out of a culture and an awareness of that culture is essential for teaching, research, and ministry; 2) that if they are to respond to the needs of those they serve, institutions which are trying to become more diverse must make some changes and not expect that it is only the students who have to "get with the program"; and 3) interactive, dialogical, process-centered, socio-constructivist approaches to intercultural training, judging from our experience, seem to be the best method available to date.
Grants cover image

Strengthening Religious Studies Learning in Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Liberal Art Courses

Awarded Grant
Nash, Kathleen
LeMoyne College
Colleges/Universities
2005
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Support for the department of Religious Studies at Le Moyne, a college in the Catholic, Jesuit tradition, to develop and share strategies and resources for strengthening Religious Studies learning in interdisciplinary courses. While the risks of interdisciplinary teaching include a dilution of student learning in Religious Studies, the potential benefits include enrichment of student learning, particularly with respect to the interconnections of religion with other human projects and phenomena. Interdisciplinary ...
Proposal abstract :
Support for the department of Religious Studies at Le Moyne, a college in the Catholic, Jesuit tradition, to develop and share strategies and resources for strengthening Religious Studies learning in interdisciplinary courses. While the risks of interdisciplinary teaching include a dilution of student learning in Religious Studies, the potential benefits include enrichment of student learning, particularly with respect to the interconnections of religion with other human projects and phenomena. Interdisciplinary courses help students see that many basic aspects of human culture cannot be understood apart from religion. Revision of Le Moyne’s core curriculum affords the occasion to reconsider the impact of interdisciplinarity on their teaching of religion. This initiative proposes to enhance teaching and learning in religion by attending to the full potential of interdisciplinarity.

Learning Abstract :
We have learned that clarity about our goals for student learning in Religious Studies and in Theology is essential as we enter into interdisciplinary collaborations or as we plan courses intended to be interdisciplinary. As a corollary, we have also learned the importance - and the challenges - of distinguishing our learning objectives for our majors from our learning objectives for students who enroll in our courses to fulfill general education requirements. This is especially important for us because our majors satisfy most of their major requirements in the context of courses tailored primarily for our institution's core curriculum. We believe that this lesson is equally important for colleagues at the many other institutions where Religious Studies and Theology majors enroll in significant numbers of courses filled with students seeking to complete general education requirements. Finally, we continue to learn anew the creative power of a strong departmental culture of systematic reflection on teaching and learning.
Grants cover image

Best Practices in Teaching Theology and the Arts in the Undergraduate Classroom: A Two-Year Consultation

Awarded Grant
Deffenbaugh, Daniel|Vrudny, Kimberly
Hastings College
Colleges/Universities
2006
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Support for a project to focus on the following goals: 1) Provide faculty opportunities to think critically and creatively about the theoretical foundations and practical applications for use of two-dimensional art as a pedagogical tool in the undergraduate religion classroom; 2) Identify "best practices" for teaching theology with two-dimensional art through the use of various methods, including: formal presentations, large and small group discussions, immersion in and reflection on arts events, and ...
Proposal abstract :
Support for a project to focus on the following goals: 1) Provide faculty opportunities to think critically and creatively about the theoretical foundations and practical applications for use of two-dimensional art as a pedagogical tool in the undergraduate religion classroom; 2) Identify "best practices" for teaching theology with two-dimensional art through the use of various methods, including: formal presentations, large and small group discussions, immersion in and reflection on arts events, and teaching demonstrations; and 3) Evaluate "best practices" in context by observing theology and the arts lessons developed by consultation participants in the intervening year and presented to members of the consultation in the second year.

Learning Abstract :
This study was designed to bring together twelve scholars from around the country who utilize two-dimensional visual art as a pedagogical tool in the undergraduate classroom. The objectives of the consultation included deepening our understanding of the theoretical frameworks in theology and the arts, exploring how to read images in the context of theology, sharing challenges and successes in the classroom, and considering legal issues in the use of art as a teaching resource. Regarding the latter, the group discovered that copyright restrictions are at once strict yet very ambiguous. Chief among learning outcomes was the need for greater cross-disciplinary conversation between art historians and theologians, for the latter too often overlook insights that seem commonplace to the former. While theologians are prepared to use art as more than an illustrative tool, dialogue with art historians will assist them in learning to read a painting as a theological text. Assessment of student learning in the theology and arts classroom defies quantitative analysis and remains elusive even when qualitative methods are employed. The group found that distribution of annotated course syllabi would be extremely helpful for instructors hoping to venture into this interdisciplinary study. It hopes to publish several articles and "notes from the classroom" in a forthcoming issue of Teaching Theology and Religion.
Grants cover image

Theological Education as Virtue Formation

Awarded Grant
Jinkins, Michael
Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary
Theological Schools
2006
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Support for facilitating deeper and larger faculty conversations regarding theological education as virtue formation.
Proposal abstract :
Support for facilitating deeper and larger faculty conversations regarding theological education as virtue formation.

Learning Abstract :
A faculty retreat focused on the question, "What would it mean for theological education to be understood as the formation of virtues?" Wabash Center consultant Robert Pazmiño served as conversation facilitator. Six members of the faculty wrote essays on the topic of virtue. These formed the core of the conversations at the retreat. Additional relevant readings in theological education were provided in the form of a small anthology to help prepare the group for the retreat. The two goals of the retreat – to broaden the faculty's vision regarding the nature of the institution's educational mission in preparation for actual curriculum revision and to aid in the formation of a new faculty-were both realized. The conversation provided a chance for a bright and imaginative faculty to fundamentally rethink WHY they do WHAT they do.
Grants cover image

One day consultation for faculty in New York City region who teach courses on urban religions

Awarded Grant
Bender, Courtney
Columbia University
Colleges/Universities
2006
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Support for a project that brings together faculty in the New York City area to discuss best practices in the teaching of urban religions, build and solidify connections among regional scholars, and to assess and generate strategies for teaching about religious life in New York City.
Proposal abstract :
Support for a project that brings together faculty in the New York City area to discuss best practices in the teaching of urban religions, build and solidify connections among regional scholars, and to assess and generate strategies for teaching about religious life in New York City.

Learning Abstract :
Our consultation successfully identified and brought together a large proportion of the New York metro areas' scholars whose research and teaching centers on the city and its religions. The breadth of expertise and scholarly and pedagogical issues and ideas mirror the diversity of the city. Nonetheless, all scholars shared interests in teaching religions as dynamic, living communities, and pursuing new strategies of teaching (through encounter, oral history, ethnographic and historical research, and interactive web-based learning). Likewise, the group identified several areas and arenas that demand scholarly attention and scholarly collaboration, including community based studies focused on multiple religious organizations from multiple traditions, and the formalization of data collection methods and theoretical frameworks.
Grants cover image

Team-Teaching in a Diverse and Changing World: Pedagogical Innovations for Progressive Theological Education

Awarded Grant
Liew, Tat-siong Benny
Pacific School of Religion
Theological Schools
2006
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
In the fall of 2004, Pacific School of Religion inaugurated a newly revised M.Div. curriculum to reflect four core values: critical thinking, contextuality, leadership/spiritual formation, and partnerships with faith communities. In order to embody our core values, foundational courses of the curriculum were reconfigured into integrative, interdisciplinary, team-taught courses. As we begin to “live into” this new curriculum, important pedagogical issues emerge which require intentional and sustained exploration by ...
Proposal abstract :
In the fall of 2004, Pacific School of Religion inaugurated a newly revised M.Div. curriculum to reflect four core values: critical thinking, contextuality, leadership/spiritual formation, and partnerships with faith communities. In order to embody our core values, foundational courses of the curriculum were reconfigured into integrative, interdisciplinary, team-taught courses. As we begin to “live into” this new curriculum, important pedagogical issues emerge which require intentional and sustained exploration by the entire faculty - most important of which are issues related to interdisciplinarity in research and team-teaching. This proposal presents our plan to create structured ways of engaging in conversation, documentation, and assessment of pedagogical theories and practices, especially as related to team-teaching, which are vital for the implementation of our M.Div. curriculum.

Learning Abstract :
We learned that working in teams in teaching is one way to encourage greater confidence in faculty in dealing with sensitive and powerful issues like race/ethnicity. We also learned that, in times of economic struggles, team-teaching is a luxury we cannot often afford. Short of team-teaching, having a faculty discuss with each other and work on actual syllabi is helpful. We also learned that diversity issues in theological education should be engaged by not only faculty who teach, but also the entire community (including students, staff, administrators, and trustees).
Beyond all the strengths this Wabash Grant has enabled us to develop in our faculty and community, its very presence as a source of funding for diversity issues in teaching has allowed PSR to keep its commitments to diversity fresh, relevant, and at the forefront of our work together as a theological community.
Grants cover image

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 Schools
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.
Grants cover image

A Consultation on Strategies for Interfaith Education

Awarded Grant
Walls, Neal
Wake Forest University Divinity School
Theological Schools
2006
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Support for a consultation to develop strategies for how best to introduce students to the practice of interfaith dialogue.
Proposal abstract :
Support for a consultation to develop strategies for how best to introduce students to the practice of interfaith dialogue.

Learning Abstract :
The "Consultation on Strategies for Interfaith Education" was quite successful in building bridges between Wake Forest University faculty in Religion and Divinity and the local Jewish leadership through informal conversations over a series of common meals. We discussed strategies for introducing interfaith dialogue to undergraduate and Divinity students at Wake Forest University, with an emphasis on the value of studying books of the Hebrew Bible as scripture shared by Jews and Christians. We also laid the foundation for future collaborative efforts between the University and area Jewish congregations. When asked about their concerns in the training of Christian ministers, the Jewish representatives in the consultation expressed a consistent opinion on the importance of communicating to Divinity students (1) the importance of the formative period of Rabbinic Judaism (c.200 - 500 CE) and (2) the historical and theological importance of the Shoah and post-Holocaust theology and philosophy.
Grants cover image

Effective Teaching in the Diverse Theological Classroom: Faculty Development at Lancaster Theological Seminary

Awarded Grant
Carey, Greg
Lancaster Theological Seminary
Theological Schools
2006
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
This grant will assist individual Lancaster Theological Seminary faculty members to develop resources and skills for teaching more effectively in their diverse classrooms and in their collaboration with one another. The grant includes an introductory workshop with an expert facilitator/consultant, periodic consultation between that consultant and individual faculty members, and a concluding workshop. Faculty participants will report and evaluate their experience in terms of what they have learned and ...
Proposal abstract :
This grant will assist individual Lancaster Theological Seminary faculty members to develop resources and skills for teaching more effectively in their diverse classrooms and in their collaboration with one another. The grant includes an introductory workshop with an expert facilitator/consultant, periodic consultation between that consultant and individual faculty members, and a concluding workshop. Faculty participants will report and evaluate their experience in terms of what they have learned and the degree to which this experience has affected their pedagogy.

Learning Abstract :
Grants cover image

Interpreting Reflective Practice: How Professors Teach It and What Students Do with it in Practice

Awarded Grant
Wong, Arch
Ambrose University
Colleges/Universities
2006
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Support for a project to devise a reflective approach to theological education that could be implemented and practiced for both students and professors. Five faculty will hope to: provide a working definition of "reflective practice" that will begin to help the faculty have a common starting point in understanding and developing reflective practice; devise an integrative pedagogical/teaching strategy so that professors can effectively teach reflective practice in the classroom; ...
Proposal abstract :
Support for a project to devise a reflective approach to theological education that could be implemented and practiced for both students and professors. Five faculty will hope to: provide a working definition of "reflective practice" that will begin to help the faculty have a common starting point in understanding and developing reflective practice; devise an integrative pedagogical/teaching strategy so that professors can effectively teach reflective practice in the classroom; and formulate a pathway where a theoretical understanding of reflection that is taught in the classroom can be translated into what reflection would mean in practice for students.

Learning Abstract :
The goal of this project was to devise a reflective approach to theological education that could be implemented and practiced for both students and professors. This project lives within the tension between prescribing and implementing a model of theological education and working at the level of applied understanding. Living within this tension are five professors in the ministry faculty who teach Field Education courses. These professors find themselves very much in the middle, in-between theory and practice. Our conversation and learning focused on three areas: 1) The nature of reflection as it relates to teaching and identity; 2) How we represent reflection in the class in terms of evaluation; and 3) On the nature of collaboration - creating community as a group of professors.
Grants cover image

A Sustained Workshop on Pedagogy and Hybrid Models of Distance Theological Education

Awarded Grant
Delamarter, Steve
Portland Seminary
Theological Schools
2006
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Technology and Teaching

Proposal abstract :
Our proposal calls for a sustained (six semester) workshop among our faculty to research, test, and refine the best pedagogical strategies we can for the delivery of a hybrid program of theological education. The proposal asks for stipends for writing workshops aimed at capturing and disseminating the lessons learned. The proposal has the full support of the dean of the seminary who believes that it will help the seminary live ...
Proposal abstract :
Our proposal calls for a sustained (six semester) workshop among our faculty to research, test, and refine the best pedagogical strategies we can for the delivery of a hybrid program of theological education. The proposal asks for stipends for writing workshops aimed at capturing and disseminating the lessons learned. The proposal has the full support of the dean of the seminary who believes that it will help the seminary live out its values of continued excellence, increased relevance, and increased accessibility.

Learning Abstract :
What the Wabash Workshops have enabled us to do is to work past our faulty first instincts about how to do online/hybrid teaching learning. In retrospect it is obvious to us that many of our first instincts were wrong: 1) that we would develop either online courses or face to face courses (the subtleties of thinking in terms of a hybrid course were beyond us); 2) that the development of a program would proceed by adding one after another online course (the subtleties of thinking in terms of a hybrid program were beyond us); 3) that programs would be developed a course at a time (rather than by conceiving the program as a whole in this new environment), etc. But the problem is that most institutions-ourselves included-are so under the gun that we do not have time to think things through adequately to see the shallowness of our first instincts. Instead, we leap and in so doing we instantiate those ideas into the structures of the program. Once they are built into a program, they are very difficult and time-consuming to change. The Wabash Workshops have given us space and time to think things through and develop our programs on a second and third generation of thinking and not on the first.

Further, we have become a community of thoughtful reflection about issues pedagogical, especially as they relate to the use of technology. We are no longer in any danger of being swept off our feet by some glitzy technology that is creating a lot of buzz. We cut pretty quickly to the heart of the matter: how can this technology be harnessed for the teaching learning process, and is the payoff worth the bother? If we are fuzzy on the first answer we will not look further. And even if we judge that a technology could have some value, if the price (literally and figuratively) is too high, we won't commit to it. Often this means that simpler technology is better. Then too, there is often no necessary correlation between the sophistication of the technology and the robustness of the social processes it can create and support.

Once we have come to see the issues clearly we have not had to waste any time or energy on some of the discussions and fears that plague some institutions: will it destroy our face to face environment? Won't students adopt false personae? Won't we lose our sense of community? How can this be done without 90% of our time spent face to face? These are not the sorts of questions that plague us. Instead, our attention can be focused on issues that are, in the end, much more rich in terms of their focus on student learning and much more strategic in terms of institutional viability, student success, and faculty sustainability.
Grants cover image

Pedagogies for Interfaith Dialogue: Creating and Sharing Critical Case Studies of Six Seminary Courses

Awarded Grant
Hadsell, Heidi|Roozen, David
Hartford Seminary
Theological Schools
2006
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Given the increased necessity for and everyday practice of interfaith engagement, the typically “informational” nature of seminary courses in interreligious relations is inadequate. As a corrective, we propose to create and share a collection of six critical case studies of courses in interfaith dialogue that optimize the full range of dialogical practices and purposes, including the advancement of mutual understanding and appreciative relationships. Case studies will be written by a ...
Proposal abstract :
Given the increased necessity for and everyday practice of interfaith engagement, the typically “informational” nature of seminary courses in interreligious relations is inadequate. As a corrective, we propose to create and share a collection of six critical case studies of courses in interfaith dialogue that optimize the full range of dialogical practices and purposes, including the advancement of mutual understanding and appreciative relationships. Case studies will be written by a working group of three Hartford Seminary and three external faculties. Case writers will be assisted by critical engagement with consultants in educational pedagogy and interfaith relations, by funding to hire evaluators for their case courses, and by dialogue among themselves, with Hartford Seminary faculty, and with peers responding to draft cases during a conference for theological educators. The conference will serve as an initial vehicle for sharing the cases. Subsequently, revised cases will be published both electronically and in paper.

Learning Abstract :
The project's case studies and an integrative essay are available at: http://www.hartsem.edu/ All courses emphasized dialogue as a practice, therefore requiring a practicum experience. In the absence of multi-faith student bodies, creating the practicum experience requires extra-curricular connections to non-Christian constituencies and can be labor intensive. A wide variety of approaches are demonstrated in the cases. Practicum participants need to understand that dialogue is a mutual conversation, not a forum for promoting one's tradition. Teaching interfaith dialogue also demands a significant substantive component along at least two dimensions: 1) basic knowledge of faith traditions other than Christianity, and 2) a firm grounding in the theology of religions. Individual students will be challenged, a few inevitably to the point of discomfort, in their knowledge of their own tradition, beliefs and practices. Among the wide variety of pedagogical techniques employed in the cases, all six cases include spiritual disciplines.
Grants cover image

Best Practices for Adult Learning

Awarded Grant
Harty, Kathy
Sacred Heart School of Theology
Theological Schools
2006
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Support for a project to identify issues associated with adult learning and pedagogy, to survey adult learning theories and determine which are best for the Scared Heart School of Theology, and to develop faculty projects that will incorporate adult learning theories.
Proposal abstract :
Support for a project to identify issues associated with adult learning and pedagogy, to survey adult learning theories and determine which are best for the Scared Heart School of Theology, and to develop faculty projects that will incorporate adult learning theories.

Learning Abstract :
The survey of the issues raised the importance of personal responsibility and initiative in any teaching/learning enterprise (on the part of both students and professors), as well as the variety of learning cultures. The consultation made us aware of the need for explicitness in what we already do implicitly. The scripture professors began such a conversation after the fall sessions, and other academic divisions plan to continue this. In addition, it highlighted the need for the academic and human/spiritual formation departments to engage with each other in such discussions. The next year's faculty development sessions will build on the questions and ideas raised during these sessions.
Grants cover image

Mentoring Undergraduate Research: A Consultation for Developing Learning Goals and Standards in Religious Studies

Awarded Grant
McNary-Zak, Bernadette|Peters, Rebecca Todd
Elon University
Colleges/Universities
2006
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
This consultation will gather Religious Studies faculty who are currently engaged in mentoring undergraduate research or are leaders in the field of teaching and learning in Religious Studies to discuss critical questions related to defining undergraduate research in the discipline and plans for developing resources that might be helpful for faculty who are engaged in mentoring undergraduate research.
Proposal abstract :
This consultation will gather Religious Studies faculty who are currently engaged in mentoring undergraduate research or are leaders in the field of teaching and learning in Religious Studies to discuss critical questions related to defining undergraduate research in the discipline and plans for developing resources that might be helpful for faculty who are engaged in mentoring undergraduate research.

Learning Abstract :
The success achieved by meeting the proposed goals for this Consultation affirms the strong desire and need for sustained reflection on the nature and role of Undergraduate Research in Religious Studies. Unlike many other disciplines, ours is in the early stages of conversation about Undergraduate Research. Religious Studies faculty are doing Undergraduate Research in response to the pressures and supports of their institutions and in the paucity of discipline specific discussion and resources. As a result, Consultation participants were necessarily engaging the general issues, key questions and specific details pertaining to Undergraduate Research, simultaneously identifying theoretical and practical concerns and goals. The Consultation cultivated both an excitement and an appreciation for the depth and breadth of the subsequent work to be done. The discussions, debates and work generated by this Consultation demonstrate that there are significant issues and theoretical differences that require further consideration in attention to the planning and implementation of the Consultation, the co-directors learned that the work entailed was significant and that we should have budgeted for a stipend.
Grants cover image

Seeing Through a Glass Darkly: A Three Year Consultation on Student Spiritual Formation in Theological Distance Education

Awarded Grant
Lowe, Stephen
Erskine Theological Seminary
Theological Schools
2006
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Technology and Teaching    |   Educating Clergy

Proposal abstract :
The growth of distance education in seminaries has generated an intense intramural debate among theological educators regarding the legitimacy of distance education for clergy preparation – in particular, spiritual formation. Hence, this project will tackle issues associated with nurturing spiritual formation among seminary students in a variety of contexts through a series of consultations over three years. Members of the consultations will come from Protestant ATS member schools representing those who ...
Proposal abstract :
The growth of distance education in seminaries has generated an intense intramural debate among theological educators regarding the legitimacy of distance education for clergy preparation – in particular, spiritual formation. Hence, this project will tackle issues associated with nurturing spiritual formation among seminary students in a variety of contexts through a series of consultations over three years. Members of the consultations will come from Protestant ATS member schools representing those who currently use distance education and those who have resisted using it. A position paper will serve as a catalyst for dialogue and reflection at the first consultation. The second consultation will build on the first by suggesting ways in which spiritual formation can be facilitated through pedagogical strategies. The final consultation will continue the work of the previous two years and work toward creation of a working model for assessing spiritual formation in distance education. Project Goals. 1) Arrive at a consensus among consultation participants regarding a shared core of spiritual formation concepts that resonate across Protestant denominational and theological traditions, 2) Identify specific and unique problems posed by distance education regarding spiritual formation, 3) Propose specific pedagogical strategies that demonstrate spiritual formation in distance education, 4) Construct a preliminary assessment model that seeks to measure the impact of learning in distance education on the spiritual formation of students, 5) Disseminate findings and proposals through written essays, and 6) Create an online conference room for participants to engage in ongoing conversation about the topic.

Learning Abstract :
This consultation was able to produce a final working document for publication entitled "Spiritual Formation in Theological Distance Education: An Ecosystems Model." This document reflected the shared consensus of the group regarding the concept of spiritual formation and its application to online theological education. It also identified the two major problems of community formation and creating dialogue that could foster and sustain student spiritual formation regardless of course content and modes of delivery. Specific pedagogical strategies and a preliminary assessment tool were constructed and will be tested in future work. Dissemination of our findings can be found in publications and presentations available online and in periodicals.
Grants cover image

Explorations - Theology and Literature

Awarded Grant
Connors, Russell
St. Catherine University
Colleges/Universities
2006
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
The purpose of the grant is to explore connections - especially pedagogical connections - between theology and literature. In dialogue with colleagues from our own English Department, we will investigate a more rigorous use of literature in theology courses as an effective means of theological exploration. The members of the English department hope to find ways to help their students delve into some of the spiritual and religious questions in ...
Proposal abstract :
The purpose of the grant is to explore connections - especially pedagogical connections - between theology and literature. In dialogue with colleagues from our own English Department, we will investigate a more rigorous use of literature in theology courses as an effective means of theological exploration. The members of the English department hope to find ways to help their students delve into some of the spiritual and religious questions in literature.

Learning Abstract :
This project sought to explore the pedagogical role that literature can play in theology classes and courses. Guest lecturer and author Marilynne Robinson gave our faculty language for what we are attempting to teach our students, and helped us explore the ways that literature, like religious experience, can disclose the sacred in "ordinary" experience. We studied the analogous way in which theological discourse and works of literature are formative of the imagination.

The effective use of literature in theology will depend significantly on the time, energy, care and instruction that are associated with it. We look forward to continuing the fruitful conversation about the connections between theology and literature, between aesthetic and religious experience.
Grants cover image

Re-Invigorating Rabbinical School Teaching with Integration at the Center

Awarded Grant
Springer, Mychal
Jewish Theological Seminary of America
Colleges/Universities
2007
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Educating Clergy

Proposal abstract :
The Rabbinical School of The Jewish Theological Seminary trains modern rabbis who are scholars conversant in both traditional Jewish texts and critical methods. JTS faculty members bring rich faith journeys to their teaching, along with exciting, complex approaches to religious scholarship. Still, most instruction is overly cognitive and does not incorporate normative formation and professional development pedagogies into rabbinical students’ learning. In 2006, JTS received consultation support from the Wabash Center ...
Proposal abstract :
The Rabbinical School of The Jewish Theological Seminary trains modern rabbis who are scholars conversant in both traditional Jewish texts and critical methods. JTS faculty members bring rich faith journeys to their teaching, along with exciting, complex approaches to religious scholarship. Still, most instruction is overly cognitive and does not incorporate normative formation and professional development pedagogies into rabbinical students’ learning. In 2006, JTS received consultation support from the Wabash Center to launch faculty-facilitated Integrating Seminars in which groups of first-year students met regularly to address issues of rabbinic identity arising from their studies. Dr. Kathleen Talvacchia served as consultant to JTS and helped conceptualize how to move forward in JTS integration efforts. As a result, JTS now seeks to extend benefits of lessons learned in the seminars to the faculty as a whole and to the field. Over the next two years, JTS will 1) introduce integration as an objective in rabbinic education to the JTS faculty as a whole; 2) provide incentives and assistance to instructors teaching required courses in core subjects; and 3) disseminate results to the field by bringing JTS faculty together with their counterparts from other seminaries undertaking similar projects to share work in progress.

Learning Abstract :
The Wabash Center grant was critical in spearheading a cultural shift at JTS with regard to teaching, and how teaching is done at JTS. Faculty members, for example, are now more willing to think through the teaching of their material as an aspect of their craft. There is also a greater willingness on the part of the faculty to talk about their teaching and to see the teaching itself as a key part of our mission of forming clergy.

Also, feedback from students on this effort and the self-reporting from faculty were very positive. Finally, Carol Ingall created a forum for faculty members to discuss their teaching/issues related to pedagogy, and there was great interest in this forum and a large turn out for this event.
Grants cover image

Working Group on Undergraduate Research in Religious Studies

Awarded Grant
McNary-Zak, Bernadette|Peters, Rebecca Todd
Elon University
Colleges/Universities
2007
Topics: Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Over an eighteen-month period, this Working Group will engage in the development of the theoretical and practical issues pertaining to the distinctive processes and aims of Undergraduate Research in Religious Studies. Sustained attention to the place of Undergraduate Research in higher education nationally, its origin in the methodological framework of the natural sciences, and the current state of this pedagogy in our discipline and on our campuses, makes this work ...
Proposal abstract :
Over an eighteen-month period, this Working Group will engage in the development of the theoretical and practical issues pertaining to the distinctive processes and aims of Undergraduate Research in Religious Studies. Sustained attention to the place of Undergraduate Research in higher education nationally, its origin in the methodological framework of the natural sciences, and the current state of this pedagogy in our discipline and on our campuses, makes this work timely and necessary. Sustained conversation regarding the theoretical issues related to Undergraduate Research in the field of Religious Studies will provide support for faculty development and will make a significant contribution to teaching and learning in Theology and Religious Studies.

Learning Abstract :
The Working Group on Undergraduate Research in Religious Studies successfully accomplished the stated goals of this grant in the allotted time period. Sustained thought and discussion was given to the primary theoretical issues related to Undergraduate Research in Religious Studies, and to relevant pedagogical methods and processes for promoting excellence in Undergraduate Research in Religious Studies. Through the completion of a variety of dissemination tasks in our classrooms, the academy, and organizations focused on UR, the members of this Working Group promoted institutional and disciplinary support for Undergraduate Research in Religious Studies and have become emerging leaders in this pedagogy. The desire and commitment to locate ongoing efforts to continue this work past the grant period on the part of Working Group members attests to an appreciation for the subsequent work that can still be done.
Grants cover image

International and Domestic Marginalized Racial/Ethnic Diversity and Development for Multicultural Pedagogy

Awarded Grant
Choi, Hee An|Andrews, Dale
Boston University School of Theology
Theological Schools
2007
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
A major interest of this grant project is to help us discover or diagnose important areas in our institution and teaching that compromise learning from diversity and therefore create impediments to diversity in our resources and pedagogy. Currently Boston University – School of Theology seeks to address a lack in domestic racial/ethnic diversity among faculty and students alike, which is a considerable departure from its historical legacy in theological education ...
Proposal abstract :
A major interest of this grant project is to help us discover or diagnose important areas in our institution and teaching that compromise learning from diversity and therefore create impediments to diversity in our resources and pedagogy. Currently Boston University – School of Theology seeks to address a lack in domestic racial/ethnic diversity among faculty and students alike, which is a considerable departure from its historical legacy in theological education for African American and women alumni-ae with graduate degrees. Considering this departure from our institutions’ legacy in theological education for multi-ethnic student body, this project will examine our current pedagogy and seek to develop critically new pedagogical strategies to teaching and create more inclusive multicultural and multiethnic global environment. The workshops will provide opportunities for faculty and administrators to engage in conversations of dismantling racism, sexism, and (neo-) colonialism. With several consultants and alumni/ae, faculty will investigate the dynamics of teaching international and domestic marginalized racial/ethnic students and will seek to develop multicultural pedagogy and curricular resources, which will include efforts at institutional reform in the School of Theology.

Learning Abstract :
This project designed workshops to address international and domestic, marginalized racial/ethnic diversity in theological education, but more specifically in our classrooms. These training and dialogical workshops underscored the convergence or overlapping nature of racism, sexism, and (neo)colonialism within our institutional life and our teaching culture. As our project progressed through these workshops, faculty and administrators explicitly pressed for more attention to teaching strategies for the classroom. We discovered a critical need to have workshop leaders devise exercises for this desired work that did not dismiss or sweep past the necessary critical reflection on systemic and cultural marginalization and how we might learn from diversity itself. This discovery involved institutional life and teaching practices that passively and sometimes actively privilege some voices and fail to bridge the gaps of resourcing and learning caused by dominance, neglect, or marginalization. In the end, we formed a new faculty leadership committee, which expands the previous work of the faculty's recent Cultural Competency Committee, to devise a long-term project (possibly three to five years) to continue our work on teaching and diversity.
Grants cover image

Pursuing a Culture of Engaged Conversation for School and Church

Awarded Grant
Heille, Gregory|Garrido, Ann
Aquinas Institute of Theology
Theological Schools
2007
Topics: Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
While neither Aquinas Institute of Theology nor the Catholic Church are alone in confronting hard or at times disruptive conversations in faculty meetings, class, or field supervision, our Dominican heritage of collaborative learning in pursuit of truth requires intentional commitment to meaningful difficult conversation. As a school, we propose to learn and practice the art of difficult conversation through a facilitated faculty study of the Harvard Negotiation Project’s book ...
Proposal abstract :
While neither Aquinas Institute of Theology nor the Catholic Church are alone in confronting hard or at times disruptive conversations in faculty meetings, class, or field supervision, our Dominican heritage of collaborative learning in pursuit of truth requires intentional commitment to meaningful difficult conversation. As a school, we propose to learn and practice the art of difficult conversation through a facilitated faculty study of the Harvard Negotiation Project’s book on Difficult Conversations and facilitated case studies of difficult conversations in our classrooms. By improving our difficult conversations in class, we intend to lay the groundwork for a successful all-school symposium on the neuralgic topic, “What is truth?” At grant’s end, we will publish on what we have learned and then take a further step by teaching the art of difficult education to others in the community who collaborate with us in the formation of our students, especially field education supervisors.

Learning Abstract :
From January 2008 – May 2009, the faculty of Aquinas Institute studied together the text Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most and then engaged in a series of exercises that involved practicing the approach advocated in the book within faculty meetings, classroom interactions, and a school-wide symposium. We learned that the "s" at the end of the book title is not accidental; one difficult conversation inevitably evokes many more. We discovered these conversations require a great deal of time and emotional energy, but also can create a culture of greater honesty within an institution as well as professional and spiritual growth within individuals. In the end, we recognized that increased understanding of each other is a true gift, but that understanding alone is not enough. We commit ourselves now to also studying and practicing skills for negotiation and group decision-making.
Grants cover image

Teaching Teachers in the Faith & Health Initiative to Address Culturally Diverse Issues

Awarded Grant
Bridgeman , Valerie
Memphis Theological Seminary
Theological Schools
2007
Topics: Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Memphis Theological Seminary has at the core of its history a commitment to diversity and ecumenical dialogue, as reflected in its mission statement. The seminary is immensely diverse in population (approximately 40% African American; 26 denominations, plus Jewish and Islamic presence, approximately 44% female, etc.). Recently, the seminary has positioned itself, in a joint mission with the Methodist Hospital System in Memphis, to build a learning model for Faith & Health. The initiative recognizes ...
Proposal abstract :
Memphis Theological Seminary has at the core of its history a commitment to diversity and ecumenical dialogue, as reflected in its mission statement. The seminary is immensely diverse in population (approximately 40% African American; 26 denominations, plus Jewish and Islamic presence, approximately 44% female, etc.). Recently, the seminary has positioned itself, in a joint mission with the Methodist Hospital System in Memphis, to build a learning model for Faith & Health. The initiative recognizes the role faith plays in people’s physical and emotional health. In the course of a “first-run,” two things became clear: The program needed to more intentionally address diverse population concerns; and pedagogy for teaching faith and health in a diverse setting needed to be explored more specifically. This proposal seeks to address both these issues.

Learning Abstract :
The Faith and Health pedagogical initiative was designed to get faculty and potential faculty members in the program "on the same page." Our objective for the project was to gather the primary faculty members who would participate in the teaching to see a common language as well as to ensure that we all knew what the other meant by "faith & health."

The event was viewed as a kick-off for ongoing assessment and training for professors in the faith and health doctorate of ministry and the MAR certificate. The D. Min. director and the dean of the seminary continue to provide thoughtful leadership and inspiration in the evolving program at MTS, as well as evaluate training for each layer of teachers.

Participants reported the time together fired them to work on the themes of the consultant led sessions as they prepared for their particular D. Min. Seminar. They acknowledged that our brief time together was not sufficient, and expressed a desire to continue such conversations, if only once or twice a year. The participants appreciated the metaphors that arose from the road to Emmaus conversation, especially those that suggested we come alongside people as they try to make sense of their lives and what has happened around them.
Grants cover image

Pedagogical Uses of Religious Games: A Methodology Workshop

Awarded Grant
Sachs Norris, Rebecca
Merrimack College
Colleges/Universities
2007
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
This project brings together professors of diverse backgrounds to explore the use of religious board games in the classroom. The aim of this project is to establish essential issues in board game pedagogy in order to further the use of this methodology and also in preparation for a larger pre-conference workshop being planned for the American Academy of Religion annual meetings in 2008. Our focus will be on identifying issues that ...
Proposal abstract :
This project brings together professors of diverse backgrounds to explore the use of religious board games in the classroom. The aim of this project is to establish essential issues in board game pedagogy in order to further the use of this methodology and also in preparation for a larger pre-conference workshop being planned for the American Academy of Religion annual meetings in 2008. Our focus will be on identifying issues that need to be addressed - issues such as methodology, implementation and assessment. This will be a two-day workshop that will include presentations by participants on practices, results and difficulties; discussion of related experiential learning research and methodologies; and a meeting with students for feedback on their experiences with board games in the religious studies classroom.

Learning Abstract :
Assessment is the foremost issue for board game pedagogy. Finding clearer assessment tools to implement at the beginning and end of the semester should help. We will also be utilizing social scientific methods over the next year, running 2 sections of the same class, one with and one without board games, but with the same professor and student body. One interesting question that arose was regarding the need for a theoretical framework when the students first work with the games. Since one major aim is to break down the rigid categories that students bring to the study of religion, are we simply substituting other categories if we give them a specific framework? Would it be useful to find an even more open approach? Another significant issue that was raised is how to bring the tools and student learning from this methodology to students' lives outside the classroom.
Grants cover image

The Most Difficult Religious Conversation? Pedagogical Strategies for Teaching the Complexities of Abortion

Awarded Grant
Hornsby, Teresa
Drury University
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.
Grants cover image

The Challenge of Religious History: Improving Undergraduate and Graduate Education in a Public University

Awarded Grant
Sterk, Andrea|Caputo, Nina
University of Florida
Colleges/Universities
2008
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Preparing Graduate Students to Teach

Proposal abstract :
This project aims to promote more effective teaching of religious history, with a focus on the Abrahamic traditions of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. A 16-month multi-layered series will foster sustained conversation among those who teach in this area. Over the course of three semesters prominent scholar-teachers with specializations from antiquity to modern America will engage faculty and students on three levels: 1) a broader public lecture; 2) a smaller seminar on pedagogy ...
Proposal abstract :
This project aims to promote more effective teaching of religious history, with a focus on the Abrahamic traditions of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. A 16-month multi-layered series will foster sustained conversation among those who teach in this area. Over the course of three semesters prominent scholar-teachers with specializations from antiquity to modern America will engage faculty and students on three levels: 1) a broader public lecture; 2) a smaller seminar on pedagogy for faculty and graduate students; and 3) informal discussion over meals. They will address new methodologies in teaching and research, the benefits as well as the limitations of the secular setting, and the overlapping identities of both historical religious communities and contemporary religious historians in the postmodern university. While the primary target audience is faculty and graduate students at the University of Florida, a volume of essays is intended for those who teach religious history at other institutions.

Learning Abstract :
Despite both the practical and conceptual challenges involved, we learned that an extended, multi-layered series is an effective means of generating and sustaining dialogue on a circumscribed theme. Though a large public university, the University of Florida is somewhat off the beaten track of many very prominent academics. In organizing this series, we were careful to invite scholars who not only lectured, but engaged in individual and group meetings with faculty and graduate students. This truly fostered the development of an intellectual community and ongoing conversation. We were very pleased that a core group of approximately 20 graduate students attended lectures and seminars presented by twelve different scholars over the course of three semesters. This project, then, was ultimately successful in promoting teaching and learning about religion in history and in shaping those who engage in this endeavor at the University of Florida and at other institutions.
Grants cover image

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 Schools
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.
Grants cover image

The Communal Dynamics of Pedagogy as an Incarnational Experience in Residential Theological Education

Awarded Grant
Williams, Sarah|McLaurin, Jennie
Regent College
Theological Schools
2008
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
The form in which content-based knowledge is communicated is as important to the learning experience as the incarnation is to Christian theology. We are concerned that the less tangible and subtle interplay between formative pedagogical factors wields a strong unrecognized influence on the outcome of educational experience. This project assists in understanding the relationship between pedagogical methods such as lecture style, syllabi construction and student compositional factors such as age, ...
Proposal abstract :
The form in which content-based knowledge is communicated is as important to the learning experience as the incarnation is to Christian theology. We are concerned that the less tangible and subtle interplay between formative pedagogical factors wields a strong unrecognized influence on the outcome of educational experience. This project assists in understanding the relationship between pedagogical methods such as lecture style, syllabi construction and student compositional factors such as age, prior educational and life experience, gender, denomination, and culture, alongside spatial setting. Through the creation and design of a diagnostic tool allowing us to research, identify, and determine the interplay of dynamic pedagogical factors, Regent College and the wider academic community will be able to analyze learning as it takes place in a complex cultural system within a distinct theological community. This will support best practices for theological education in residential and multicultural settings, while allowing local adaptations for other institutions.

Learning Abstract :
The form in which content-based knowledge is communicated is as important to the learning experience as the incarnation is to Christian theology. The less tangible and subtle interplay between formative pedagogical factors wields a strong unrecognized influence on the outcome of educational experience. As higher education is increasingly marketed as an autonomous individualized enterprise, it is becoming counter-cultural to gather theological students with professors and peers for the majority of their study period. An apologetic is necessary for the value of such communal learning environments in a culture of alternative choices. This project assists in understanding the relationship between pedagogical methods such as lecture style, syllabi construction, and spacial setting to student compositional factors such as age, prior educational and life experience, gender, denomination, and culture. By examining these relationships in light of the stated educational mission of Regent College, we were able to design and develop a diagnostic tool allowing us to research, identify, and determine the interplay of dynamic pedagogical factors. The tool is in three parts, recognizing the perspectives of faculty, staff, and students in the dynamic interplay of pedagogical factors. The form of education did indeed profoundly influence learning, such that ideas about personhood were found to be central to student learning. That is, the character, style and spirituality of individual professors were repeatedly valued as primary to understanding course content. Through such examination and synthesis, Regent College and the wider academic community are better able to analyze learning as it takes place in a complex cultural system within a distinct theological community. This will support best practices for theological education in residential and multicultural settings, while allowing local adaptations for other institutions.
Grants cover image

Pedagogies for Civic Engagement

Awarded Grant
Runions, Erin|Locklin, Reid|Clingerman, Forrest|Chilson, Clark
Ohio Northern University
2008
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Contemporary conversations around higher education and civic engagement have highlighted the importance of fostering students’ critical thinking as future citizens, providing public spaces for open discussion and exchange of ideas, and promoting civic engagement by involving students in activist pedagogies and/or service-learning. Two consultations in November 2008 and November 2009 will bring together a group of scholars in theology and religious studies to explore a range of pedagogical strategies for civic ...
Proposal abstract :
Contemporary conversations around higher education and civic engagement have highlighted the importance of fostering students’ critical thinking as future citizens, providing public spaces for open discussion and exchange of ideas, and promoting civic engagement by involving students in activist pedagogies and/or service-learning. Two consultations in November 2008 and November 2009 will bring together a group of scholars in theology and religious studies to explore a range of pedagogical strategies for civic engagement, including subject-centered critical reflection, the interpretation of media, activist pedagogy and/or service learning. During the first consultation we will discuss key publications on the topic and formulate pedagogical strategies to test in our own classrooms in spring 2009. During the second meeting we will develop, refine, and theorize these strategies and set the different methods in a broad framework so they can be effectively adopted by other teachers.

Learning Abstract :
Through two one-day workshops (in 2008 and 2009), as well as work done in classrooms at the participants' home institutions, this project resulted in practical and theoretical insights into how civic engagement relates to teaching religious studies. Practically, each participant contributed a pedagogical strategy related to civic engagement; each strategy was tested and revised during the project. Reports of these strategies were discussed, with project participants seeking commonalities and challenges in the midst of diversity. The group thus created several possible models of practical pedagogies of civic engagement. Theoretical insights on these practices also emerged. Participants came to the conclusion that teaching civic engagement includes (1) providing ways of reflecting on the complexity of understanding religions and civic life; (2) engaging in self-reflection about social positionality or location; (3) fostering empathetic accountability among students and faculty; and (4) motivated action in conversation with critical reflection.
Grants cover image

Resourcing the Teaching of American Church Music History

Awarded Grant
Blumhofer, Edith|Eskridge, Larry
Wheaton College - Illinois
Colleges/Universities
2008
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
This project will support a consultation on teaching American church music history. Specifically, the grant will fund an exploration of how courses are currently structured, a consultation, and the circulating of the observations and suggestions that arise from the consultation. We expect that the principles suggested by the consultation to guide the teaching of American church music history will initiate a cross-disciplinary conversation, generate on-line information about current teaching practices ...
Proposal abstract :
This project will support a consultation on teaching American church music history. Specifically, the grant will fund an exploration of how courses are currently structured, a consultation, and the circulating of the observations and suggestions that arise from the consultation. We expect that the principles suggested by the consultation to guide the teaching of American church music history will initiate a cross-disciplinary conversation, generate on-line information about current teaching practices and resources, expand and refine the suggested core principles that inform both teaching and learning.

Learning Abstract :
The Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals completed a survey of materials used to teach church music history at ATS seminaries, Bible colleges, and liberal arts colleges. We hosted a conference that crossed the disciplines to explore how church music history is being taught. We discussed needs and strengths and recommendations for improvement. We regret that we were unable to commission an historiographical essay. American church music history has never been a robust discipline, and yet many consider it an essential context for evaluating change over time. Scholars in several disciplines have recently shown how rich the study of American church music is for their own fields, and their interest provides an opportunity to enhance teaching and learning in a subject with wide import for American lived religion.
Grants cover image

Teaching Spirituality Well: Teacher-Scholars Engaging Best Practices

Awarded Grant
Frohlich, Mary
Catholic Theological Union of Chicago
Theological Schools
2008
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
A one-day consultation in October 2008, Teaching Spirituality Well, will bring together teacher-scholars of spirituality in order to explore “best practices” in teaching/learning spirituality and to develop potential strategies for the facilitation and support of those practices within educational institutions. Christian spirituality as a relatively new but established academic discipline is already committed to innovative teaching for the reciprocal integration of classical faith traditions and students’ vocational pursuits. The consultation ...
Proposal abstract :
A one-day consultation in October 2008, Teaching Spirituality Well, will bring together teacher-scholars of spirituality in order to explore “best practices” in teaching/learning spirituality and to develop potential strategies for the facilitation and support of those practices within educational institutions. Christian spirituality as a relatively new but established academic discipline is already committed to innovative teaching for the reciprocal integration of classical faith traditions and students’ vocational pursuits. The consultation will build on four years of annual pedagogical-learning sessions to address the increasing importance of teaching spirituality well for the greatest transformative impact on student learning.

Learning Abstract :
The most immediate impact of the consultation on participants was renewed collegiality and enhanced energy for constructive imagining of the future of SSCS as an association of teachers-scholars involved in transformative teaching-learning in spirituality. There was new appreciation of the founding voices, now clearly complemented by the next generation of leadership within the Society. New questions surfaced and some new conceptual voices entered the conversation. Greater interest in collaboration across constituencies and academic societies also emerged. The project is therefore affecting the Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality in some generative ways - i.e., future topics for shared investigation, renewed methodological inquiries across disciplines, clarification of methods for best teaching-learning practices within classroom settings, and broader inquiries into the impact of teaching-learning spirituality within the public domain.

Success for this consultation is defined largely by the clarity of focus, extent of leadership-membership contribution, and apparent bridging of scholarship-teaching concerns for "teaching spirituality well." Short-term success can be seen first in the successful focusing of attention on the three working theme-clusters. It was no mean feat to facilitate strong-minded scholars into just three working groups. Consultation participants clearly engaged the topics with energy and were able to provide leadership of the public session, facilitating contribution of insights by over 100 attendant voices. In both the day-long and public events, there was a good diversity between learner-centered issues and teacher-scholar-centered ones, suggesting the groups bridged the theory-practice split quite well. Long-term success of the venture remains to be demonstrated. A task force of the SSCS governing board is discerning next steps for deepening the conversation for the Society as a whole.
Grants cover image

Ministerial Formation in Non-Academy Settings

Awarded Grant
Boda, Mark
McMaster Divinity College
Theological Schools
2008
Topics: Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Educating Clergy

Proposal abstract :
This project seeks to learn from emerging models of theological education within non-formal academic institutional settings, whether local churches or parachurch contexts. It is particularly interested in models found in the emerging Pentecostal and Charismatic traditions of Christianity. These will be compared and contrasted with the model used within my present formal university context.
Proposal abstract :
This project seeks to learn from emerging models of theological education within non-formal academic institutional settings, whether local churches or parachurch contexts. It is particularly interested in models found in the emerging Pentecostal and Charismatic traditions of Christianity. These will be compared and contrasted with the model used within my present formal university context.

Learning Abstract :
The experience of three non-formal ministry formation contexts has highlighted the need for continued development of an integrated approach to ministry formation that involves knowing, being, and doing, that gives attention to gaining greater knowledge, deepening personal character and clarifying vocational identity, and acquiring ministry skills. The genius of these non-formal contexts was that this integration was seen not just in the program as a whole (as is typical of seminary), but also in the individual classes and in the lives of those who were forming the students. While there was concern over decreased attention to a breadth and depth of theological knowledge in these non-formal settings, this allowed for greater attention to the dimensions of being and knowing. This experience has prompted me to seek for greater integration of knowing/being/doing within seminary courses and curricula and within seminary professors both present and future.
Grants cover image

A Constructivist Approach to Teaching Theological Literacy

Awarded Grant
Vial, Theodore
Iliff School of Theology
Theological Schools
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.
Grants cover image

Conversation on teaching and learning

Awarded Grant
Oden, Amy
Wesley Theological Seminary
Theological Schools
2008
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Purpose: Establish a culture of conversation about teaching and learning within the Wesley faculty through an ongoing reading and discussion group over one academic year. Participants: The first year will limit the group to faculty within their first 6 years at Wesley. We will read selected portions of Stephen Brookfield’s, The Skillful Teacher. Each meeting will focus on a case study from our classroom experience. Meeting format: Gather for meal ...
Proposal abstract :
Purpose: Establish a culture of conversation about teaching and learning within the Wesley faculty through an ongoing reading and discussion group over one academic year. Participants: The first year will limit the group to faculty within their first 6 years at Wesley. We will read selected portions of Stephen Brookfield’s, The Skillful Teacher. Each meeting will focus on a case study from our classroom experience. Meeting format: Gather for meal and build community, share teaching high and low, discuss Brookfield reading and discuss participant's case study.

Learning Abstract :
Junior faculty members are open and eager to discuss their experiences and concerns as classroom teachers. Their struggles and questions are still relatively fresh, so they are motivated to share and learn. Without such conversation, these more junior faculty members can feel very alone in their teaching. One way to build confidence is through small-scale, junior faculty-only conversations as starting places. A safe, hospitable environment, perhaps off campus, allows open, honest sharing about difficult classroom experiences. This serves both to create space for each of these teachers to find their own teaching voice in conversation with colleagues as well as to form a cohort of faculty who are comfortable talking about classroom teaching. Lastly, it may serve well to have a senior teacher facilitate the group in order to encourage curiosity about classroom teaching, and provide structure for our meetings so that none of the participants are responsible for the logistics.
Grants cover image

Interdisciplinary Interpretive Issues

Awarded Grant
Liew, Tat-siong Benny
Pacific School of Religion
Theological Schools
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?
Grants cover image

MDiv Review: Capstone Course for Integration and Assessment

Awarded Grant
Hornbacker, Tara
Bethany Theological Seminary
Theological Schools
2008
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
MDiv Review (F302), our current capstone course, has held varying degrees of relationship to the rest of the Ministry Formation sequence and the assessment of student learning. Course content depends on which of the three faculty members teach the course and differs in style and substance from year to year. Goals: 1) Determine overall course objectives coherent with Ministry Formation sequence. 2) Create a teaching model providing assessment of student learning according ...
Proposal abstract :
MDiv Review (F302), our current capstone course, has held varying degrees of relationship to the rest of the Ministry Formation sequence and the assessment of student learning. Course content depends on which of the three faculty members teach the course and differs in style and substance from year to year. Goals: 1) Determine overall course objectives coherent with Ministry Formation sequence. 2) Create a teaching model providing assessment of student learning according to new MDiv curricular objectives. 3) Implement a model for feedback for student learning assessment. Activities: Three faculty members will participate in collaborative research to create parallel syllabi for each venue in which F302 is taught. They will participate in retreat setting meetings to integrate the new curricular objectives toward individual assessment of student outcomes and programmatic assessment of curricular work in an ongoing manner. This group will initiate a feedback loop for assessment of integrative learning.

Learning Abstract :
The project group implemented familiar methods of action and reflection in reviewing curriculum and setting capstone course objectives to reflect curricular objectives. We created parallel syllabi for distance education and face-2-face course work with integrity for course goals and learning platforms. The capstone course both builds upon the foundational ministry formation courses in a coherent manner and helps to establish an assessment loop to the whole curriculum. Data gathered from analysis of MDiv Review portfolio, along with student and faculty evaluation can be fed back into the system for constant improvement. Best practices in assessment can lead the way to fulfilling excellence in teaching and learning while holding the distinctive character and educational ethos of the institution in the forefront. The project group modeled collegial participation and excellence in the four educational terms we hope to teach our students: Interpretation, Integration, Communication, and Anticipation.
Grants cover image

Project Hermeneutics: Making 'Understanding' Count in Theological Education

Awarded Grant
Moritz, Thorsten
Bethel Theological Seminary
Theological Schools
2008
Topics: Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
The late modern era has generated a particular tension in many Christian denominations and their training schools: Many believers are no longer satisfied with accepting Christian tradition(s) uncritically. On the other hand, there is a strong perception that theology has become so specialized that only theological schools and those trained professionally can make the intellectual connection between the theological disciplines and the faith of believers. This has major repercussions, ...
Proposal abstract :
The late modern era has generated a particular tension in many Christian denominations and their training schools: Many believers are no longer satisfied with accepting Christian tradition(s) uncritically. On the other hand, there is a strong perception that theology has become so specialized that only theological schools and those trained professionally can make the intellectual connection between the theological disciplines and the faith of believers. This has major repercussions, both ecclesiologically and for our seminaries. It is the latter that this project focuses on. There are significant and relatively recent philosophical and academic tools available to help bridge the chasm between 'experts' and 'believers'. I propose to study a small, but wide-ranging selection of seminaries across the country to establish how and to what extent these tools are being appropriated in student learning and what recommendations can be made to improve student learning by renewing our approaches to hermeneutics teaching.

Learning Abstract :
Based on visiting thirty ATS accredited schools, this project reports on the state of hermeneutics and integration in current M.Div. training in the USA. How are students helped to avoid unhealthy dissonance between different academic disciplines and what role does hermeneutics play to that effect? More specifically, to what extent are relatively recent advances in hermeneutical scholarship appropriated and disseminated in M.Div. programs? The report suggests that the state of hermeneutics could be significantly healthier and that major tools at our disposal are not yet being used for improving the student experience. It notes specific approaches that have the potential to facilitate integration. It also makes preliminary recommendations for improving the understanding and use of hermeneutics in theological training and suggests that ecumenical dialog about this state of affairs would be highly beneficial. The outcome report of twenty pages is available, and both critical and affirming feedback will be gratefully received by the author.
Grants cover image

Exploring Constructivist Pedagogies in Theological Education

Awarded Grant
Danaher, William
Huron University College
Theological Schools
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.
Grants cover image

Coaching Models for Guiding Faculty Work in Curriculum and Course Assessment

Awarded Grant
Reistroffer, Dianne
Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary
Theological Schools
2008
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
The dual purpose of this fellowship is to explore the connection between coaching and assessment in theological education as a means of guiding faculty work in educational evaluation and to investigate coaching models that will introduce faculty to program and course assessment in ways that lower their resistance to assessment activity, enhance their teaching, and strengthen the seminary’s overall educational mission.
Proposal abstract :
The dual purpose of this fellowship is to explore the connection between coaching and assessment in theological education as a means of guiding faculty work in educational evaluation and to investigate coaching models that will introduce faculty to program and course assessment in ways that lower their resistance to assessment activity, enhance their teaching, and strengthen the seminary’s overall educational mission.

Learning Abstract :
Theological faculty members are open to assessment activity when the work relates directly to teaching and learning in a seminary context, is rooted in collaborative, purposeful inquiry, draws upon and makes effective use of the personal-professional experiences of each participant, and is conducted in groups where one or more colleagues are willing to serve in a coaching or facilitating role.
Grants cover image

Consultation on New Media for Professors of Christian Education

Awarded Grant
Dawson, Kathy
Columbia Theological Seminary
Theological Schools
2008
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Technology and Teaching

Proposal abstract :
We find ourselves constantly striving to stay current with the means and opportunities of new media. We propose to bring new media specialists into dialogue with Christian education faculty of four theological seminaries in Atlanta to create a space where faculty can envision ways to advance teaching and learning about theology and religion in a media literate culture. By understanding how new media and technologies are developing and how they ...
Proposal abstract :
We find ourselves constantly striving to stay current with the means and opportunities of new media. We propose to bring new media specialists into dialogue with Christian education faculty of four theological seminaries in Atlanta to create a space where faculty can envision ways to advance teaching and learning about theology and religion in a media literate culture. By understanding how new media and technologies are developing and how they will impact the way future generations communicate, collaborate, socialize, do research, persuade, teach and learn, we expect to improve the ways in which we meet the needs of younger seminarians. The rapidity and pervasiveness of the change challenges professors of Christian education to new networks of learning. The consultation we propose will open for us new knowledge and new networks of learning.

Learning Abstract :
The intention behind this small grant was to bring together Christian education professors from the four Atlanta area theological schools: Candler School of Theology at Emory University, MacAfee School of Theology at Mercer University, Interdenominational Theological Center, and Columbia Theological Seminary to discuss with cutting age new media developers and educators the latest trends in online education. This meant coordinating many schedules of many different institutions and individuals. To some extent the event that was held on May 2, 2009 was a success as we had representatives from both the academic community and the technology sages, although not as many as we hoped. The evaluations were positive and participants learned a lot about virtual worlds, electronic textbooks, and other social internet media. We hope to continue this learning through an electronic social media site with Christian education professors in other locations.
Grants cover image

Short-term Intercultural Immersion Experiences at ATS Seminaries: A Study of Pedagogical Practices Contributing to Transformative Learning and Cultural Competency

Awarded Grant
Tortorici, Joseph
Wesley Theological Seminary
Theological Schools
2009
Topics: Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
This two-year research project will research pedagogical practices of short-term intercultural immersion programs at eight ATS institutions. Analysis of program design, implementation, administration, and evaluation will seek to determine best practices in offering transformative learning experiences, cultivating intercultural competencies, and evoking affective outcomes. In an increasingly multicultural global reality, intercultural immersion programs are a critical element in seminary formation for ministerial leadership. It is anticipated research will contribute to an ...
Proposal abstract :
This two-year research project will research pedagogical practices of short-term intercultural immersion programs at eight ATS institutions. Analysis of program design, implementation, administration, and evaluation will seek to determine best practices in offering transformative learning experiences, cultivating intercultural competencies, and evoking affective outcomes. In an increasingly multicultural global reality, intercultural immersion programs are a critical element in seminary formation for ministerial leadership. It is anticipated research will contribute to an increase in both effectiveness of current programs as well as interest in establishing new programs.

Learning Abstract :
This research project supported the overall finding that schools need to be more intentional about the design and implementation of short term immersion programs. The elements that we identified that contribute to the success of these programs are: 1) Institutional leadership that is supportive of this curriculum component; 2) Faculty who are passionate about leading immersion trips; 3) Adequate funding for immersion programs; 4) Well designed pre-immersion components of readings, presentations, and discussions in order to prepare students for the actual cultural immersion experience; 5) Adequate evaluation instruments and procedures which ensure feedback and improvement of the program and the learning. An additional benefit to the study was the way in which even a modest research project in this area stimulates those being interviewed to look much more carefully at their pedagogy, design, and evaluation.
Grants cover image

Teaching Sense: The Arts in Theological Education

Awarded Grant
Cameron, Euan
Union Theological Seminary, NY
Theological Schools
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.
Grants cover image

Space, Place, and Religious Meaning in the Classroom: A Workshop on Teaching Strategies

Awarded Grant
Primiano, Leonard
Cabrini College
2009
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Professors of religious studies and theology successfully integrate textual study, social history, ethnography, and other approaches into their classrooms, but a sensitivity to and sensibility of religious constructions of space and place - central components to religious experience - are often neglected. This workshop challenges us to add the study of space and place to our courses.
Proposal abstract :
Professors of religious studies and theology successfully integrate textual study, social history, ethnography, and other approaches into their classrooms, but a sensitivity to and sensibility of religious constructions of space and place - central components to religious experience - are often neglected. This workshop challenges us to add the study of space and place to our courses.

Learning Abstract :
The Wabash grant funded this American Academy of Religion pre-meeting workshop on space, place, and religious meaning. The workshop re-affirmed that there is an interest among religious studies faculty and graduate students in not only developing a sensitivity to religious space and place, but in addressing the question of how to employ such ideas in the classroom to make the religions being taught come alive, whether in historical or contemporary perspective. This workshop worked on the pedagogical development of the study of religious space and place by including an introduction to theoretical leaders in the field and a panel discussion by teacher/scholars who already employ such techniques in their classrooms. Workshop facilitators learned that there is an even greater need in such a context for hands-on examples and development of teaching strategies relevant to those teaching about religious traditions, and that we should consider offering such a workshop in the future, as well as continue to work on the development of a suitable Handbook on Religious Space and Place which would be an asset for all teachers of religion.
Grants cover image

Towards a Pedagogy of Global Citizenship

Awarded Grant
Desjardins, Michel|Benham Rennick, Joanne
St. Jerome's University
2009
Topics: Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Student learning through international experience is a developing area that combines interdisciplinary methods. Normally the goal is to provide students with greater awareness about global society while also building specific knowledge in their own field (e.g., religious studies or language). Across North America institutions are pursuing this objective in a variety of ways. The disciplines of Religious Studies and Theology, with their predominant concern for social justice and care ...
Proposal abstract :
Student learning through international experience is a developing area that combines interdisciplinary methods. Normally the goal is to provide students with greater awareness about global society while also building specific knowledge in their own field (e.g., religious studies or language). Across North America institutions are pursuing this objective in a variety of ways. The disciplines of Religious Studies and Theology, with their predominant concern for social justice and care for others, have much to contribute to the discussion of how to prepare students for such experiences. Moreover, given the long standing presence of service learning and travel associated with education about religion, there is a precedent in place for scholars of religion to offer insights into past successes and failures in such ventures. As such, this project seeks to establish a community of scholars who incorporate service learning in their programs to define and elaborate the parameters of the discipline in its various forms, as well as identify and compile a variety of “best practices” relating to student learning outside their home country.

Learning Abstract :
Wabash funding allowed us to pursue questions about pedagogical models promoting global citizenship. The Good Global Citizenship Think Tank I (January 2010) and II (January 2011), provided a forum for students, scholars and program facilitators to listen, think together and learn about the implications of international experience programs on student learning and on the international communities to which our students travel. We were able to focus on the ethical and moral implications of such education and asked questions surrounding the kinds of values implicit in and absent from such programs. Together we identified some "core concerns" and worked to examine these through student reflection papers, scholarly articles on internationalization of education, and case studies that examine the kinds of programming happening in Canada today. We have been excited and inspired by the inclusion of students throughout this project: their public presentations during the think tank and in academic forums, and their written contributions that will be included in our collaborative volume on this topic. Furthermore, Wabash funds have allowed us to pursue and share a breadth of new research on this topic through public workshops, scholarly presentations, research articles, and a forthcoming edited book.
Grants cover image

Helping Faculty to Build Community in the Classroom

Awarded Grant
Wong, Arch
Ambrose University
Colleges/Universities
2009
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Relating Pedagogy and Curriculum

Proposal abstract :
This project will bring a number of professors together from the Faculty of Theology at Ambrose University College to reflect, discuss, and implement ways to better build community in the classroom. The focus will be the pedagogical issues that professors face in their own classrooms as it relates to community building, and the teaching and learning activities that they have and will use to build and improve community in order ...
Proposal abstract :
This project will bring a number of professors together from the Faculty of Theology at Ambrose University College to reflect, discuss, and implement ways to better build community in the classroom. The focus will be the pedagogical issues that professors face in their own classrooms as it relates to community building, and the teaching and learning activities that they have and will use to build and improve community in order to help students learn.

Learning Abstract :
What does it mean to live in pedagogical community? Six professors met together to have conversations about creating community in the classroom. We discovered that in order to build classroom community we have to live in community ourselves as a "community of scholars." As we live as a "community of scholars," we can have deeper conversations around teaching and learning strategies that will facilitate learning in the classroom and discuss the challenges we face in the classroom. We also discovered together that there are tensions between institutional goals and the art of teaching that need to be resolved so that pedagogical community can genuinely happen.
Grants cover image

Tweet-agogy 101: New Social Media and Pedagogy Colloquium

Awarded Grant
Drescher, Elizabeth
Church Divinity School of the Pacific
Theological Schools
2009
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Technology and Teaching

Proposal abstract :
New social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube along with a number of RSS feeds, search aggregators, and blogging portals have dramatically changed the way information is shared and knowledge is developed. Students under 40 - the so-called “Net Generation” that came of age along with internet technology-increasingly rely on social media as an integral part of a mode of participatory, collaborative learning that educators can productively engage when ...
Proposal abstract :
New social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube along with a number of RSS feeds, search aggregators, and blogging portals have dramatically changed the way information is shared and knowledge is developed. Students under 40 - the so-called “Net Generation” that came of age along with internet technology-increasingly rely on social media as an integral part of a mode of participatory, collaborative learning that educators can productively engage when they better understand how social media works at the level of epistemology, identity-formation, pedagogy, and practical classroom use. To support instructors efforts to understand and utilize social media for pedagogical purposes, CDSP and the GTU library are collaborating on a two-part colloquium which provide an overview of the new social media landscape and its pedagogical implication and provide opportunities for practice with social networking tools and expert feedback.

Learning Abstract :
The objectives of the workshop were to introduce participants to shifts in social consciousness associated with changes in social media and to familiarize them with the major social media tools that are participating in this shift. While the workshop was not a "how to" session in the sense that learners were not instructed on the ins and outs of various tools, participants did work with tools such as Facebook, YouTube, Twiter, and Wikipedia by way of experimenting with ways of integrating both the tools themselves and emerging modes of participative collaborative learning in the context of theological education.
Grants cover image

A Consultation on Spiritual Formation in Seminaries: Presbyterian Church (USA), United Church of Christ and United Methodist Church

Awarded Grant
Keely, Barbara Anne
United Theological Seminary of Twin Cities
Theological Schools
2009
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
The purpose of this consultation is for representatives from seminaries of the PCUSA, UCC and UMC to gather and explore what is understood by “spiritual formation” and how the formation of students is being incorporated into the Master of Divinity program. Areas to be explored include the explicit goals for spiritual formation within the degree, courses being taught and the explicit spiritual formation experiences offered. In addition to these offerings, ...
Proposal abstract :
The purpose of this consultation is for representatives from seminaries of the PCUSA, UCC and UMC to gather and explore what is understood by “spiritual formation” and how the formation of students is being incorporated into the Master of Divinity program. Areas to be explored include the explicit goals for spiritual formation within the degree, courses being taught and the explicit spiritual formation experiences offered. In addition to these offerings, the seminary representatives will also present how spiritual formation is incorporated into the academic courses and community life of the Master of Divinity program as a whole. Drawing on the identified material, the consultation will discover how the field is being defined within the seminaries, identify what is similar or different in the represented programs, explore strengths and challenges for each program, and examine ways participants might strengthen their programs in this area.

Learning Abstract :
The purpose of this consultation was for twelve professors from seminaries of the Presbyterian Church (USA), United Church of Christ, and United Methodist Church to gather and explore what is understood by "spiritual formation" and how the spiritual formation of ministerial students is being incorporated into the academic programs at their schools. Although no definition of spiritual formation was decided upon, a few core descriptors became useful for the group in its conversations: identity formation; developing habits of head, heart & body; holistic way of living; developing relationship with God and creation; compassion; and justice. Some courses being offered focus on knowledge and understanding of spirituality and others emphasize spiritual formation through practices and experiences. As this project's focus was on students preparing for ordained ministry, this difference raised questions of what preparation is required for spiritual formation of the pastor and for pastors to be able to spiritually nurture the congregation. The area the participants desired more time to address was the academic assessment of spiritual formation of students.
Grants cover image

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 Schools
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.
Grants cover image

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 Schools
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.
Grants cover image

Learning and Teaching Womanist Religious Thought: Experiences from Third Wave Womanist Religious Scholars

Awarded Grant
Coleman, Monica
Claremont School of Theology
Theological Schools
2009
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
In this historical moment of postmodernity, religious plurality, methodological diversity and shift from a politics of identity to those of ideology, there is an emerging “third wave” within womanist religious scholarship. Here religious scholars maintain womanist heritage and terminology while challenging the assumptions of a previous generation and exploring new areas of inquiry. This project invites a discussion on learning and teaching among established and emerging religious scholars who identify ...
Proposal abstract :
In this historical moment of postmodernity, religious plurality, methodological diversity and shift from a politics of identity to those of ideology, there is an emerging “third wave” within womanist religious scholarship. Here religious scholars maintain womanist heritage and terminology while challenging the assumptions of a previous generation and exploring new areas of inquiry. This project invites a discussion on learning and teaching among established and emerging religious scholars who identify their scholarship as being part of this “third wave” in womanist religious thought. Participants will discuss personal educational experiences of learning womanist religious thought, and share strategies, techniques and syllabi for teaching womanist religious thought. This will take place during a two and one-half day conference on “Third Wave Womanist Religious Thought” at the Claremont School of Theology in February 2010.

Learning Abstract :
We gathered fifteen scholars who identified all of or part of their work as
"third wave" womanist religious thought. In seeking data about how this new
wave is forming, we learned: 1) Context matters: how the information and
discourse is learned, transmitted, and mediated affects assumptions,
connections, and conclusions about the nature and meaning of womanist
religious thought (WRT). Most scholars learned WRT through written resources
in formal graduate education settings. 2) Mode of Transmission: paying
particular attention to the influences of WRT affects the impact that WRT
had on the formation of participants' own intellectual production. Most
scholars referenced the impact of the writings of Delores Williams and Alice
Walker, while expressing variations about the role of womanist mentors. 3)
Naming: feelings of exclusion in larger descriptions of womanist (around
race, gender and sexual identity) affect identification of one's work as
womanist. All scholars expressed respect for the tradition from whence the
third wave emerges while maintaining an eager passion to advance the field
in new and exciting ways. Participants shared syllabi and felt it helpful
for expanding their reading lists in terms of their own research and future
syllabus construction. Many of these syllabi will be posted online.
Grants cover image

Latin@ Pedagogies in Protestant/ Evangélica Theological Education in the USA

Awarded Grant
Martell-Otero, Loida
Palmer Theological Seminary - Eastern Univ
Theological Schools
2009
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Relating Pedagogy and Curriculum

Proposal abstract :
The purpose of this project is to address the question of “Latin@ pedagogy.” Is there a distinctive set of pedagogies that can, in fact, be identified as Latin@? Are these pedagogical approaches influenced by religious culture; in other words, is there a distinctive Protestant/ evangélica pedagogy? If there is, can awareness and implementation of such pedagogies transcend the cultural/ ethnic/ racial background of theological educators; that is to say, ...
Proposal abstract :
The purpose of this project is to address the question of “Latin@ pedagogy.” Is there a distinctive set of pedagogies that can, in fact, be identified as Latin@? Are these pedagogical approaches influenced by religious culture; in other words, is there a distinctive Protestant/ evangélica pedagogy? If there is, can awareness and implementation of such pedagogies transcend the cultural/ ethnic/ racial background of theological educators; that is to say, can non-Latin@s learn such pedagogical practices such that they, along with their Latin@ colleagues, can create a learning environment that adequately responds to the needs of Latin@ students? It is the contention of this project that identifying such pedagogical approaches can begin to develop a curriculum that is culturally and religiously appropriate for Protestant Latin@s that will prepare them adequately for their work among Latin@ communities in the Unites States and abroad.

Learning Abstract :
This project was a two-fold event that sought to identify specific "Latina evangélica/o" pedagogical approaches. As a result of a morning roundtable conversation with core scholars and their subsequent afternoon gathering with grassroots evangélico/a (Protestant) leaders, preliminary findings were identified. For example, the group noted that: 1) Latina/o evangélicas bring to the classroom a multicontextual approach that seeks the intentional inclusion of nontraditional and marginalized voices. 2) They respect non-modern worldviews in an academic culture that privileges post-Enlightenment approaches to learning. 3) Latino/a evangélicas integrally link a spirituality that is part of the "everyday" (lo cotidiano) praxis with a profound sense of vocation (llamamiento). Spirituality and llamamiento, in turn, provide social capital and impact how evangélicas/os learn and teach. The group agreed that this project was only a preliminary step towards a larger conversation that needs to take place, which would entail historical and structural analyses of Latinas/os in the academy.
Grants cover image

Teaching New Testament Introduction Latinamente: An Exploration

Awarded Grant
Agosto, Efrain
Hartford Seminary
Theological Schools
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 :
Grants cover image

Reading en conjunto: Strategies for Teaching Biblical Studies Intercontextually

Awarded Grant
Ruiz, Jean-Pierre
St. John's University (Queens)
2009
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
What does it mean to teach biblical studies latinamente and what difference might it make in teaching undergraduate students who themselves represent a broad range of ethnic and religious diversity? This project will foreground four characteristics of latino/a pedagogies, namely: (1) explicit contextuality; (2) communal construction of knowledge (trabajo en conjunto); (3) inclusivity of other voices and perspectives; and (4) interdisciplinarity. Implemented in the undergraduate Introduction to the Bible course, this will provide ...
Proposal abstract :
What does it mean to teach biblical studies latinamente and what difference might it make in teaching undergraduate students who themselves represent a broad range of ethnic and religious diversity? This project will foreground four characteristics of latino/a pedagogies, namely: (1) explicit contextuality; (2) communal construction of knowledge (trabajo en conjunto); (3) inclusivity of other voices and perspectives; and (4) interdisciplinarity. Implemented in the undergraduate Introduction to the Bible course, this will provide a framework for introducing students to a field of study that has itself become increasingly complex, interdisciplinary, and intentionally contextual.

Learning Abstract :
Grants cover image

Teaching Latinamente and Liberation Education: A Comparative Study of Service-Learning in University Theological Studies

Awarded Grant
Rosario-Rodriguez, Rubén
Saint Louis University
Colleges/Universities
2009
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
This project seeks to provide a comparative analysis of how different faculty members in the Department of Theological Studies (DTS) at Saint Louis University (SLU) incorporate service-learning into their Theology courses. As a Latino faculty member, and participant in the 2008-2009 Colloquy on Teaching for Latino/a Faculty, I am particularly interested in exploring whether or not I can identify a distinctly latinamente approach to employing service-learning as a teaching ...
Proposal abstract :
This project seeks to provide a comparative analysis of how different faculty members in the Department of Theological Studies (DTS) at Saint Louis University (SLU) incorporate service-learning into their Theology courses. As a Latino faculty member, and participant in the 2008-2009 Colloquy on Teaching for Latino/a Faculty, I am particularly interested in exploring whether or not I can identify a distinctly latinamente approach to employing service-learning as a teaching strategy.

Learning Abstract :
Grants cover image

Teaching Theology in Spanglish: Toward a Latin@ Pedagogy for Theological Education

Awarded Grant
Nanko-Fernández, Carmen
Catholic Theological Union of Chicago
Theological Schools
2009
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Identity, Vocation, and Culture of Teaching

Proposal abstract :
The identification of a spectrum of characteristics that can be categorized as distinctive to the doing of theology latinamente invites critical reflection with respect to pedagogy. The privileging of context, relationality, and the daily in a communal construction of knowledge is worth exploring in a teaching/learning media that require flexibility, creativity and interactivity. The content and methods of Latin@ theologies suggest pedagogical approaches that can also inform such areas ...
Proposal abstract :
The identification of a spectrum of characteristics that can be categorized as distinctive to the doing of theology latinamente invites critical reflection with respect to pedagogy. The privileging of context, relationality, and the daily in a communal construction of knowledge is worth exploring in a teaching/learning media that require flexibility, creativity and interactivity. The content and methods of Latin@ theologies suggest pedagogical approaches that can also inform such areas as distance education, field education and professional ministerial development.

Learning Abstract :
Among the many insights of Latino/a scholars is the privileging of the daily/lo cotidiano as source and ground of our theologies. This embrace of context also implies an awareness of the fluidity of nuestra vida cotidiana and an openness to the complexities, ambiguities, particularities and surprises that accompany serious engagement with daily living. So imagine my surprise to discover that my ambitious pedagogical agenda as outlined in my fellowship application would become a victim of the particularity of my daily reality.

During the grant period a trip to Puerto Rico allowed for a block of time for research and reading to create an upper level graduate course on sources and methods in Latin@' theologies. The choice of Puerto Rico was intentional because San Juan marks the beginning of the Catholic Church in what becomes the USA and its constellations of states and territories. This primal See is often neglected in Catholic histories of the US church. The venue provided access to historic churches as well as visual evidence of the impacts of hybridity and colonization, two prevalent themes in Latin@' theologies. Furthermore, a Caribbean focus illustrated the rich diversity of Latin@' roots, peoples, and perspectives, a necessary consideration since too often Latin@' experiences are conflated into Mexican and Mexican American categories. This trip also presented an opportunity to catch up with some of the more recent scholarship by Latin@' theologians with an eye toward how these resources might fit into a syllabus exploring sources and methods. Because of the online aspect of the proposed course and the Latin@' characteristics imagined for it, some time was spent digitally photographing a variety of images.

There were several unexpected outcomes that included opportunities to speak at the biennial consultation of the Association of Theological Field Educators and at the Center for Ministry Development utilizing some of these images in a manner that drew specific appreciation for their pedagogical value from participants at both meetings. In addition to developing two new proposed courses for doctoral students, I was able to integrate scholarship from Latin@' contexts and underscore the value and contribution of this theologizing for the greater academic and ecclesial contexts.
Grants cover image

Strategic Pedagogical Intervention in the Latino/a Religious History Doctoral Pipeline

Awarded Grant
Ramirez, Daniel
University of Michigan
2009
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
This proposed strategic intervention project seeks to develop pedagogical and curricular resources to attract a new generation of scholars into the field of Latina/o Religious History, and to lay the groundwork for growing a new cohort in the field among current undergraduates, including, especially, Latina/o-identified students. The creation and dissemination of learning and research modules for insertion into syllabi, courses and research programs across the humanistic and social ...
Proposal abstract :
This proposed strategic intervention project seeks to develop pedagogical and curricular resources to attract a new generation of scholars into the field of Latina/o Religious History, and to lay the groundwork for growing a new cohort in the field among current undergraduates, including, especially, Latina/o-identified students. The creation and dissemination of learning and research modules for insertion into syllabi, courses and research programs across the humanistic and social scientific disciplines will expand the pedagogical repertoire of faculty at institutions across the country, and prime them to serve as collaborative recruiters and mentors of potential future historians and scholars of the U.S. Latina/o religious experience.

Learning Abstract :
The project developed pedagogical and curricular resources to attract a new generation of scholars into the field of Latina/o Religious History, and to lay the groundwork for growing a new cohort in the field among current undergraduates, including, especially, Latina/o identified students. The project surveyed the state of Latina/o religious experience in U.S. religious history courses and illustrated a general lack of materials and modules related to the topic. Given the lack of materials in higher education classrooms, the project also included the development of learning and research modules that could be inserted into existing syllabi, courses and research programs across the humanistic and social scientific disciplines in North America.
Grants cover image

Teaching Enhancement Through Learning Projects Proposal

Awarded Grant
Wilhoit, James
Wheaton College - Illinois
Colleges/Universities
2009
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
The project is centered around creating a faculty discussion and working group focused on Vella's teaching strategy of learning tasks. Participants will read her book (Taking Learning to Task: Creative Strategies for Teaching Adults) and discuss possible ways of including her strategy in their classes. Each member will use this strategy once in a class and will make plans to include at least one learning task in the next semester. ...
Proposal abstract :
The project is centered around creating a faculty discussion and working group focused on Vella's teaching strategy of learning tasks. Participants will read her book (Taking Learning to Task: Creative Strategies for Teaching Adults) and discuss possible ways of including her strategy in their classes. Each member will use this strategy once in a class and will make plans to include at least one learning task in the next semester. We will meet for five off-campus lunch meeting of two-hours each.

Learning Abstract :
I learned the immense value that a safe and structured conversation on teaching and learning can be for department colleagues. In our department we tend to each teach separate courses so we do not have ongoing conversations about texts and outcomes.

I think it was very valuable to have a thoughtful book as a conversation partner at our table. Our teaching is something that is very personal and it is easy to become defensive about it, but a third party in the form of good text allowed us to discuss our teaching practices using this outsider as the reference point.

A good meal set such a nice tone for these conversations. Being off-campus also seemed to allow for greater openness and more freedom in exploring very personal issues about how we structure our classes.
Grants cover image

Faculty/Student Collaboration: New Perspectives, New Challenges

Awarded Grant
Lanci, John
Stonehill College
Colleges/Universities
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."
Grants cover image

Faculty Colloquium: On-Line Teaching and Learning

Awarded Grant
O’Gorman, Robert
Loyola University Chicago
Colleges/Universities
2009
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
In the fall 2006 the Institute of Pastoral Studies made the decision not only to begin online teaching in ministerial education but to develop two of our M.A. degrees -- Pastoral Studies and Religious Education as degrees which could be taken totally online. This was a bold initiative. Over the next 12 months several of the faculty undertook intensive preparation for online teaching -- including participation in the Wabash sponsored DEPD 0135: ...
Proposal abstract :
In the fall 2006 the Institute of Pastoral Studies made the decision not only to begin online teaching in ministerial education but to develop two of our M.A. degrees -- Pastoral Studies and Religious Education as degrees which could be taken totally online. This was a bold initiative. Over the next 12 months several of the faculty undertook intensive preparation for online teaching -- including participation in the Wabash sponsored DEPD 0135: TEACHING ONLINE June 4 - July 28, 2007. To date we have offered a full complement of core and elective courses to over 170 students. At this point it is our desire to take two full days in January before the spring 2010 term begins to share our corporate wisdom with this experience. We have set aside January 14 & 15, 2010 to share our best practices in online teaching.

Learning Abstract :
After two and one half years of experience with online teaching to over 170 students, Loyola University's Institute of Pastoral Studies (IPS) full time and adjunct faculty gathered January 14 and 15th 2010 for an intensive reflection on their experiences. The content/process began with initial sharing from each of the faculty focusing major themes of the on-line experience. A presentation of survey results of the students (especially designed for this colloquium) was followed by discussion correlating faculty and student experiences.

Input on synchronous online teaching was presented and the faculty began a listing of best practices of online teaching. The second day began with an invited presentation by IPS adjunct faculty member Richard Ascough of Queens College, Kingston Ontario on the theory beneath on-line teaching. The faculty then moved to examining how online learning can communicate the distinctive Loyola IPS teaching/learning culture with a focus on community and spiritual formation. The afternoon was devoted to a presentation by the University's Instructional Technology Department dealing with assessment. The last session named the consensus as this faculty moved into the next steps in its corporate approach to online teaching.
Grants cover image

The Borderlands of Imagination: Poetry as Catalyst for Theological Insight and Teaching

Awarded Grant
Burrows, Mark
Andover Newton Theological School
Theological Schools
2009
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
This grant will facilitate a faculty development seminar which will bring together theological educators with established poets. The common work of this collaborative will explore poetry as a catalyst for theological insight and pastoral imagination, and the importance of poetics for teaching in the various fields represented by participating faculty.
Proposal abstract :
This grant will facilitate a faculty development seminar which will bring together theological educators with established poets. The common work of this collaborative will explore poetry as a catalyst for theological insight and pastoral imagination, and the importance of poetics for teaching in the various fields represented by participating faculty.

Learning Abstract :
Practicing poets were brought into direct conversation about the potential of poetry and the art of writing poetry as particular means toward reconceptualizing teaching in theological school contexts. Faculty reflected on how to invoke creativity in their teaching strategies and considered how the art of poetry, the practice of poetic writing, and the study of theological school topics might provoke deeper learning.
Grants cover image

Assessing Teaching and Learning in Terminal M.A. Programs in Religious Studies

Awarded Grant
Berkwitz, Stephen
Missouri State University
Colleges/Universities
2009
Topics: Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Terminal M.A. programs in Religious Studies offer advanced coursework to a diverse range of students in the field. Balancing the interests of students seeking specialized knowledge to pursue doctoral degrees and other students seeking general knowledge for other careers and for personal development, these programs must often develop courses of graduate study for diverse student constituencies with more limited resources than in institutions that grant Ph.D.s in ...
Proposal abstract :
Terminal M.A. programs in Religious Studies offer advanced coursework to a diverse range of students in the field. Balancing the interests of students seeking specialized knowledge to pursue doctoral degrees and other students seeking general knowledge for other careers and for personal development, these programs must often develop courses of graduate study for diverse student constituencies with more limited resources than in institutions that grant Ph.D.s in Religious Studies. This grant proposal seeks to facilitate the intentional assessment of teaching and learning in terminal M.A. programs at a two and a half day workshop for graduate program directors or appropriate substitutes to engage in focused and collaborative discussions on the pedagogical goals and methods in terminal M.A. programs in Religious Studies. The anticipated outcomes of this workshop include the formation and assessment of effective learning goals and teaching strategies to enhance graduate education at the Masters level in the field.

Learning Abstract :
The workshop titled "Assessing Teaching and Learning in Terminal M.A. Programs in Religious Studies" and sponsored by the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion enabled faculty from twelve different M.A. programs to meet and discuss our shared interests and challenges in enhancing the educational experience for terminal M.A. students. The goal of helping faculty to assess the curricula and pedagogy in their own M.A. programs alongside other programs like theirs was clearly met. The sharing of ideas and perspectives on how to teach diverse student constituencies and how to meet the educational goals of such students was stimulating and helpful. The discussions regarding teaching gateway courses, independent study courses, and split-level courses produced practical ideas for all participants to try out and share with their respective colleagues. And the conversation we had about exit rituals encouraged each of us to assess how our own departments link degree requirements with the larger goal of effective teaching and learning throughout a student's Master's program. Despite the many differences to be found across our programs, we found many more commonalities that gave us a basis for sharing advice, encouragement, and even sympathy with each other.
Grants cover image

Provoking Justice: Community Engagement and Teaching Religion

Awarded Grant
Pippin, Tina
Agnes Scott College
Colleges/Universities
2010
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
During my twenty years of teaching at a small liberal arts college for women I have built various community partnerships through short-term field trips and long-term programs. These partnerships range from campus (departmental process; living wage campaign; teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) to Atlanta (local human rights organizations; a homeless shelter for women and children; a teen parenting program with a local high school; a seminary teaching intern ...
Proposal abstract :
During my twenty years of teaching at a small liberal arts college for women I have built various community partnerships through short-term field trips and long-term programs. These partnerships range from campus (departmental process; living wage campaign; teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) to Atlanta (local human rights organizations; a homeless shelter for women and children; a teen parenting program with a local high school; a seminary teaching intern program) I believe that the long-term relationships with community partners provide the sites for transformative learning. In this sabbatical project I want to investigate more deeply the scholarship of teaching social justice and religion, analyze the connections between the partners and transformative learning by students (and teacher), and identify ways to expand the academic experiences both theoretically and practically. I am planning a book project tentatively entitled, “Provoking Justice: Community Engagement and Teaching Religion,” based on these experiences as they are in conversation with pedagogical theories.

Learning Abstract :
From my reading in pedagogies and theatre of the oppressed and other critical, feminist, and popular education theories and practices, I learned the importance of dreaming big, of pushing the impossible. What this means more concretely is developing questions about faculty power in relation to democratic ideals. Our departmental model is about offering an alternative in higher education - one that is committed to living out more radical pedagogical practices in my classroom and my department. One outcome is the current movement in our department's student leadership group out of our department and into the larger institutional system. The witness of grassroots teachers in various social movements and alternative models for social transformation offer important hints about movement building in unjust systems. There are failures and successes in the journey that are always centered in ethical relationship - in the classroom, with community partners, in a web of relationships.
Grants cover image

Teaching Religion, Conflict Transformation, and Peacebuilding; A Consultation of Educators in Theology and Religion

Awarded Grant
Moore, Mary Elizabeth
Boston University School of Theology
Theological Schools
2010
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
The purpose of the project is to inspire and resource teaching and learning in religion, conflict transformation, and peacebuilding in higher education, especially schools of theology and religion. The project will bring together educators in theology and religion to: 1) consult on the state of teaching and research in religion, conflict transformation, and peacebuilding; 2) discern emerging pedagogies for teaching and learning in this field; 3) strategize how to institutionalize such teaching and ...
Proposal abstract :
The purpose of the project is to inspire and resource teaching and learning in religion, conflict transformation, and peacebuilding in higher education, especially schools of theology and religion. The project will bring together educators in theology and religion to: 1) consult on the state of teaching and research in religion, conflict transformation, and peacebuilding; 2) discern emerging pedagogies for teaching and learning in this field; 3) strategize how to institutionalize such teaching and learning in sustainable ways; and 4) strengthen networks for ongoing collaboration This project is being sponsored by Boston University School of Theology and its Religion and Conflict Transformation Program, in collaboration with the JustPeace Center for Mediation and Conflict Transformation of the United Methodist Church and The Boston Theological Institute.

Learning Abstract :
The Consultation, "Teaching Religion, Conflict Transformation, and Peacebuilding," revealed the healing contours of a relatively new movement in theological school and higher education. The movement studies the role of religion in stirring and sustaining conflict, and the simultaneous power of religion to inspire and guide the transformative work of forgiveness, restorative justice, trauma healing, and reconciliation. We discovered that many schools' mission statements support this emerging field with accents on social transformation; programs in the field have expanded significantly in the last decade; and effective pedagogies accentuate mentoring, narratives, pilgrimages, hard conversations, collaboration, meditation, and action-reflection. We also learned that, to advance the movement, we need to continue sharing our best pedagogies and programs. The conversation begun in this Consultation will continue through the creation of a support network and resource pool. An interfaith consultation is also being planned to expand the conversation within Abrahamic traditions.
Grants cover image

Investigating Best Practices in Seminary Distance Education

Awarded Grant
Jost, Lynn
Fresno Pacific Univ Biblical Seminary
Theological Schools
2010
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Technology and Teaching

Proposal abstract :
Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary has become convinced of both the need for and the potential of hybrid and online course offerings to serve our dispersed constituencies. We need further training in implementing these technologies and pedagogies, so that we can choose wisely when and how to use distance technologies to help us reach our institutional goals, and so that we can do so effectively. To follow up a consultation that ...
Proposal abstract :
Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary has become convinced of both the need for and the potential of hybrid and online course offerings to serve our dispersed constituencies. We need further training in implementing these technologies and pedagogies, so that we can choose wisely when and how to use distance technologies to help us reach our institutional goals, and so that we can do so effectively. To follow up a consultation that Wabash funded just over a year ago, we will visit several schools that can help us learn their best practices in distance education.

Learning Abstract :
The aim of this project was to advance our discussion about the development of online and/or hybrid degree programs by engaging in site visits to institutions already engaged in offering such programs. During a four-day trip in August, 2010, two members of our faculty were provided an opportunity to learn about various models of distance-based and limited-residency seminary programs through site visits to five institutions in Indiana. Conversations with presidents, deans, faculty, educational technologists, and other leaders within these institutions provided a thorough, holistic picture of the strengths, challenges, and resource implications associated with their respective program designs. Furthermore, these conversations provided insight into the theological, philosophical, contextual, and institutional factors that motivated each school to decide upon its specific strategy. Since this trip, our faculty has benefitted considerably from exploring the relevance of the insights generated during this trip for our own efforts in the area of distance learning.
Grants cover image

Global Theological Education Initiative: Intercultural Learning in a World Church, Phase II

Awarded Grant
McGann, Mary|Kiesler, John
Franciscan School of Theology
Theological Schools
2010
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
The Franciscan School of Theology, aims to prepare students for full participation in a global church. Our theological tradition and educational pedagogy underscore the importance of intercultural learning and formation in relationships of mutuality, respect and justice. The Global Theological Initiative aims to heighten our ability to prepare globally conscious leaders by engaging the faculty in a series of intercultural and contextual teaching and learning experiments - local encounters, national ...
Proposal abstract :
The Franciscan School of Theology, aims to prepare students for full participation in a global church. Our theological tradition and educational pedagogy underscore the importance of intercultural learning and formation in relationships of mutuality, respect and justice. The Global Theological Initiative aims to heighten our ability to prepare globally conscious leaders by engaging the faculty in a series of intercultural and contextual teaching and learning experiments - local encounters, national and international immersions - that enable faculty and students to experience first-hand the interconnectedness of peoples, cultures, and issues in our global society and church. Phase I of the initiative enabled faculty to identify the pedagogical issues and formulate a preliminary plan for the program. Phase II moves conversation to experimentation, engaging faculty in the design, implementation, and assessment of several immersion experiences that relate directly to the pedagogical and formational goals of our curriculum.

Learning Abstract :
The Franciscan School of Theology, aims to prepare students for full participation in a global church. Our theological tradition and educational pedagogy underscore the importance of intercultural learning and formation in relationships of mutuality, respect and justice. The Global Theological Initiative heightened our ability to prepare globally conscious leaders by engaging the faculty in a series of intercultural and contextual teaching and learning experiments - local encounters, national and international immersions. Students experienced ministry in a variety of contexts in the US, Mexico, and Vietnam. Further, faculty discussed and reflected on how to adapt pedagogies in the light of these experiential learning experiences. We more sensitive to bringing in multi-cultural dimensions of the global Church into our classroom and there is a strong consensus to continue and expand these ‘immersion' experiences.
Grants cover image

Hip-Hop Pedagogy: Best Practices for Incorporating Emerging Voices into the Theological Dialogue

Awarded Grant
Powe, F. Douglas
Saint Paul School of Theology
Theological Schools
2010
Topics: Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
This grant will fund a dialogue focused on methodologies and practices for incorporating hip-hop voices into the classroom. The dialogue will hopefully help move the field towards fostering a learning environment that challenges (and is challenged by) various ways of thinking theological that incorporate insights from hip-hop culture into theological education. To this end, a primary purpose of this dialogue is to think about pedagogical strategies for developing a conversation ...
Proposal abstract :
This grant will fund a dialogue focused on methodologies and practices for incorporating hip-hop voices into the classroom. The dialogue will hopefully help move the field towards fostering a learning environment that challenges (and is challenged by) various ways of thinking theological that incorporate insights from hip-hop culture into theological education. To this end, a primary purpose of this dialogue is to think about pedagogical strategies for developing a conversation between the hip-hop culture and various theological voices (e.g., liberation, womanist, etc.,).

Learning Abstract :
Thinking about a hip hop pedagogy helped those involved in this project to discover the ways in which hip hop can inform and be marginalized in academia. Hip hop is a term that gets used in a variety of ways from a cultural movement to simply meaning rap music. Creating a learning environment that navigates this spectrum (movement to simply meaning rap music) in a way that illumines the epistemological framework of hip hop requires thinking interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary. Hip hop is interdisciplinary in its commitment to living at the intersection of various disciplines (e.g., sociology, art and theology). It is multidisciplinary because no one discipline can completely capture its significance in American culture. Hip hop is transdisciplinary because for some it is a meaning making system. Thinking about hip hop pedagogically in these ways promotes an on-going dialogue that can alter the way we teach.
Grants cover image

Seeking Best Practices in Teaching Political Theology

Awarded Grant
Casey, Shaun
Wesley Theological Seminary
Theological Schools
2010
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
This grant will enable a diverse cohort of teachers to assemble in Washington, DC to discuss their craft and to assess whether or not an ongoing conversation among scholars would be mutually beneficial to their research and teaching in political theology.
Proposal abstract :
This grant will enable a diverse cohort of teachers to assemble in Washington, DC to discuss their craft and to assess whether or not an ongoing conversation among scholars would be mutually beneficial to their research and teaching in political theology.

Learning Abstract :
Wesley Theological Seminary conducted a highly successful meeting of 14 scholars at our new site in downtown Washington, DC. Through sharing best teaching practices we learned that there is a profound need for political theologians to talk to each other about the craft of teaching our subject. There were many creative and challenging teaching strategies presented and all attendees identified new practices they would incorporate into their own teaching. We learned that we perceive a need to engage in deeper public discourse with political actors. We will work on finding and engaging political conversation partners in Washington, DC. And we learned that we want to keep meeting.
Grants cover image

Students Finding Success: Learning to Use Theological Archives at Whitworth

Awarded Grant
Hauck, Janet
Whitworth University
Colleges/Universities
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.
Grants cover image

Teaching Contemplative Traditions: A Workshop

Awarded Grant
Fort, Andrew
Texas Christian University
2010
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
We propose to offer a workshop in spring 2011 on critical pedagogy related to teaching contemplative traditions in liberal arts university settings, primarily for those in the Southwest region of the American Academy of Religion. The purpose will be to converse about philosophical, methodological and pedagogical issues raised in teaching such courses and offering relevant and appropriate exercises, to share practices and methods that will enhance student learning, and to create ...
Proposal abstract :
We propose to offer a workshop in spring 2011 on critical pedagogy related to teaching contemplative traditions in liberal arts university settings, primarily for those in the Southwest region of the American Academy of Religion. The purpose will be to converse about philosophical, methodological and pedagogical issues raised in teaching such courses and offering relevant and appropriate exercises, to share practices and methods that will enhance student learning, and to create a supportive network of teachers in the region for an ongoing discussion about teaching contemplative traditions. We plan to gather 12-15 people at various stages of their careers and with different levels of experience in dealing with contemplative teaching.

Learning Abstract :
Aside from the value of the readings and information exchange in conversation, nearly all the most significant learnings in this workshop were re-learnings. First was the importance of "group ecology:" the ability to start fast and go deep due to 1) small group size, 2) respect and trust from collegial humility and support, 3) desire to learn without expending energy on scholarly positioning, and (critically) 4) the right space. Also crucial was to prepare extensively and build carefully, consulting at each step. Other key aspects to success were attending to definitional/category issues from the start and a group sense of excitement at breaking ground regionally and nationally. We look to continue the open conversation and community formation in the near future.
Grants cover image

Metacognition: The Key to Teaching Divinity Students How to Learn

Awarded Grant
Thompson, George
Interdenominational Theological Center
Theological Schools
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.
Grants cover image

Teaching Sexuality From a Professional Ethics Perspective

Awarded Grant
Stephens, Darryl
The General Commission on the Status and Role of Women (GCSRW)
2010
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
This pre-meeting session at the Society of Christian ethics annual meeting in January 2011 promotes teaching sexuality from a professional ethics perspective and provides resources to do so. Darryl Stephens, Marie Fortune, and Kate Ott will present, respectively, the efforts of the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women (GCSRW) of the United Methodist Church, the FaithTrust Institute (FTI) and the Religious Institute (RI) to strengthen existing curricular coverage ...
Proposal abstract :
This pre-meeting session at the Society of Christian ethics annual meeting in January 2011 promotes teaching sexuality from a professional ethics perspective and provides resources to do so. Darryl Stephens, Marie Fortune, and Kate Ott will present, respectively, the efforts of the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women (GCSRW) of the United Methodist Church, the FaithTrust Institute (FTI) and the Religious Institute (RI) to strengthen existing curricular coverage and training in ministerial sexual ethics, professional ethics, healthy boundaries and self-care as standard aspects of seminary and religious education. Following a panel discussion, faculty participants in this pre-meeting will work in groups led by the presenters to develop concrete strategies for improving the teaching of sexual and professional ethics in their own institutional settings.

Learning Abstract :
The project was successful in engaging faculty in conversation at that moment. During the workshop, faculty were very engaged and interested in the topic teaching sexuality from a professional ethics perspective. Most expressed interest in learning about readings and syllabi to integrate professional sexual ethics into existing courses and were glad to have an opportunity for this conversation. However, in follow-up emails, faculty seemed to have difficulty sustaining their attention to this issue amidst the busyness of their day-to-day administrative, scholarly, and teaching responsibilities. An expanding conversation about teaching and learning professional sexual ethics requires institutional structures to support this effort beyond those faculty persons who already have a research interest in or social-justice commitment to sexual ethics. Policies and expectations by church judicatories, in relation to seminaries, and public leadership roles, in relation to undergraduate education, may provide the infrastructure and support needed for improvement.
Grants cover image

Teaching Writing as a Theological Practice: A Meeting to Plan a Colloquium on Teaching Writing in the Theological Disciplines

Awarded Grant
Odell, Margaret
St. Olaf College
2010
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
The purpose of the planning meeting on November 19, 2010, is to design a week-long colloquium on teaching writing as a theological practice. In reflecting on our own theological writing during a workshop in summer 2010, a group of ten theologians from theological seminaries, undergraduate, and graduate programs in religion, have identified practical and substantive problems with the teaching of writing in their disciplines. On a practical level, current strategies of teaching students ...
Proposal abstract :
The purpose of the planning meeting on November 19, 2010, is to design a week-long colloquium on teaching writing as a theological practice. In reflecting on our own theological writing during a workshop in summer 2010, a group of ten theologians from theological seminaries, undergraduate, and graduate programs in religion, have identified practical and substantive problems with the teaching of writing in their disciplines. On a practical level, current strategies of teaching students to write for academic audiences often do not help students prepare either to face drastic changes in the field of academic publishing or to connect to wider audiences. Moreover, academic writing may actually hinder students’ personal development as theologians by discouraging the cultivation of their own authentic theological voice. In a week-long colloquium on teaching writing in June 2011 at the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton, New Jersey, we will address these concerns by developing teaching strategies to encourage greater flexibility and depth in student writing. During the November 19 meeting, we five members of the group will articulate specific objectives for the colloquium, design its sessions, and plan for future follow-up, evaluation, and dissemination.

Learning Abstract :
In our planning for a week-long colloquium on teaching writing as a theological practice, we have raised four questions about preparing theological students to write engagingly and intelligently for audiences beyond the academic disciplines. We ask to what extent writing theology is a process of spiritual formation; what attitudes are conducive to effective theological writing; how to cultivate the integration of substantive, critical learning with personal, honest writing; and finally, how to prepare students for rapid changes in the field of academic and trade publishing. We plan to address these questions by reflecting on our own experience as teaching-writers as well as by critically examining the multiple and overlapping contexts of the writing assignments we create for our students. In addressing these questions, we seek to integrate personal, spiritual and disciplinary modes of knowing and communicating, all within rapidly changing publishing and ecclesial contexts.
Grants cover image

New Ways of Doing Theology: Developing a Visual Arts Methodology for Teaching and Learning

Awarded Grant
Deane, David
Atlantic School of Theology
Theological Schools
2010
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Our goal is to promote awareness of the role of visual art in theological studies and to facilitate integration of visual art into our curriculum. Our project is twofold: We will establish an artist in residence who will encourage pedagogical diversity by preparing faculty and students to engage visual art as a new way of doing theology. The proposed resident artist (CV included) has an extensive exhibition history as a ...
Proposal abstract :
Our goal is to promote awareness of the role of visual art in theological studies and to facilitate integration of visual art into our curriculum. Our project is twofold: We will establish an artist in residence who will encourage pedagogical diversity by preparing faculty and students to engage visual art as a new way of doing theology. The proposed resident artist (CV included) has an extensive exhibition history as a professional artist and holds an MTS degree, thus providing the needed interdisciplinary background and sensitivity for this project. She is in a position to arrange appropriate speakers for the lecture and workshop series, and to act as a liaison between artists and theologians, presenters and responders. In addition, by locating her art practice on campus for the residency period (1 year), she will be able to provide a continuing and immediate resource for faculty and students. We will organize a series of lectures and workshops (drawn from local, national and international expertise) for faculty which will address the relationship between visual art and contemporary theology. This will focus on how to do theology through the arts, equipping faculty to share this knowledge with the next generation of ministers and theologians being formed at AST. Considerable attention will also be given to preparing faculty to incorporate such ideas into their curriculum, including methodologies for grading student assignments which incorporate creative expression.

Learning Abstract :
In a rapidly evolving educational environment this project explored the use of the visual arts in both teaching and disseminating theological ideas. It examined whether new insights were possible when theological ideas were expressed in a form other than the essay form that has become hegemonic in the modern university. As Christian theology was expressed in the past through music, stained glass windows, paintings, architecture and so on, the possibility of adding to the forms of theology that have dominated in modernity was explored by giving students the opportunity and the tools to paint, rather than simply write, their theological expressions. This project explored and assessed the advantages and challenges presented by such an approach.
Grants cover image

Libraries, Technology and Learning: Linking the Three - Phase 1

Awarded Grant
Hunt, Alice
Chicago Theological Seminary
Theological Schools
2010
Topics: Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Technology and Teaching

Proposal abstract :
The prospective move by CTS to a new building and the design of a new library space offer a unique opportunity to re-imagine the provision of bibliographic resources for theological education in the context of the contemporary reality of these resources and the tools for managing, sharing, and accessing them. This grant will help bring a specialist to work with the faculty as they prepare to move to a new ...
Proposal abstract :
The prospective move by CTS to a new building and the design of a new library space offer a unique opportunity to re-imagine the provision of bibliographic resources for theological education in the context of the contemporary reality of these resources and the tools for managing, sharing, and accessing them. This grant will help bring a specialist to work with the faculty as they prepare to move to a new model for theological education. This specialist will help the faculty understand the pedagogical benefits of employing the full power of technology in teaching and learning.

Learning Abstract :
The grant allowed us to concretize questions about the pedagogical benefits of employing the full power of technology in teaching and learning, resulting in the following questions which will be reflected on over the next year: 1) What is the essence of a CTS education? 2) How can we offer a CTS-quality curriculum using emerging tools such as digital technology and online formats? 3) As we start to incorporate these tools, how do we notice and reflect upon the pedagogical issues that emerge? 4) How do we capitalize on our ethos as a community of learners? 5) In particular, how can we incorporate life-long learning skills into the very shape of our learning community?
Grants cover image

The Millennial Generation in Religious and Theological Studies Classrooms

Awarded Grant
Marchal, Joseph
Ball State University
Colleges/Universities
2010
Topics: Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
While scholarship about the “millennial generation” and its impact on higher education abounds, a significant gap in the literature exists when it comes to examining the implications of the new millennial conditions for teaching and learning in the disciplines of religious and theological studies. This project aims to: 1) map out the available literature to illuminate the distinct characteristics of the millennial generation and the institutional challenges of teaching in the ...
Proposal abstract :
While scholarship about the “millennial generation” and its impact on higher education abounds, a significant gap in the literature exists when it comes to examining the implications of the new millennial conditions for teaching and learning in the disciplines of religious and theological studies. This project aims to: 1) map out the available literature to illuminate the distinct characteristics of the millennial generation and the institutional challenges of teaching in the new millennial conditions; 2) begin developing teaching resources to address the challenges and opportunities entailed in teaching this generation in religious/theological studies; and 3) continue collaborative work for a larger grant proposal on a related topic. This grant will build upon previous work on the topic of teaching millennials, begun during the 2009-10 Pre-Tenure Workshop for College/University Faculty by bringing together five workshop participants at the AAR in November 2010 for a one-day workshop (Monday afternoon-midday Tuesday).

Learning Abstract :
According to a range of sources, the students entering North American universities today - often dubbed the "millennial generation" - come from a world in which they have always been connected. The impact of these conditions for teaching and learning remains largely unknown, and the emerging literature to this effect is at least passionate if not consistent. Understanding the conditions and characteristics of millennial students, such as their degree of media literacies, concepts of multiple integrated identities, and altered experience of embodiment, should be a priority for professors of theology and religious studies. Not only do these students increasingly define the context of our teaching, but more importantly many of the learning objectives of theology and religious studies also uniquely position teachers in these disciplines to engage students in developing a critical perspective on this millennial context.
Grants cover image

Addressing Students’ Religious Perspectives in Ohio Northern University’s Undergraduate Classrooms

Awarded Grant
Morrison, Suzanne
Ohio Northern University
2010
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Following up on the first session of the 2010-2011 Wabash Center Colloquy on Religious Commitments in the Undergraduate Classroom, my study purports to discern (1) the extent to which faculty members at Ohio Northern University are cognizant of their students’ religious backgrounds and understandings and (2) how that awareness affects their teaching and assessment of students. By introducing the topic on the Ohio Northern campus for the first time, this study should ...
Proposal abstract :
Following up on the first session of the 2010-2011 Wabash Center Colloquy on Religious Commitments in the Undergraduate Classroom, my study purports to discern (1) the extent to which faculty members at Ohio Northern University are cognizant of their students’ religious backgrounds and understandings and (2) how that awareness affects their teaching and assessment of students. By introducing the topic on the Ohio Northern campus for the first time, this study should inspire more of the faculty to take seriously their students’ religious commitments and to design and present their courses accordingly. The study also might remind faculty members to consider their own religious perspectives and reflect on the impact that those may have on their instruction and evaluation of students.

Learning Abstract :
My survey of undergraduate faculty members at Ohio Northern University inquired whether they perceived that students' religious perspectives impacted their classroom learning. I expected many affirmative responses from colleagues teaching in disciplines that overtly address philosophical/religious issues or introducing subjects such as evolution and homosexuality that provoke controversy with some religious individuals. This prediction was accurate. Given our conservative setting, I anticipated that the majority of faculty contending that religious commitment influenced learning would allege that students' theological perspectives often impeded their learning. Findings here were less clear, as some respondents maintained that religious perspectives enhanced students' understanding and strengthened their work ethic. This project raised Ohio Northern's awareness of the effect of religious worldviews on students' learning and provoked interest in additional surveys on faculty religious commitments and on students' self-perceptions. It also gave rise to a discussion group addressing broader matters of pedagogy, faculty mission, and institutional identity.
Grants cover image

Pedagogical Issues in the Teaching of Eastern Christianity

Awarded Grant
Penn, Michael
Mount Holyoke College
2010
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
The five college consortium of Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, Smith, and the University of Massachusetts is in the planning process of establishing the United States’ first multi-institutional certificate program in Eastern Christianity. Prior to focusing on this program’s curriculum, we are hoping to have a series of three dinner meetings to discuss the larger pedagogical issues of teaching Eastern Christianity in a Western context. These would be dedicated to ...
Proposal abstract :
The five college consortium of Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, Smith, and the University of Massachusetts is in the planning process of establishing the United States’ first multi-institutional certificate program in Eastern Christianity. Prior to focusing on this program’s curriculum, we are hoping to have a series of three dinner meetings to discuss the larger pedagogical issues of teaching Eastern Christianity in a Western context. These would be dedicated to addressing the classroom challenges and learning goals shared by those of us who teach undergraduate courses in Eastern Orthodoxy. These three meetings would thus allow area faculty to first discuss the pedagogical underpinnings of this new program before later meetings that will focus more on program logistics.

Learning Abstract :
A series of three dinner conversations allowed faculty from the five college consortium to discuss the pedagogical challenges and benefits of teaching Eastern Christianity in a primarily Western Context. They also provided the impetus for further collaborations as we explore ways to better coordinate our teaching and consider the possibility of implementing the U.S.'s first, multi-institutional program on Eastern Christianity. Two topics were of particular note: 1) concerns with how to balance claims concerning the importance of Eastern traditions for the history of Christianity without resorting to an orientalist discourse of Eastern "otherness"; and 2) discussions of how greater focus on the orthodox churches could lead to a concept of "global Christianity" broader than its current configuration that often concentrates primarily upon Western missionary efforts. Instead, greater attention to the long history of the orthodox churches could lead to a fuller representation of Christian diversity from its origins to the present.
Grants cover image

Akouete, Legete, Anaginōskete (Hear, Speak, Read)

Awarded Grant
Hutson, Christopher
Abilene Christian University Graduate School of Theology
Theological Schools
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.
Grants cover image

Virginia Graduate Colloquium on Theology, Ethics, and Culture

Awarded Grant
Mathewes, Charles
University of Virginia
Colleges/Universities
2011
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Preparing Graduate Students to Teach

Proposal abstract :
Teaching religion in post-secondary classrooms provides distinct challenges to young faculty. Faculty face questions of how to present primary theological and religious texts, including how best to promote deep learning among students who often hold normative claims about the course matter. This colloquium will bring together graduate students and faculty for reflection on teaching religion in today’s pluralistic classroom. Students will present research on confessional commitments in pluralistic societies ...
Proposal abstract :
Teaching religion in post-secondary classrooms provides distinct challenges to young faculty. Faculty face questions of how to present primary theological and religious texts, including how best to promote deep learning among students who often hold normative claims about the course matter. This colloquium will bring together graduate students and faculty for reflection on teaching religion in today’s pluralistic classroom. Students will present research on confessional commitments in pluralistic societies and will engage in roundtable discussions on teaching persona and course design. UVA faculty who have wide experience teaching a religiously, and otherwise, diverse group of students will moderate discussions with graduate students who will soon teach in a variety of pluralistic settings. A grant from the Wabash Center will enable funding of travel stipends for participants from a variety of programs and meals at which participants will be encouraged to continue discussions between faculty and graduate students.

Learning Abstract :
Thirty graduate students and seven faculty members from seven colleges and universities participated in the Virginia Graduate Colloquium on Theology, Ethics, and Culture. Participants presented current research on the topic "Confessional Commitments in Pluralistic Publics" and discussed practical approaches to teaching religious texts in a pluralistic classroom. An associate of the University of Virginia Teaching Resource Center facilitated round-table discussions on Perry's stages of intellectual questioning and commitments addressing how undergraduate students engage texts in theology and religious studies courses and how students integrate authors' perspectives with the beliefs, questions, and skepticisms they bring into the classroom. Considering sample syllabi and classroom situations, discussants shared best practices for facilitating deep learning of religious subject matter, handling diverse reactions to course material, and designing courses and syllabi to encourage student learning. Participants gave particular attention to the way students in religious studies courses interact with texts, instructors, and fellow students.
Grants cover image

Preparing Hispanic Theological Educators for Effective Online Teaching: Extending Hispanic Theological Perspective to Present and Future Church Leaders in the USA

Awarded Grant
Perea, Stan
Asociación para la Educación Teológica Hispana (AETH)
Agencies
2011
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Technology and Teaching

Proposal abstract :
The overarching purpose of this project is to make available to seminaries in ATS and to bible institutes in AETH a cohort of Hispanic theological educators who, through effective online pedagogical principles and practices, can teach courses on their theological disciplines from their particular Hispanic perspective. One outcome of this project is for AETH to generate a first group of professors across theological disciplines capable of extending their teaching to ...
Proposal abstract :
The overarching purpose of this project is to make available to seminaries in ATS and to bible institutes in AETH a cohort of Hispanic theological educators who, through effective online pedagogical principles and practices, can teach courses on their theological disciplines from their particular Hispanic perspective. One outcome of this project is for AETH to generate a first group of professors across theological disciplines capable of extending their teaching to ATS member institutions that, for different reasons, do not have Hispanic professors as part of their faculty. Another outcome is for AETH to establish a group of Hispanic “online faculty” capable of teaching courses culturally and socially relevant to its member institutions as they strive to prepare the present and future pastors of the growing Hispanic church in the USA.

Learning Abstract :
The implementation of the phases of the project proved to be helpful for achieving the goal of training Hispanic/Latino Faculty to create and teach courses online. But in light of the realities of seminary faculty in general, and of the Hispanic/Latino faculty in particular, for whom the demands on their time during the school year makes really difficult putting aside time and energy to do something that may not have an immediate impact in their theological academic career, a change in the time frame for the implementation of project may be needed. That is, to move from completing the project during a calendar year to implement it in concentrated and intensive 4-5 day time frame. Theological institutions interested in attracting Hispanic students and/or in teaching courses from a variety of theological disciplines with a Hispanic perspective will greatly benefit from the availability of Hispanic/Latino faculty trained for teaching online.
Grants cover image

Contextual Education for Leaders of the Missional Church

Awarded Grant
Hahn, Roger
Nazarene Theological Seminary
Theological Schools
2011
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Nazarene Theological Seminary seeks to be “a missional seminary serving a missional church.” This requires that we do a better job of moving out of the “ivory tower” into ministry contexts. This project seeks to develop a process through which we can more fully explore the options and find ways to integrate contextual education into our ministry degree programs. A consultant will be invited to lead a faculty workshop to ...
Proposal abstract :
Nazarene Theological Seminary seeks to be “a missional seminary serving a missional church.” This requires that we do a better job of moving out of the “ivory tower” into ministry contexts. This project seeks to develop a process through which we can more fully explore the options and find ways to integrate contextual education into our ministry degree programs. A consultant will be invited to lead a faculty workshop to facilitate the exploration of the theories and models of contextual education and to coach the development of learning and teaching strategies for contextual education. Goals for the project include: (1) to assess what we have learned through various experiments in recent years, (2) to survey theories and models of contextual education, (3) to explore effective learning and teaching strategies in contextual education, and (4) to formulate core practices common to the various contextual education endeavors at NTS.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to equip faculty and adjunct professors to better formulate contextual learning strategies in the preparation of leaders for the missional church. Resource persons provided instruction in theoretical frameworks for contextual education and led experiential sessions to introduce learning strategies. In the semester following the instruction, professors reported an increased use of contextual elements in course assignments. The project might have been strengthened by interacting with students and congregations in at least one of the sessions. Next steps include the development of fully contextualized courses and program revision.
Grants cover image

Cultivating a Pedagogy of Place in Religious Studies

Awarded Grant
Jensen, Molly
Southwestern University
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.
Grants cover image

Blended Learning Initiative

Awarded Grant
Grosz, Tanya
Northwestern College
Colleges/Universities
2011
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Technology and Teaching

Proposal abstract :
Northwestern College is creating a format in which faculty members can explore their pedagogical approaches. In recent months, NWC has been investigating the advantages and disadvantages of blended learning. Blended learning is a pedagogical approach that integrates online technology with face-to-face techniques to create an optimal learning experience. Through training, NWC will focus on faculty’s exploration and inquiry of blended learning and how it may or may not be ...
Proposal abstract :
Northwestern College is creating a format in which faculty members can explore their pedagogical approaches. In recent months, NWC has been investigating the advantages and disadvantages of blended learning. Blended learning is a pedagogical approach that integrates online technology with face-to-face techniques to create an optimal learning experience. Through training, NWC will focus on faculty’s exploration and inquiry of blended learning and how it may or may not be incorporated in their teaching. The adoption of blended learning is an open question rather than a resolved question. Six to eight professors in the Biblical and Theological Studies and Christian Ministries Departments will participate in a two-week intensive period of inquiry followed by ongoing support as they incorporate their newly-acquired knowledge in existing religious courses. This project will contribute to the larger scholarly community’s understanding of best practices in technology and pedagogy, instructor training, and technology’s impact on student engagement.

Learning Abstract :
Northwestern College created a two-week blended learning workshop as a professional development opportunity during which faculty members could explore their pedagogical approaches and consider the use of a blended learning format. Blended learning is a pedagogical approach that integrates online technology with face-to-face techniques to create an optimal learning experience. Through training, NWC focused on faculty members' exploration and inquiry of blended learning and how it may or may not be incorporated in their teaching. Six professors in the Biblical and Theological Studies and Christian Ministries Departments participated in a two-week intensive period of training and inquiry followed by ongoing support as they incorporated their newly-acquired knowledge about blended learning into courses that they redesigned. This project contributed to the larger scholarly community's understanding of best practices in technology and pedagogy, instructor training, and technology's impact on student engagement.
Grants cover image

Can the Mainline Go Online?

Awarded Grant
Hunt, Alice
Chicago Theological Seminary
Theological Schools
2011
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
The faculty of Chicago Theological Seminary seeks to reflect intentionally on its pedagogical practices and philosophy as it employs emerging educational tools. It seeks further to employ that reflection in enhancing the substance of the education experience offered by the seminary.
Proposal abstract :
The faculty of Chicago Theological Seminary seeks to reflect intentionally on its pedagogical practices and philosophy as it employs emerging educational tools. It seeks further to employ that reflection in enhancing the substance of the education experience offered by the seminary.

Learning Abstract :
This project sought to address our presenting questions which basically boiled down to these questions: 1) What is the essence of a CTS education? 2) How can we offer a CTS-quality curriculum using emerging tools such as digital technology and online formats? Our learnings include a greater confidence among our faculty that distance education does not need to be a generic online program but rather can incorporate the defining qualities of the CTS educational experience; greater exposure to a range of tools and strategies for teaching online; greater exposure to the experiences of faculty members and other employees of other ATS schools; increased attention to ‘para-curricular' elements of seminary life as a part of a student's overall learning experience; and clarification of the distinctions and relationships among program goals and outcomes, course goals and outcomes, and pedagogical strategies, allowing more faculty members to feel confident about using alternative strategies and formats.
Grants cover image

Teaching Theology in a Globalized and Transnational World

Awarded Grant
Dyrness, William|Pui Lan (for name tag see notes), Kwok|Hopkins, Dwight
Fuller Theological Seminary
Theological Schools
2011
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
This project aims to bring together a small working group of theologians and scholars representing Catholic, Protestant Mainline, Pentecostal and evangelical theologians, for a pre-conference workshop on November 18, 2011 in San Francisco. Recognizing that theology is still largely taught in traditional ways, which privileges the European-American tradition, this workshop will seek to explore resources and possible pedagogies for teaching theology in a transnational and global manner and proposing further strategies for ...
Proposal abstract :
This project aims to bring together a small working group of theologians and scholars representing Catholic, Protestant Mainline, Pentecostal and evangelical theologians, for a pre-conference workshop on November 18, 2011 in San Francisco. Recognizing that theology is still largely taught in traditional ways, which privileges the European-American tradition, this workshop will seek to explore resources and possible pedagogies for teaching theology in a transnational and global manner and proposing further strategies for developing a pedagogy for teaching Global Theology. The project is co-led by Kwok Pui Lan, Dwight N. Hopkins, and William A. Dyrness, professors with different types of expertise and connections to the international theological communities.

Learning Abstract :
This working group of 8-10 teachers and scholars, in two meetings, explored the challenge of teaching theology in a globalized world. The group began by reviewing current practices via sharing of syllabi and classroom experiences, and by reflecting on current challenges in the academy. The latter include indifference and the inertia within current curriculum and teaching strategies. In imagining a possible pedagogy for global theology, members isolated experiential learning, historical revisioning, and inter-religious focus as central to effective learning, especially as these both reflect and challenge the identity and needs of current theological students. Outcomes included plans for an AAR seminar, an active blog http://teachingtheology.blogspot.com/2011/11/what-is-transnational-pedagogy.html, and projection of a book on the pedagogy of global theology for the AAR series on teaching.
Grants cover image

Theatre as Pedagogy in Religious Studies: Workshop at the 2011 AAR/SBL Annual Meeting

Awarded Grant
Pippin, Tina|Falcone, John
Agnes Scott College
Colleges/Universities
2011
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Kinesthetic ways of knowing and teaching have been largely neglected in teaching religion and theology. This workshop provides the space for learning and encountering theatre techniques of improvisation, characterization, and acting as ways of embodying religious and theological knowledges and energizing the classroom. According to our proposed facilitator Victoria Rue, “Theatre in the classroom signals the body as a way of knowing.” Body, voice, story, knowledge, action, relationship, conflict, oppression, ...
Proposal abstract :
Kinesthetic ways of knowing and teaching have been largely neglected in teaching religion and theology. This workshop provides the space for learning and encountering theatre techniques of improvisation, characterization, and acting as ways of embodying religious and theological knowledges and energizing the classroom. According to our proposed facilitator Victoria Rue, “Theatre in the classroom signals the body as a way of knowing.” Body, voice, story, knowledge, action, relationship, conflict, oppression, diversity, community are all part of the religious and theological world. They are also part of the religion and theology classroom, yet traditional pedagogical models often overlook these aspects. We propose an afternoon pre-conference session at the 2011 AAR/SBL Annual Meetings on theatre as pedagogy to engage the possibilities for transformative learning.

Learning Abstract :
Grants cover image

Deepening Our Work Together: How New Theological Work Should/Could Reshape Our Pedagogies with regard to Engaging Racism

Awarded Grant
Hess, Mary
Luther Seminary
Theological Schools
2011
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
This proposal seeks to enhance and deepen an ongoing discussion of the pedagogical implications of new work on the origins of race as a category within theological inquiry. We propose to bring the author of the signally important new book, The Christian Imagination: Theology and the Origins of Race, to Luther’s campus for a discussion with a faculty book group which has been reading the book together, and for ...
Proposal abstract :
This proposal seeks to enhance and deepen an ongoing discussion of the pedagogical implications of new work on the origins of race as a category within theological inquiry. We propose to bring the author of the signally important new book, The Christian Imagination: Theology and the Origins of Race, to Luther’s campus for a discussion with a faculty book group which has been reading the book together, and for a faculty seminar in which we want to catalyze a deeper discussion of the pedagogical implications of this work for our curriculum.

Learning Abstract :
This grant helped faculty to explore the pedagogical implications of theological work which traces the social construction of race in the North American context. We identified three threads of discussion for our pedagogical work: 1) ideas vs. bodies: attention to "ideas" vs. "bodies" in Christian thought continues to have a huge impact on how Christian thought evolves and Christian faith is practiced; 2) desire vs. control: we need to cultivate desire to be in relationship as an intimate part of our knowledge of God, using "inquiry-driven" pedagogical models: and 3) violence: Christian intellectuals, even if they don't intend violence to happen, have a very high tolerance for a certain kind of violence in the name of protecting their theological narratives. Theological curricula should lead away from such a high tolerance for violence in the name of protecting orthodoxy, and lead towards humility and grace as a base for learning.
Grants cover image

Pedagogies for Engaged and Actively-Learning Students in Religious Studies

Awarded Grant
Zeller, Benjamin
Brevard College
Colleges/Universities
2011
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Our project fosters the implementation in the religious studies classroom of our college’s new commitment to institutionalize active learning and engagement strategies. Through workshops and personal reflection, we will identify and disseminate “best practices” related to enhancing student presence, preparation, and professionalism; foster our commitment to achieving distinction in the use of active-learning pedagogies; incorporate those active learning pedagogies in our classrooms; and ultimately increase the measures of student ...
Proposal abstract :
Our project fosters the implementation in the religious studies classroom of our college’s new commitment to institutionalize active learning and engagement strategies. Through workshops and personal reflection, we will identify and disseminate “best practices” related to enhancing student presence, preparation, and professionalism; foster our commitment to achieving distinction in the use of active-learning pedagogies; incorporate those active learning pedagogies in our classrooms; and ultimately increase the measures of student presence, participation, and professionalism.

Learning Abstract :
Through workshops and personal reflection, we identified and disseminated "best practices" related to enhancing student presence, preparation, and professionalism; fostered our commitment to achieving distinction in the use of active-learning pedagogies; and incorporated those active learning pedagogies in our classrooms. While each member of the project adopted different techniques and tried different approaches, all of us agreed that engaged students are those who are actively learning, grappling with the materials involved in the course, and critically assessing what they encounter. Our approaches to student engagement encouraged such active learning, asking students to take charge of their own learning.
Grants cover image

Students Finding More Success: Theological Information Literacy at Whitworth

Awarded Grant
Hauck, Janet
Whitworth University
Colleges/Universities
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.
Grants cover image

The Pedagogy of Comparative Scripture

Awarded Grant
Royalty, Robert
Wabash College
2011
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Relating Pedagogy and Curriculum

Proposal abstract :
The purpose of this grant is to study the pedagogical issues in teaching comparative scripture in an independent liberal arts setting. As a professor of biblical studies, I have developed extensive experience in teaching the scriptures my mostly Christian students consider sacred. In my classes to this point, the main challenge has been introducing the historical-critical method to new students. This method often raises intense existential anxiety in some Christian ...
Proposal abstract :
The purpose of this grant is to study the pedagogical issues in teaching comparative scripture in an independent liberal arts setting. As a professor of biblical studies, I have developed extensive experience in teaching the scriptures my mostly Christian students consider sacred. In my classes to this point, the main challenge has been introducing the historical-critical method to new students. This method often raises intense existential anxiety in some Christian students. A comparative approach will introduce a range of new issues for me and my students in addition to the challenge of critical study of one’s own scriptures: facile reactions to what is “true” and “false”; students’ tendency to assimilate comparative problems rather than critically examine differences; the problem of introducing new and “exotic” religious traditions; and the controversial politics of Islam in our society. I propose here to study these pedagogical problems by researching the literature on teaching and learning and conversations with Gene Gallagher and other scholars.

Learning Abstract :
My goals for the project were to become more familiar with the Quran and the teaching of the Quran. The activities included (1) funded time for reading in the literature of pedagogies of comparative scripture and teaching the Quran; Quranic studies; and the history of late antiquity, including the origins of Islam; (2) travel to Yale, NYU, and Connecticut College to meet with a variety of scholars to discuss critical problems in teaching Bible and Quran. This grant oriented me to subfields around the study of the Quran, comparative scriptures, Bible and Quran, and history of Islam. Placing my academic interests within these subfields has been important for understanding how to teach comparative scripture. I have also learned how recent critical developments in the study of the Quran and early Islam have reconfigured the standard, traditional accounts of Muḥammad's life and work and the origins of the Quran and Islam itself. 2/15/20132/15/2013
Grants cover image

California Local Religion Projects: When the Community Is the Classroom

Awarded Grant
McCarthy, Kate|Lennon, Patricia
California State University - Chico
Colleges/Universities
2011
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
We seek to improve religious studies pedagogy by engaging students in research in local religious communities that is relevant and accessible to the public. Student ethnographic research will be showcased in a media-rich digital map of Northern California containing oral histories, video documentaries and other records of local religious life. We also aim to connect with other California religion faculty who are similarly involved in local religions research and civically ...
Proposal abstract :
We seek to improve religious studies pedagogy by engaging students in research in local religious communities that is relevant and accessible to the public. Student ethnographic research will be showcased in a media-rich digital map of Northern California containing oral histories, video documentaries and other records of local religious life. We also aim to connect with other California religion faculty who are similarly involved in local religions research and civically engaged pedagogy. We seek funding to (1) host a two-day conference of California scholars working on projects on local religion and civic dialogue to create networks of communication and help develop civically engaged religious studies pedagogy by engaging students in this research; and (2) to build a lab that will allow students to develop skills in the digital presentation of their research; and (3) to build a website on local religion that serves as a resource for regional constituencies.

Learning Abstract :
This project funded a two-day conference which brought together 20 scholars from 6 different California universities who were working on similar questions related to the study of local religion and its connection to student engagement and community-academy partnerships. We discussed the challenges and benefits of student participation in research on local religion; explored specific projects on "mapping" religions using Google maps and similar technologies; and examined broader questions about how to quantify religious engagement in an era of hybrid religious identity. Five conclusions we reached as a result of the conference were (1) that counting religious populations is hard; (2) that mapping them is harder, especially for undergraduates; (3) that religious identity is complex and increasingly hybridized; (4) that public religious literacy is low; and (5) that partnerships among scholars and public constituencies are good for both students and local communities.
Grants cover image

Developing a Womanist Signature Pedagogy for Educating Black Clergy

Awarded Grant
Floyd-Thomas, Stacey
Vanderbilt University/The Divinity School
Theological Schools
2011
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Educating Clergy   |   Identity, Vocation, and Culture of Teaching

Proposal abstract :
This project proposes a process for constructing a womanist signature pedagogy for educating Black clergy. In particular, we are seeking a year-long consultative initiative among the nation’s premier womanist seminary/religious studies professors to develop a pedagogy that is aware of the impact that race-class-gender disparity has on the formation of the Black Church in general and Black clergy’s theological formation in particular. In anticipation of this long ...
Proposal abstract :
This project proposes a process for constructing a womanist signature pedagogy for educating Black clergy. In particular, we are seeking a year-long consultative initiative among the nation’s premier womanist seminary/religious studies professors to develop a pedagogy that is aware of the impact that race-class-gender disparity has on the formation of the Black Church in general and Black clergy’s theological formation in particular. In anticipation of this long awaited reflective context and workshop, 29 womanist theological educators and religious leaders have committed to work towards a womanist signature pedagogy that aligns with the logos of theological education, the pathos of transformative education, the ethos of womanist thought and the theos of Black religious traditions.

Learning Abstract :
This project grant sought to develop best practices, teaching resources, and pedagogical strategies to assist womanist theological faculty in transmitting womanist thought for practical implementation for the ongoing process of educating Black clergy. Due to racist assumptions, unreflective sexism, and underlying obstacles caused by economic strife, Black clergy are in need of womanist insight in their work to engender social and spiritual empowerment in their congregations. The project hoped that developing a womanist signature pedagogy would stimulate and support a mutually relational learning community for Black clergy. Via in depth interviews, consultations, collaborations and nation-wide conference between womanist scholars and religious leaders/activists, this initiative not only assessed operative distortions that create a gap between the classroom and the church, but also analyzed how bridging the gap could positively shape and revive Black Protestantism. In addition, this project encouraged and empowered its greatest asset, Black church women and clergy.
Grants cover image

Pathways to Contemplative Pedagogy

Awarded Grant
Fort, Andrew
Texas Christian University
2012
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
In a four-day workshop at Rice University, up to 15 scholars from the Southwest region of the American Academy of Religion will meet to work on pedagogical issues relating to teaching contemplative studies in liberal arts settings. Participants have contributed examples of effective teaching strategies, research findings, and ideas for discussion to the workshop organizer and facilitator over the past year. These are the foundation for the sessions scheduled for each ...
Proposal abstract :
In a four-day workshop at Rice University, up to 15 scholars from the Southwest region of the American Academy of Religion will meet to work on pedagogical issues relating to teaching contemplative studies in liberal arts settings. Participants have contributed examples of effective teaching strategies, research findings, and ideas for discussion to the workshop organizer and facilitator over the past year. These are the foundation for the sessions scheduled for each day. The workshop’s purpose is to generate an ongoing inquiry into teaching about traditions of contemplation and develop best practices for “contemplative pedagogy.” The workshop will improve participants’ ability to integrate contemplative practices and traditions into their teaching, argue for the importance of teaching contemplative practices as part of religious studies pedagogy in their home institutions, and present contemplative traditions and practices effectively to students.

Learning Abstract :
This workshop increased participants' knowledge about contemplative practices, ability to define relevant issues and concepts carefully, and capacity to integrate contemplative practices and traditions into their teaching as well as to present them effectively to students. We came to better understand the interplay of how mind and body affect and are affected by contemplative practices, and how visual arts can be better integrated into contemplative pedagogy. We continued to create a supportive network of contemplative teachers in our region and to refine the conversation about effectively making the case of the importance of teaching contemplative theory and practice as part of religious studies pedagogy in our home institutions. The workshop succeeded through extensive and careful preparation, shared readings, attention to definitional/category issues throughout, much information exchange, face-to-face engaged and respectful conversation, collegial humility and support, and a group sense of excitement at breaking ground regionally and nationally.
Grants cover image

Exploring Incarnational Ministry Formation through Contextual Pedagogy

Awarded Grant
Hornbacker, Tara
Bethany Theological Seminary
Theological Schools
2012
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Identity, Vocation, and Culture of Teaching

Proposal abstract :
This project will examine current and proposed ministry formation contexts to determine the best pedagogical strategies for encouraging personal, spiritual, and professional growth for an Incarnational education in the 21st century. A team of faculty will visit current and proposed ministry settings to discern the best pedagogical methods to form the reflective practitioner and well-formed minister. In light of primary contextual research, current readings in theological education, and a deep ...
Proposal abstract :
This project will examine current and proposed ministry formation contexts to determine the best pedagogical strategies for encouraging personal, spiritual, and professional growth for an Incarnational education in the 21st century. A team of faculty will visit current and proposed ministry settings to discern the best pedagogical methods to form the reflective practitioner and well-formed minister. In light of primary contextual research, current readings in theological education, and a deep concern for improved assessment of our distance MDiv program, the team will compose a definition of ministry formation in language coherent with our seminary’s new mission statement: Bethany Theological Seminary equips spiritual and intellectual leaders with an Incarnational education for ministering, proclaiming, and living out God's shalom and Christ's peace in the church and world.

Learning Abstract :
Our research indicates that skills in relationships, technology, and multicultural awareness are most important to current and proposed ministry settings in the formation of ministers in the 21st century. With the interviews being couched in terms of what is different from past education for ministry, most people in our interviews assumed competency in biblical studies, preaching, teaching, etc., and did not name them in their responses. Assessment for skills in relationship was embedded in the evaluation process for Bethany Theological Seminary's Ministry Formation and modeled in the teaching methods for learning in community. The curriculum structure and pedagogical strategies will need to be continually assessed to assure that we are teaching toward and assessing for these competencies in our offerings throughout the educational process and across the academic disciplines.
Grants cover image

Dominican Teaching And Dominican Tradition in The Liberal Arts Studies Core Seminars

Awarded Grant
Raab, Joseph
Siena Heights University
Colleges/Universities
2012
Topics: Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
We seek funding to support a three day workshop and follow up conversations for faculty teaching in the new, innovative Liberal Arts Studies (LAS) core seminar courses. These seminars explicitly aim to engage students and faculty in the conversation, or the dialogue, that characterizes Dominican pedagogy and to develop understanding of Dominican tradition and its values of community, truth, contemplation and justice. This workshop will allow faculty to explore and ...
Proposal abstract :
We seek funding to support a three day workshop and follow up conversations for faculty teaching in the new, innovative Liberal Arts Studies (LAS) core seminar courses. These seminars explicitly aim to engage students and faculty in the conversation, or the dialogue, that characterizes Dominican pedagogy and to develop understanding of Dominican tradition and its values of community, truth, contemplation and justice. This workshop will allow faculty to explore and discover the unique ways that major figures and events from the Dominican tradition engage and elucidate these general values. More importantly, it will allow faculty members who will be teaching LAS core seminar courses to explore distinctive dimensions of Dominican pedagogy and to consider ways of integrating those into their own teaching. Participants will be afforded the space and time to discuss syllabi construction for the Liberal Arts Core seminars, and teaching strategies for effectively engaging students in the Dominican tradition and its values.

Learning Abstract :
The faculty participants in the workshops funded by the Wabash Center grant learned a great deal about the history and personalities that comprise the Dominican tradition and developed a deeper appreciation for it. Furthermore, by reflecting on the tradition's values, and the order's governance model and the role of disputatio within the tradition, teachers were able to explore and develop ways that the tradition could inform their teaching strategies and course design. Those same teachers were then able to collaborate on the construction of new seminar courses built around themes drawn from Dominican tradition that comprise the new Liberal Arts core curriculum at Siena Heights University. The project initiated what we expect to be a fruitful and sustainable conversation germane to our institutional mission and identity.
Grants cover image

Lay Ministry Formation for Hybrid Pedagogy: Building a Quality Formation Opportunity for Students at a Distance

Awarded Grant
Love, Marian
Aquinas Institute of Theology
Theological Schools
2012
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Technology and Teaching

Proposal abstract :
We wish to develop a formation program for an increasing number of non-cohort students in the Masters in Pastoral Studies who live at a distance and take courses according to a hybrid formula of online work in combination with mid-course intensive face-to-face seminars. Our priorities include 1) consistent and frequent experience of community, 2) affirmation and critical feedback with prayer and discussion, and 3) formative experiences that will be meaningful to individual online ...
Proposal abstract :
We wish to develop a formation program for an increasing number of non-cohort students in the Masters in Pastoral Studies who live at a distance and take courses according to a hybrid formula of online work in combination with mid-course intensive face-to-face seminars. Our priorities include 1) consistent and frequent experience of community, 2) affirmation and critical feedback with prayer and discussion, and 3) formative experiences that will be meaningful to individual online students while being expressive of community. Working with the American Bishops’ document on formation for lay ecclesial ministry, Co-Workers in the Vineyard, we will ensure that all four areas of formation—spiritual, human, intellectual, and pastoral—are addressed. We seek to gather information about best practices, engage a knowledgeable dialogue partner with whom our Director of Lay Spiritual Formation can develop the formation activities, and launch a pilot program in academic years 2013–2014 and 2014–2015.

Learning Abstract :
As we realized the prohibitive expense of traveling to St Louis for intensive seminars in a hybrid MAPS, the faculty acquired IT resources and did Quality Matters training in online pedagogy to allow distant students to study synchronously with other students in the classroom—enhancing enrollment and fostering community and critical class discussion. The faculty also engaged in learning conversation about leadership formation with the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management. Wabash grant priorities were renegotiated, allowing comprehensive review of human and spiritual formation for all MAPS and MDiv students. Formation directors for lay students, Dominican friars, and health care mission students are working with faculty on curriculum mapping of the MAPS and MDiv in which human and spiritual formation and pastoral formation work in tandem with a goal of leadership formation. We also are in dialogue with two Dominican provinces and the Leadership Roundtable about continuing leadership formation of alumni into their first years of ministry.
Grants cover image

Partners in Ministerial Formation: Shifting the Pedagogical Center (for the Expanding Ministry Formation into New Pedagogical Contexts RFP)

Awarded Grant
Senior, John
Wake Forest University Divinity School
Theological Schools
2012
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
This project proposes a new model for creating cooperative pedagogical spaces for ministry formation. Wake Forest University School of Divinity will convene a year-long seminar in 2012-13 for ministry leaders and theological educators to develop cooperative pedagogies of ministerial formation, which will be implemented in newly designed courses to be offered in the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 academic years. These courses will shift the conventional center of theological education pedagogies from ...
Proposal abstract :
This project proposes a new model for creating cooperative pedagogical spaces for ministry formation. Wake Forest University School of Divinity will convene a year-long seminar in 2012-13 for ministry leaders and theological educators to develop cooperative pedagogies of ministerial formation, which will be implemented in newly designed courses to be offered in the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 academic years. These courses will shift the conventional center of theological education pedagogies from the classroom to the ministry site, positioning faculty and clergy as partners in ministerial formation.

Learning Abstract :
Attentive to the changing landscapes of ministry, "Partners in Ministerial Formation: Shifting the Pedagogical Center" created five courses that explored emerging wisdom about the practice of ministry. Courses in public and nonprofit leadership, monastic spirituality, congregational narrative and identity, and African American culinary culture pushed the classroom out into the world, partnering with ministry practitioners and local ministry settings to explore course themes in conversation with lived religious experience. Some courses developed projects in local ministry settings that made a lasting impact in those communities. All of the courses excavated emerging wisdom about the life and work of ministry, making the seminary a public setting in which ministry leaders found space to reflect on their practice of ministry, and seminary students joined them in that journey.
Grants cover image

Bridging the 'Classical'/'Practical' Divide: Pitfalls and Possibilities of Seminary Partnered Teaching in Bible and Pastoral Theology

Awarded Grant
Hopkins, Denise|Koppel, Michael
Wesley Theological Seminary
Theological Schools
2012
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
The unfortunate divide that still exists between the so-called ‘practical’ and ‘classical’ disciplines often leaves seminary students unable to integrate their curricular work and engage in effective ministry. Fragmented learning can all too easily lead to fragmented ministry. This project aims to encourage and develop a collegial model of sustained conversation between Bible and pastoral theology within a representative sampling of theological schools in the United States for colleagues who ...
Proposal abstract :
The unfortunate divide that still exists between the so-called ‘practical’ and ‘classical’ disciplines often leaves seminary students unable to integrate their curricular work and engage in effective ministry. Fragmented learning can all too easily lead to fragmented ministry. This project aims to encourage and develop a collegial model of sustained conversation between Bible and pastoral theology within a representative sampling of theological schools in the United States for colleagues who have previously engaged in or who are open to the exploration of partnered (i.e. team) teaching. In a retreat workshop, five faculty teams will share syllabi and one integrative teaching and learning exercise for partnered courses (already taught or envisioned). Each presentation will be followed by questions and critique. The retreat setting is meant to foster a think tank community of inquiry for partnered teaching. Participants will compile a ‘best practices’ list, create a support network for conversation, generate an evaluative tool, and compile resources for partnered teaching and learning.

Learning Abstract :
Because the unfortunate divide still exists between the so-called ‘practical' and ‘classical' disciplines, seminary students struggle to integrate their curricular work with their ministerial practice. Our project encouraged and developed a collegial model of sustained conversation between Bible and pastoral theology to address this divide. We invited colleagues from a representative sampling of theological schools in the United States who had previously engaged in or who were open to the exploration of partnered teaching. In a retreat workshop, five faculty teams shared syllabi and integrative teaching and learning strategies for partnered courses. Each team presentation was followed by collaborative critique. The retreat setting fostered a think tank community of inquiry for partnered teaching. Participants compiled a ‘best practices' list, created a support network for conversation, and gathered resources for partnered teaching and learning. Participants received invitations to present papers on partnered teaching at the 2013 Annual Meeting of SBL.
Grants cover image

A Leap of Faith: Transforming Seminary Cultural Immersion Programs to New Heights of Pedagogy

Awarded Grant
Oladipo, Caleb
Baptist Theological Seminary, Richmond
Theological Schools
2012
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
The Mission Immersion Experience (MIE) Program is a requirement of our Master of Divinity students. The primary goal is to enhance our students’ global view of the Church during their formative years in Christian ministry and strengthen their cross-cultural perspectives. In an increasingly interactive global Church, every opportunity to engage in cross-cultural pedagogical experiences benefits their formation as 21st century ministers. The MIE is a pedagogical approach that supports transformative ...
Proposal abstract :
The Mission Immersion Experience (MIE) Program is a requirement of our Master of Divinity students. The primary goal is to enhance our students’ global view of the Church during their formative years in Christian ministry and strengthen their cross-cultural perspectives. In an increasingly interactive global Church, every opportunity to engage in cross-cultural pedagogical experiences benefits their formation as 21st century ministers. The MIE is a pedagogical approach that supports transformative learning experiences outside the comfortable boundaries of the classroom and fully immersed in an ever-changing world. Our project is to introduce a new training opportunity for the field coordinators to ensure a thorough understanding of the larger context of the MIE Program, build community and understanding around expectations for the MIE experience and communicate how critical their role is to the success of the program and its philosophy.

Learning Abstract :
The Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond hosted the first workshop for five MIE coordinators in the last week of September 2012. The coordinators came from five countries to Richmond for training and workshop sessions. It was the first time the seminary had offered such a workshop to foster conversations about transformative pedagogies in cross-cultural settings.

The interaction between the coordinators and students was mutually beneficial as students anticipated their future MIE, and as coordinators became more connected with BTSR intellectual and pedagogical culture. The events strengthened the coordinators' commitments to BTSR and its students. It also became clear that the MIE will continue to feature prominently in the seminary's intellectual life and propel its curricular to new heights of pedagogy.

We learned that preparation for Christian calling requires a more comprehensive pedagogical approach that will involve not just the students, but also faculty, staff, administration and the MIE coordinators overseas. The Wabash grant strengthened our MIE program by helping our coordinators abroad to see beyond receiving American ministerial students; they now see our seminary students as partners in global Christian ministry.
Grants cover image

Religious Leadership Formation in an Inter-Religious Context

Awarded Grant
Peace, Jennifer|Rose, Or
Hebrew College
Colleges/Universities
2012
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Over the last several years, Andover Newton Theological School (ANTS) and Hebrew College (HC) – immediate neighbors – have developed a variety of innovative inter-religious programs for our school communities and for the public. One key pedagogic practice guiding our efforts at co-formation has been havruta (from the Aramaic word for “tie together”). This traditional form of Jewish peer learning involves partners meeting over a sacred text, and reading and interpreting together. ...
Proposal abstract :
Over the last several years, Andover Newton Theological School (ANTS) and Hebrew College (HC) – immediate neighbors – have developed a variety of innovative inter-religious programs for our school communities and for the public. One key pedagogic practice guiding our efforts at co-formation has been havruta (from the Aramaic word for “tie together”). This traditional form of Jewish peer learning involves partners meeting over a sacred text, and reading and interpreting together. This dialogical model encourages holistic engagement in which participants help each other in their intellectual and spiritual growth. This grant project would provide ANTS and HC the opportunity to reflect on the role havruta learning has played and can play in the formation of our students, faculty, and institutions. The grant would support analysis of the use of havruta in our inter-religious work to date, and the refinement and expansion of this educational model – both its theory and practice – through faculty development.

Learning Abstract :
Through our grant, we learned that there is genuine interest among the vast majority of the faculty at our schools in advancing the interreligious educational work we have been developing over the last decade. Our colleagues are committed to helping train future religious leaders to serve effectively in a multi-religious society. In an effort to deepen and refine this sacred work, we will continue to explore productive ways for our faculties to work collaboratively, further developing their interreligious pedagogic craft and serving as models and guides for our students. In invoking the classical Jewish model of havruta (peer) learning in this context, our colleagues and we seek to foster intentional and respectful relationships that allow for open discussion of commonalities and differences across religious and institutional lines. We are excited that a new group of faculty havrutot will be team-teaching courses over the next three years as we continue to hone our collective vision for interreligious education and leadership formation.
Grants cover image

Developing Pedagogies for Dismantling Racism

Awarded Grant
Withrow, Lisa
Methodist Theological School in Ohio
Theological Schools
2012
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
By advancing educational ecologies that are designed to build cultural competency, advocacy, and education in areas that further racial/ethnic justice and equity, Methodist Theological School in Ohio hopes to design intentional pedagogical strategies that form persons who work to dismantle racism and advocate for human dignity and hospitality for all racial/ethnic groups.
Proposal abstract :
By advancing educational ecologies that are designed to build cultural competency, advocacy, and education in areas that further racial/ethnic justice and equity, Methodist Theological School in Ohio hopes to design intentional pedagogical strategies that form persons who work to dismantle racism and advocate for human dignity and hospitality for all racial/ethnic groups.

Learning Abstract :
"Developing Pedagogies for Dismantling Racism" has allowed Methodist Theological School in Ohio (MTSO), over the course of two years, to develop institution-wide attention to implicit racism and the dire need for intercultural competency learning and formation. Faculty, staff, and students now are in the process of delving into an institutional commitment that focuses on diverse perspectives and socio-cultural locations in order to form interculturally-astute leaders. Teaching and learning how to be in conversation across difference is not easy. A variety of pedagogical approaches and shifts in teaching content based on varied, sometimes conflicting, perspectives have made a significant impact on the seminary. Learning how to field resistance to difference, celebrate diversity, and encounter various forms of dehumanizing thinking has presented both challenge and opportunity for a forward-thinking theological education program. The Wabash grant has opened surprising doors for teaching and learning that we did not predict, bringing transformation in unexpected places throughout the campus.
Grants cover image

Ministry Formation in Jewishly-Grounded, Seminary-Based Clinical Pastoral Education

Awarded Grant
Springer, Mychal|Steyer, Ute
Jewish Theological Seminary of America
Colleges/Universities
2012
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) now requires all rabbinical students to complete units of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE). Our Center for Pastoral Education is unique in that it operates in a multi-faith context (open to seminarians and clergy of all faiths) and, whereas most CPE programs are situated in hospitals, we place students in social service agencies, hospices, and other innovative settings. The process of ministry formation has neither been ...
Proposal abstract :
The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) now requires all rabbinical students to complete units of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE). Our Center for Pastoral Education is unique in that it operates in a multi-faith context (open to seminarians and clergy of all faiths) and, whereas most CPE programs are situated in hospitals, we place students in social service agencies, hospices, and other innovative settings. The process of ministry formation has neither been sufficiently studied in the non-classroom context of a CPE program nor in a Jewish context. We will make an important contribution by investigating ministry formation for Jewish students in CPE field units, during which they are challenged to engage with different theological approaches as well as practice in diverse settings in partnership with agency professionals. The study will entail textual research, interviews and a current/former participant survey, and result in a paper for publication and dissemination.

Learning Abstract :
As a result of this grant, we gained valuable insight about the impact of clinical pastoral education (CPE) on ministry formation, and ideas about how these insights can be adapted to advance ministry formation for Jewish students more broadly. The results of this study will help enhance Jewish CPE programs and other elements of clergy training at JTS and begin to fill a void in the field of ministry formation, where research specific to a Jewish context is lacking.
Grants cover image

Born Digital: Negotiating Formation in the Hybrid/Online Classroom

Awarded Grant
Turpin, Katherine|Creamer, Deborah
Iliff School of Theology
Theological Schools
2012
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Technology and Teaching

Proposal abstract :
This project seeks to explore the unique capacities of the digital environment to support intellectual and professional formation of ministry students with divergent religious and cultural backgrounds, vocational goals, and institutional locations. The collaborative and constructive nature of the online/hybrid classroom may provide unique solutions to the negotiations of student formation in such a rapidly changing context. Faculty members of the Iliff School of Theology will engage in internal ...
Proposal abstract :
This project seeks to explore the unique capacities of the digital environment to support intellectual and professional formation of ministry students with divergent religious and cultural backgrounds, vocational goals, and institutional locations. The collaborative and constructive nature of the online/hybrid classroom may provide unique solutions to the negotiations of student formation in such a rapidly changing context. Faculty members of the Iliff School of Theology will engage in internal faculty collaboration and experimentation concerning hybrid/online pedagogical strategies and their relationship to the diverse intellectual and professional formation of students. Through this process, the faculty will shift from translation of residential pedagogical thinking to transformed pedagogy germane to the capacities of the online environment.

Learning Abstract :
Faculty members from the Iliff School of Theology gathered in retreat format to explore the unique capacities of the digital environment to support intellectual and professional formation of ministry students with divergent religious and cultural backgrounds, vocational goals, and institutional locations. By engaging in internal faculty collaboration and experimentation over a year concerning hybrid/online pedagogical strategies, participants began to identify unique solutions to the negotiations of student formation in such a rapidly changing context. By addressing faculty fears about student commitment and engagement, by identifying ways to have more spontaneous and complex forms of interaction between students and course content, and by increasing links between the online classroom and the external world, faculty began to shift from translation of residential pedagogical thinking to transformed pedagogy germane to the capacities of the online environment.
Grants cover image

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Writing Group

Awarded Grant
Clingerman, Forrest
Ohio Northern University
2012
Topics: Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
This project will bring together four scholars working on projects in the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) for a peer consultation and a writers’ retreat. The project is the second stage of conversations for the writing group; the group was formed as a cohort at the 2011 Wabash Writing the Scholarship of Teaching in Theology and Religion Workshop, where the first discussions occurred. The project allows the participants to form ...
Proposal abstract :
This project will bring together four scholars working on projects in the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) for a peer consultation and a writers’ retreat. The project is the second stage of conversations for the writing group; the group was formed as a cohort at the 2011 Wabash Writing the Scholarship of Teaching in Theology and Religion Workshop, where the first discussions occurred. The project allows the participants to form a writing cohort around SoTL research. Meeting in Montreat, NC, for three days, the members of the writing cohort will offer formal responses and discussion of each paper, as well as be available for informal guidance and support. Members of the cohort will also use this opportunity to work on the next stages of their individual writing projects.

Learning Abstract :
This project organized a peer consultation and writers' retreat for three religion scholars who are working on the scholarship of teaching and learning. The project advanced the work of a writing cohort formed at a Wabash Center pre-AAR "Writing the Scholarship of Teaching in Theology and Religion" Workshop. Project participants met in Montreat, NC, for three days in August 2012 to offer formal responses to and discussion of SoTL works-in-progress. The writers' retreat also served as an opportunity to assess how to engage effectively in SoTL research, to identify the limits and challenges in undertaking SoTL research at mid-career stage, and to provide peer resources for future work in SoTL. Participants were asked to be available for informal guidance and support for the duration of the project. The project resulted in three SoTL articles, to be submitted to appropriate SoTL-related journals.
Grants cover image

Sacred Teaching and Spiritual Learning Project at Hebrew College

Awarded Grant
Shire, Michael
Hebrew College
Colleges/Universities
2012
Topics: Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Jewish educators at all levels and venues have been wringing their hands for years about the failure to engage students emotionally and spiritually, especially in the context of Jewish ritual practice and prayer. This is a core problem field wide for Jewish educators at all levels who recognize the emotional and spiritual determinants of identity formation. We will address this reality by promoting a new conception of Jewish learning that ...
Proposal abstract :
Jewish educators at all levels and venues have been wringing their hands for years about the failure to engage students emotionally and spiritually, especially in the context of Jewish ritual practice and prayer. This is a core problem field wide for Jewish educators at all levels who recognize the emotional and spiritual determinants of identity formation. We will address this reality by promoting a new conception of Jewish learning that reflects our spiritually-rich Jewish legacy and its distinctive ethos. This project has the potential to drive a new paradigm of religious growth within the field of Jewish early childhood education and beyond. Through this project we imagine that the Shoolman School will contribute significantly to the field of Jewish spiritual and faith education, becoming a leading center for teacher preparation, conceptual development, action research and publishing.

Learning Abstract :
I defined my presenting issue as the introduction of a new paradigm into Jewish Education, namely that of the spiritual growth of children. This grant was intended to furnish me with the opportunity to pursue the research for the implementation of this project.

Through my research I have further refined conceptual questions of a Jewish spiritual education drawing upon research and deliberation in Jewish and Christian religious education. I have been invited to publish thought pieces in various places including online forums and academic publications. I have also been invited to present at various conferences in the USA and Europe.

My hope for this stage of the project was to clearly express the need for a Jewish spiritual education and the means to develop spiritual practices for Jewish educators. I was delighted with the response to the project which attracted over 100 educators to the professional development seminars and the Community of Practice. I was also pleased to be invited to guest edit CCAR: Journal of Reform Judaism which provides innovative and compelling descriptions of teacher education, adult learning, children's programming and evaluation for Jewish Spiritual Education.
Grants cover image

New Directions in Teaching Buddhism: A Workshop on Religious Studies Pedagogy for a Global 21st Century

Awarded Grant
Schaeffer, Kurtis
University of Virginia
Colleges/Universities
2012
Topics: Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Teaching Buddhism today happens in increasingly diverse classrooms, in universities that are more globally connected than ever, and with digital tools for collaborative engagement at our fingertips. Recognizing the changing demands and opportunities of teaching Buddhism in a global twenty-first century, this pedagogical workshop – hosted at the University of Virginia on September 14, 2012 – will bring together 50 graduate students and faculty in Buddhist Studies to consider both theoretical frameworks and practical solutions ...
Proposal abstract :
Teaching Buddhism today happens in increasingly diverse classrooms, in universities that are more globally connected than ever, and with digital tools for collaborative engagement at our fingertips. Recognizing the changing demands and opportunities of teaching Buddhism in a global twenty-first century, this pedagogical workshop – hosted at the University of Virginia on September 14, 2012 – will bring together 50 graduate students and faculty in Buddhist Studies to consider both theoretical frameworks and practical solutions to address the new context in which we find ourselves teaching Buddhism.

Learning Abstract :
The grant funds were used to host a seminar in October of 2012 for graduate students in North American PhD programs in Buddhist Studies. The seminar consisted of a 2-day event in which PhD candidates presented work-in-progress to each other and to distinguished professors in the field The grant covered group meals, keynote speaker and respondent fees, and airfare for visiting distinguished scholars. The event was managed by PhD candidates in the Buddhist Studies program in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia, with oversight from professors in the program.
Grants cover image

Fostering Research Programs in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Religion and Theology

Awarded Grant
Clingerman, Forrest|O’Brien, Kevin
Ohio Northern University
2012
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
The project will build a workgroup of eight recently tenured and tenure-track faculty to investigate the process of developing research programs in the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) while discussing the career challenges related to pursuing SoTL research in religion. This project first will seek to nurture work in the scholarship of teaching and learning by providing a forum for early- and mid-career faculty with strong interests in SoTL ...
Proposal abstract :
The project will build a workgroup of eight recently tenured and tenure-track faculty to investigate the process of developing research programs in the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) while discussing the career challenges related to pursuing SoTL research in religion. This project first will seek to nurture work in the scholarship of teaching and learning by providing a forum for early- and mid-career faculty with strong interests in SoTL research: a writer’s retreat that provides space to work on existing research as well as to discuss research questions, methods, and challenges. The retreat provides a “next step” for several project participants’ prior experiences with Wabash Center workshops on SoTL. Second, this project will seek to establish a scholarly cohort in which such research can be discussed and exchanged after the initial work of the project is completed.

Learning Abstract :
The project involved building a cohort of mid-career scholars in religion and theology to investigate (1) the challenges and opportunities early and mid-career scholars face in creating an ongoing research agenda in the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL), and (2) the possibility of fostering a research community of SoTL in religion and theology among younger scholars. Work on the project was done through a series of engagements with eight scholars, which included a summer retreat and a meeting at the national AAR to discuss preliminary conclusions. Most importantly, the group identified some of the challenges faced in creating a scholarly agenda in SoTL. The challenges included the lack of graduate training in SoTL, the methodological differences between SoTL and religious studies, the lack of a strong community of scholars engaged in SoTL in religion and theology, and numerous issues related to the prestige and purpose of SoTL.
Grants cover image

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)
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.
Grants cover image

Religion, Place, and Pedagogy: Establishing a Bio-Regional Network of Teacher-Scholars in Religion and Ecology

Awarded Grant
Patterson, Barbara|Ayres, Jennifer|Labrecque, Cory
Emory University
Colleges/Universities
2013
Topics: Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
How can religious and theological learning be deepened by sustained attention to and engagement with the particular place in which education is happening—and with an ecological context more broadly? And what challenges and opportunities greet teachers of religion and theology who seek this kind of deepened engagement through place-based pedagogies and other models of teaching and learning? This project will establish a network of inquiry-driven scholars and teachers who ...
Proposal abstract :
How can religious and theological learning be deepened by sustained attention to and engagement with the particular place in which education is happening—and with an ecological context more broadly? And what challenges and opportunities greet teachers of religion and theology who seek this kind of deepened engagement through place-based pedagogies and other models of teaching and learning? This project will establish a network of inquiry-driven scholars and teachers who are interested in the powers and stories of particular places, histories, geographies, and cultures shaped by – and shaping – religious experiences and expressions in the South. The project is primed to advance existent place-conscious pedagogical approaches at the intersection of religion and ecology in response to today’s crises in sustainable living.

Learning Abstract :
A pilot group of faculty interested in resources, uses, and assessments of place-based pedagogies initiated a Southern Bio-Regional Network. Committed to building a collegial community interested in a range of place-based pedagogy models and exercises, this initial group met over a three-day consultation, sharing specific approaches they had used in their classrooms, experimenting with each other's teaching-learning exercises, and discovering a shared purpose to implement this Network. An additional gathering at the national AAR/SBL meeting drew additional faculty and graduate student interests creating a broader cohort now better leveraged through a live blog committed to the use, expansion, and research of pedagogies of place in the Southern Bio-Region. The blog is found at: http://religionplacepedagogy.wordpress.com/ Committed to establishing a diverse network of scholar teachers from a range of settings and fields, this Network addresses issues ranging widely from food and agriculture to narratives and meanings of place.
Grants cover image

Discovering Student Learning in the Religious Site Visit Assignment

Awarded Grant
Banas, Mark
Georgia Perimeter College
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.
Grants cover image

Wheaton College World Religions Roundtable

Awarded Grant
Hill, Andrew
Wheaton College - Illinois
Colleges/Universities
2013
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
The aim of the project is to organize a one day round table centered on the topic of religious studies/world religions. The invited participants will be (a maximum of eight) faculty persons teaching World Religions/Religious Studies (WR/RS) in undergraduate programs from local Chicago area colleges and universities (e.g., Aurora University; Benedictine University; College of DuPage; Elmhurst College; North Central College; North Park University; University of Illinois ...
Proposal abstract :
The aim of the project is to organize a one day round table centered on the topic of religious studies/world religions. The invited participants will be (a maximum of eight) faculty persons teaching World Religions/Religious Studies (WR/RS) in undergraduate programs from local Chicago area colleges and universities (e.g., Aurora University; Benedictine University; College of DuPage; Elmhurst College; North Central College; North Park University; University of Illinois Chicago). The purpose of the event is to provide a forum for the focused exchange of ideas, curricular materials, and best teaching practices. The goals for the event include: the opportunity to discuss the teaching and learning of WR/RS in community; improve pedagogy; broaden individual data bases in the pooling of curricular resources; and begin to build an area network for faculty teaching WR/RS (with a view toward developing some kind of regular colloquium). In addition, I hope this event will contribute to wider ongoing efforts to restore a program in WR/RS at Wheaton College.

Learning Abstract :
The Wheaton College World Religions Roundtable gathered invited faculty persons from several Chicago area colleges and universities for a day to discuss the teaching and learning of world religions. The event was designed to provide a forum for the focused exchange of ideas, curricular materials, and best teaching practices. The most significant thing learned from the event was the value of simply gathering for such a forum, summarized by one participant's response to the question: What was most helpful? "The opportunity to meet, get to know, interact with and learn from colleagues in a variety of related disciplines in schools in the area. The depth and range of wisdom and expertise was invaluable." The potential contribution to the ongoing conversation on teaching and learning was the discussion and exchange of ideas on the topics of "field trips" to Chicago area worship/learning centers associated with the world's religions and student interactive assignments.
Grants cover image

Culture and Pedagogy Workshop

Awarded Grant
Brausch, Anthony
Athenaeum of Ohio
Theological Schools
2013
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Identity, Vocation, and Culture of Teaching

Proposal abstract :
The Athenaeum of Ohio/Mount St. Mary’s Seminary will host a one-day Culture & Pedagogy workshop on August 13, 2013, from 9:30 am to 2:30 pm involving 35 full-time faculty and relevant intellectual formation support staff. The workshop will demonstrate in a collaborative group setting how culture coincides with pedagogy from the reception of an international seminarian through his coursework and eventual ordination. The workshop will be preceded by a four-module online series posted within ...
Proposal abstract :
The Athenaeum of Ohio/Mount St. Mary’s Seminary will host a one-day Culture & Pedagogy workshop on August 13, 2013, from 9:30 am to 2:30 pm involving 35 full-time faculty and relevant intellectual formation support staff. The workshop will demonstrate in a collaborative group setting how culture coincides with pedagogy from the reception of an international seminarian through his coursework and eventual ordination. The workshop will be preceded by a four-module online series posted within the institutional learning management system providing background information on intercultural competencies in the teaching and learning environment and on the challenges of cultural assessments in terms of academics and psychology. It will then be followed-up with a two-week discussion forum in which faculty will continue their conversation on the items presented.

Learning Abstract :
From the workshop's success at generating sixteen distinct strategic planning goals, we learned that our faculty can demonstrate a real interest and engagement in a topic that is perceived as ancillary at the present moment, namely, the need to pursue the study and implementation of intercultural competencies within the institution's teaching, learning, and administrative environment, acknowledging the institution's lack of diversity among its faculty, staff, and students.

From the disappointment in the lack of faculty and staff participation in the online workshop to the demonstration of their interest and enthusiasm in what might otherwise have been perceived as an ancillary focus, the faculty showed that it can step up to the plate in terms of future-visioning. The greatest contribution to the expanding conversation on teaching and learning that came out of the workshop is the Athenaeum itself as one of the first seminaries on record to undergo a focused examination of the USCCB Office of Cultural Diversity intercultural competency modules for implementation within its teaching and learning environment.
Grants cover image

Students Finding Virtue: Theological Information Literacy and Intellectual Tenacity

Awarded Grant
Hauck, Janet
Whitworth University
Colleges/Universities
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.
Grants cover image

Inclusive Language in Recognizing Religious Commitments in the Classroom

Awarded Grant
Burford, Grace|Brown, Sidney
Sewanee: The University of the South
2013
Topics: Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Identity, Vocation, and Culture of Teaching

Proposal abstract :
This grant project was conducted in the context of the Wabash Center’s
2013-14 Colloquy on Religious Commitments in the Undergraduate Classroom.
This project focuses on developing tools to promote the use of language in religious studies and theology classrooms that fully includes students with commitments either to religions different from those that dominate religious discourse in our culture, or to no religion at all, and even those ...
Proposal abstract :
This grant project was conducted in the context of the Wabash Center’s
2013-14 Colloquy on Religious Commitments in the Undergraduate Classroom.
This project focuses on developing tools to promote the use of language in religious studies and theology classrooms that fully includes students with commitments either to religions different from those that dominate religious discourse in our culture, or to no religion at all, and even those who consider themselves anti-religious. These tools will include scenarios of improvisational dialogical play, readings and questions for discussion, and a checklist for religious privilege. The project co-directors will create these tools by analyzing work that has been done in this area consulting with two other scholars in this field, and interviewing with key participants in interreligious dialogue. We will present these tools in 2014 to the other members of the “Religious Commitments in the Classroom” Wabash colloquy. Publication of our work in an interreligious journal such as Buddhist-Christian Studies and/or presentation of it at a professional conference are also potential outcomes for this project.

Learning Abstract :
How can sensitive, intelligent people with commitments to different religions and to no religions at all, as well as those who consider themselves anti-religious, engage responsibly in a classroom discussion about religion? While professors in religious studies do this every day in their own classrooms, we wondered how inclusively we are doing it. How well are we managing to welcome everyone in the room and to make use of all their good ideas? Because inclusive language is an integral part of encouraging all voices and all religious commitments (or lack thereof) in the classroom, we designed an in-class survey on religion that excludes most mainstream Americans, in order to generate that feeling of exclusion in those who might not otherwise have experienced religious exclusion before. We also created teaching tools such as a handout on more inclusive terms, a bibliography, and selections from a test of Christian privilege.
Grants cover image

Latino/a Strategies for Pedagogical Decenterings

Awarded Grant
Cuéllar, Gregory
Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary
Theological Schools
2013
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
This project seeks to explore how questions like these may be effectively raised in the classroom. What successful pedagogical strategies have we used to decenter dominant narratives, and what others might we consider? What are the challenges and risks that we face in the classroom when we decenter dominant narratives? And how are we to assess our decentering strategies? These are some of the core questions of this project. For ...
Proposal abstract :
This project seeks to explore how questions like these may be effectively raised in the classroom. What successful pedagogical strategies have we used to decenter dominant narratives, and what others might we consider? What are the challenges and risks that we face in the classroom when we decenter dominant narratives? And how are we to assess our decentering strategies? These are some of the core questions of this project. For this grant, we propose a three-day retreat where we can discuss these issues as well as lay the groundwork for a possible larger conversation with other Latino/a scholars of religion. Given our various disciplinary backgrounds and our varied institutional settings, we believe we are well poised to undertake this task.

Learning Abstract :
Central to this project was identifying specific learning strategies that help our students decenter meta-narratives in disciplines like biblical studies, ritual studies, Jewish studies, Latino/a studies, and American religious studies. We learned that as individuals of Latin American descent, we know from personal experience what it means to be on the margins of the "American" norm. Yet, as scholars, we have made commitments to decenter the structures underlining the normative discourses. Toward this end, we collectively utilize a range of critical methods that problematize dominant narratives, including postmodern theory, postcolonial and de-colonial thought, critical social theory, and feminist critics.

At the same time, integrated into this theoretical process is giving currency to our own lived experiences as Latinoas/as with oppressive meta-narratives. Conversely, deploying these decentering strategies in our teaching can provoke increased cultural tensions in the classroom. For minoritized faculty, this can often have an adverse effect on professional advancement. Hence, valuable to ensuring a healthy learning environment, while at the same time decentering dominant narratives, is to maintain a posture of humble diplomacy and set forth early on in the course an ethics of engagement.
Grants cover image

Reflection Toward Innovation: A Retreat on Biblical Studies Pedagogy for Gordon College

Awarded Grant
Green, Roger
Gordon College
2013
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
The Department of Biblical Studies and Christian Ministries at Gordon College proposes a retreat in the summer of 2014 discuss pedagogical strategies in our Core first-year courses, Old Testament and New Testament. Building on existing departmental efforts, we will use funds to support research, reflection and discussion aimed at addressing the changing needs of our students, growing class sizes, and the cultural shifts in our incoming students’ approach to the biblical ...
Proposal abstract :
The Department of Biblical Studies and Christian Ministries at Gordon College proposes a retreat in the summer of 2014 discuss pedagogical strategies in our Core first-year courses, Old Testament and New Testament. Building on existing departmental efforts, we will use funds to support research, reflection and discussion aimed at addressing the changing needs of our students, growing class sizes, and the cultural shifts in our incoming students’ approach to the biblical text. We will host one two-day retreat for the department. The retreat will focus on addressing students’ needs (both as first-year students and as students of the Biblical text), examining current approaches and identifying key areas for further study. Such a project will enable our department to better address the needs of our students, and we will share our discussions with colleagues at Gordon and across institutions.

Learning Abstract :
The Department of Biblical Studies and Christian Ministries at Gordon College conducted a retreat in the spring semester of 2014 to discuss pedagogical strategies in our core first-year courses, Old Testament and New Testament, and in our core Theology course. Building on existing departmental efforts, we used funds to support research, reflection and discussion aimed at addressing the changing needs of our students, growing class sizes, and the cultural shifts in our incoming students' approach to the biblical text and to theological inquiry. The retreat focused on addressing students' needs (both as first-year students and as students of the biblical text and of theological texts), examining current approaches and identifying key areas for further study. Such a project enabled our department to better address the needs of our students, and we will look for opportunities to share both our discussions and our findings to the wider academy.
Grants cover image

Shaping a Missional Future of Teaching and Learning at Western Theological Seminary through Pre-Tenure Faculty Development

Awarded Grant
Small, Kyle
Western Theological Seminary
Theological Schools
2013
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Identity, Vocation, and Culture of Teaching

Proposal abstract :
WTS is in the midst of faculty turnover during the next several years due to program expansion and retirements. This creates a large pre-tenure faculty. Wabash has shown that investing in pre-tenure faculty creates a vibrant institution. We are also in the midst of a strategic planning process that places missional theology at the center of the curriculum. The pedagogical and curricular needs of this vision would be directly enhanced ...
Proposal abstract :
WTS is in the midst of faculty turnover during the next several years due to program expansion and retirements. This creates a large pre-tenure faculty. Wabash has shown that investing in pre-tenure faculty creates a vibrant institution. We are also in the midst of a strategic planning process that places missional theology at the center of the curriculum. The pedagogical and curricular needs of this vision would be directly enhanced through critically-reflective practices among pre-tenure faculty. The fact that new faculty will comprise the majority of the WTS faculty makes this an opportune time to shift to a more collaborative and missional paradigm of teaching and learning for the formation of leaders for the church. This grant proposes a pre-tenure faculty development model to explore the question, “How can the playful, collaborative, and reflective model of Wabash’s pre-tenure workshop serve to develop pre-tenure faculty towards our institutional (missional) vision?”

Learning Abstract :
The grant for pre-tenure faculty emerged from a desire to develop a faculty culture that seeks a way of being colleagues for one another, in a culture of collaboration, creativity, and curiosity. It was a twenty-month engagement for 12 pre-tenure faculty members to explore vocational identity and missional theology, as well as develop practices and habits for critically-reflective, multi-cultural, and anti-racist pedagogies. The grant adopted the values and practices from Wabash's pre-tenure colloquies yet operated within one theological school. The following list of goals guided a collaborative effort: 1) develop a faculty development culture around intentional conversation on teaching and learning, hospitality through feast and friendship, and encouragement to write, publish and speak for the church; 2) provide opportunities to share institutional memory between senior faculty members and pre-tenure faculty; 3) discover a collective identity as pre-tenure teachers at WTS and "inhabit our unique identity as teachers;" 4) continue the pre-tenure group with expanded focus on fellowship, understanding the institutional context, and sharing the successes and struggles of the work-life balance for the pre-tenure faculty; 5) share case studies from classroom experiences; 6) discuss becoming critically reflective teachers and experiment with critically reflective pedagogies; 7) engage in multi-cultural pedagogies through experimentation and evaluation; 8) intersect the multi-layered assumptions of missional theology with critically reflective and multi-cultural pedagogical strategies. Further deepen these practices within this group and the entire faculty of WTS; and 9) celebrate the writing and research of our colleagues with a view toward the tenure process. These nine goals were engaged through monthly lunches focused on teaching cases from participant classroom experiences; quarterly gatherings with segments of the longer-term faculty, administration, and emeriti professors; and two retreats. The grant period allowed exploration more than complete fulfillment.
Grants cover image

The Bible and the Big Questions at PC(USA) Liberal Arts Colleges: Toward Pedagogies of Values Identification, Critical Thinking, and Civic Engagement

Awarded Grant
Lopez, Davina
Eckerd College
2013
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
The Bible has historically comprised a core component of the Humanities at PC(USA) liberal arts colleges, given the latter’s indebtedness to Judeo-Christian traditions. Herein a challenge for biblical studies teachers resides in contestations over content, method, and interpretive authority, alongside the Bible’s disputed importance in college curricula. At the same time, the Bible is a potential resource for helping students to ask “big questions.” This project will ...
Proposal abstract :
The Bible has historically comprised a core component of the Humanities at PC(USA) liberal arts colleges, given the latter’s indebtedness to Judeo-Christian traditions. Herein a challenge for biblical studies teachers resides in contestations over content, method, and interpretive authority, alongside the Bible’s disputed importance in college curricula. At the same time, the Bible is a potential resource for helping students to ask “big questions.” This project will bring together biblical studies teachers at five PC(USA) liberal arts colleges for three workshops over the next year, wherein we aim to develop a collaborative, supportive atmosphere and think about ways to understand similarities and differences between our teaching personae and practices. Rather than rehearse oppositions between “faith” and “intellect” in teaching biblical studies, we will embrace three intersecting sites for exploring pedagogical dilemmas and strategies: values identification and spiritual life, critical thinking and interconnectedness of knowledge, and community-integrative education and civic engagement.

Learning Abstract :
This project aimed to consider a range of questions facing teachers of biblical studies at PC(USA) liberal arts colleges, including: a) what specific resources the Presbyterian higher-educational heritage offers for contemporary biblical-studies pedagogies; b) how teachers of biblical literature at PC(USA) liberal arts colleges might overcome dichotomous understandings of biblical studies pedagogies as being either rooted in "seminary" or "university" models; c) how teaching the Bible with undergraduates at PC(USA) liberal arts colleges can be enhanced through challenging supposed oppositions ("faith"/"intellect," "believers"/"non-believers"); d) how the Bible, which historically has occupied a central place in liberal arts curricula, might be best encountered in a contemporary liberal arts setting - with contemporary students; and e) how teachers of biblical literature in these settings might learn from each other and clarify our own pedagogical orientation to the material that we share, embracing a holistic vision of what teaching the Bible can be and do.
Grants cover image

Sustaining a Culture of Teaching and Learning

Awarded Grant
Tucker, Anjulet|Stone, Bryan
Boston University School of Theology
Theological Schools
2013
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Identity, Vocation, and Culture of Teaching

Proposal abstract :
Recent changes to the curriculum and the graduate teacher training program has prompted interest among the faculty and administration at Boston University School of Theology in expanding opportunities for faculty development in the areas of teaching and mentoring. Building on the demonstrated interest among faculty across rank in continuing education opportunities, the attached Sustaining a Culture of Teaching and Learning project proposal outlines a strategic program for developing faculty learning ...
Proposal abstract :
Recent changes to the curriculum and the graduate teacher training program has prompted interest among the faculty and administration at Boston University School of Theology in expanding opportunities for faculty development in the areas of teaching and mentoring. Building on the demonstrated interest among faculty across rank in continuing education opportunities, the attached Sustaining a Culture of Teaching and Learning project proposal outlines a strategic program for developing faculty learning communities within the school. The program seeks to convene faculty for workshops, trainings, and retreats over the course of the next year and a half to address the needs highlighted by the institutional changes and introduce faculty to the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning as a formal area of critical inquiry.

Learning Abstract :
Boston University School of Theology has, over the past two years, piloted a variety of new venues for conversations and training around teaching and learning that have grown out of institutional and curricular assessment, build on the noted strengths of our faculty, respond to our aims of improving our formal training of doctoral students as teachers, and capitalize on existing University resources. This work includes learning from best practices of scholar-teachers (both within the School and outside) and focuses on diversity and inclusion, collaborative and interdisciplinary teaching, interfaith teaching, integrating teaching and learning, and doctoral mentoring and teacher-training. The work of several key faculty is leading the way in areas of creative and anti-racist pedagogy, interfaith co-teaching, new directions in chaplaincy training, or integrating post-colonial theory into pedagogy for preaching, to name only a few examples. What we are learning from the project continues to shape faculty teaching and learning in a way that overlaps with and is complementary to ways we do teacher training with our doctoral students.
Grants cover image

Religious Commitments in the Classroom: Interviews with Students

Awarded Grant
Webster, Jane
Barton College
Colleges/Universities
2013
Topics: Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Identity, Vocation, and Culture of Teaching

Proposal abstract :
This grant project was conducted in the context of the Wabash Center’s
2013-14 Colloquy on Religious Commitments in the Undergraduate Classroom.
Why are my students not talking about their religious commitments? What’s at stake for them either way? How can I (or should I) encourage them to engage the conversation? This student-led project will explore the dynamics of religious commitments in a small town in rural ...
Proposal abstract :
This grant project was conducted in the context of the Wabash Center’s
2013-14 Colloquy on Religious Commitments in the Undergraduate Classroom.
Why are my students not talking about their religious commitments? What’s at stake for them either way? How can I (or should I) encourage them to engage the conversation? This student-led project will explore the dynamics of religious commitments in a small town in rural North Carolina where religion is part of the everyday life. Working with a faculty member, select religion majors will conduct surveys and interviews to assess the contours and constraints of the talk about religious commitments in the college environment. From their evaluation, they will devise strategies to inform faculty and staff, and evaluate their success the following semester. They will report the results of their study in a Scholars Symposium and to the Board of Trustees. The desired outcome is to develop a robust conversation about religious commitments in this Eastern North Carolina undergraduate college, and to promote leadership and research among Religion majors.

Learning Abstract :
Alexander Astin, et al, argue that conversations in the classroom about meaning and purpose in life ("spiritual quest") enhance other college outcomes, such as academic performance, psychological well-being, leadership development, and satisfaction with college (2008: 10). This student-led project assessed the contours and constraints of the talk about religious commitments in the college environment with surveys, individual interviews, and class questionnaires. They found that most students wanted to engage conversations of personal identity, meaning, and purpose in the classroom, to ask questions to each other about their religious commitments and to learn how to describe their own. Instructors can facilitate these conversations by developing personal relationships with the students, setting norms, using small groups, linking the conversations to course content, and being flexible. The student team presented their findings in a Scholars Symposium.


Students discuss their part in the project



Powerpoint slide show reviewing the project

Grants cover image

Religious Commitments in the Albion College Classroom

Awarded Grant
McWhirter, Jocelyn
Albion College
Colleges/Universities
2013
Topics: Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
This grant project was conducted in the context of the Wabash Center’s
2013-14 Colloquy on Religious Commitments in the Undergraduate Classroom.
Do students at a small, church-affiliated liberal arts college think that classroom discussions about religious commitments cohere with its academic mission? How comfortable are traditional undergraduates with such discussions? How do they perceive their religious obligations in the classroom? How do they handle those obligations? This ...
Proposal abstract :
This grant project was conducted in the context of the Wabash Center’s
2013-14 Colloquy on Religious Commitments in the Undergraduate Classroom.
Do students at a small, church-affiliated liberal arts college think that classroom discussions about religious commitments cohere with its academic mission? How comfortable are traditional undergraduates with such discussions? How do they perceive their religious obligations in the classroom? How do they handle those obligations? This project will answer these questions, helping to chart the water for instructors seeking to navigate religious commitments in the undergraduate classroom. It will also give four college seniors a way to interact with the issues, both personally and as they affect other students. Activities include the creation, administration, and analysis of a student survey, conversation among religious studies students and faculty, a presentation to the College community, reflection and evaluation by the project director, and consideration by the Wabash Center 2013-14 Teaching and Learning Colloquy on Religious Commitments in the Undergraduate Classroom.

Learning Abstract :

Do students at a small, church-affiliated liberal arts college think that classroom discussions about religious commitments cohere with its academic mission? How comfortable are traditional undergraduates with such discussions? How do they perceive their religious obligations in the classroom? How do they handle those obligations? A survey of 95 Albion College religious studies students indicates that most are comfortable discussing religious commitments in class, especially when someone else initiates the conversation. They are willing to talk about their own beliefs as well as the beliefs of others. Most think that discussing personal beliefs enhances their education. While some report that their religion obligates them to reject certain academic claims, only a few felt strongly that they should speak up about their beliefs in the classroom. Tellingly, 38% compartmentalize academic and personal views about religion. These results suggest that Albion College professors have an opportunity to help students integrate religious studies with personal beliefs.



Religious Commitments in the Albion College Classroom (mp4)

Powerpoint slideshow reviewing the project (pdf)

Grants cover image

Millennial Students and the Pedagogy of Comparative Theology

Awarded Grant
Locklin, Reid|Brecht, Mara
St. Norbert College
Colleges/Universities
2014
Topics: Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
If Millennial students do not see boundaries between religious traditions, as suggested by sociological studies of the generation, is the academic project of comparative theology, which aims to transgress boundaries between traditions, at risk? Colloquia participants will gather to explore and share pedagogical strategies for “meeting” Millennial students “where they are” in order to invite them into the discipline of comparative theology. First, the colloquia project aims to establish a ...
Proposal abstract :
If Millennial students do not see boundaries between religious traditions, as suggested by sociological studies of the generation, is the academic project of comparative theology, which aims to transgress boundaries between traditions, at risk? Colloquia participants will gather to explore and share pedagogical strategies for “meeting” Millennial students “where they are” in order to invite them into the discipline of comparative theology. First, the colloquia project aims to establish a shared understanding of our Millennial students and the unique features of the Millennial classroom. Around this foundational paradigm, colloquia participants will offer scholarly perspectives on teaching comparative theology for Millennial students; collaborate to develop specific teaching techniques and learning designs to best engage the Millennials; and collectively imagine how comparative theology itself ought to be reshaped in conversation with this generation of students.

Learning Abstract :
Comparative theology presumes boundaries between traditions, in order to transgress them. Millennial students, who resist and reconfigure traditional boundaries, would seem to represent an uncomfortable demographic for such a practice. Our project gathered teacher-scholars to imagine new pedagogies that are student learning-focused and also meaningful for comparative theologians' own scholarly work. Drawing on participants' classroom experience, as well as sociological studies of millennial students, the workshop reflected on the challenges posed by the emergence of new epistemologies and patterns of religious belonging. At the same time, we learned that comparative theology offers certain "affordances" to millennial students that other forms of theology or religious studies may not. Because comparative theology is premised on engaging across boundaries, teaching in this mode enables students to talk about and learn with the diverse forms of boundaries, including religious ones, they experience in their lives, while also affording new grammars for naming transcendence.
Grants cover image

Identifying and Dismantling White Privilege in Pedagogy: A Workshop for Faculty at Lancaster Theological Seminary

Awarded Grant
Mellott, David
Lancaster Theological Seminary
Theological Schools
2014
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
This grant will fund a workshop for Lancaster Theological Seminary faculty to identify white privilege in their teaching and evaluation of student learning and to take the next steps to dismantle it. In a week-long intensive to be held May 19-24, 2014, the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright will instruct faculty in African-American history, African theologies, cultural differences, and diverse learning styles and epistemologies. On this basis of this learning, the faculty ...
Proposal abstract :
This grant will fund a workshop for Lancaster Theological Seminary faculty to identify white privilege in their teaching and evaluation of student learning and to take the next steps to dismantle it. In a week-long intensive to be held May 19-24, 2014, the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright will instruct faculty in African-American history, African theologies, cultural differences, and diverse learning styles and epistemologies. On this basis of this learning, the faculty then will review the “Student Learning Outcomes and Rubrics” for our three degree programs and the “Course Overviews” for the required courses required for the M.Div. program, two sets of documents that guide our educational offerings, assessment strategies, and pedagogies. In two afternoon workshops, a consultant will guide faculty toward the theory and practice of teaching and assessing students with diverse learning styles. Guided by this education, faculty will develop new measures of student success for the M.Div. degree and draft a revision of the “Student Learning Outcomes and Rubrics” of the M.Div. program.

Learning Abstract :
"Identifying and Dismantling White Privilege in Pedagogy: A workshop for Faculty at Lancaster Theological Seminary" accomplished two primary goals. From participating in 20 hours of master class sessions with the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright, faculty and key adjuncts gained a deeper knowledge of Afrocentric approaches to epistemology and learning. In 15 hours of discussion and activities with Wabash Consultants, Dr. Carolyn Medine and Dr. Benny Liew, faculty were encouraged to situate white privilege in teaching and learning within the larger framework of the diverse learning styles and competencies of all students. Many of the practices that we developed during this week (reading and discussing books together, intentionally planning times to discuss race apart from moments of crisis, etc.) continued into the 2014-2015 academic year, convincing us of the importance for sustained conversations about race, teaching and learning.
Grants cover image

Resourcing Theology Faculty Latinamente: Teaching/Learning for Ministry in the 21st Century US Roman Catholic Church

Awarded Grant
Nanko-Fernández, Carmen
Catholic Theological Union of Chicago
Theological School
2014
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Identity, Vocation, and Culture of Teaching

Proposal abstract :
This project seeks to prepare lay and ordained ministers in the Roman Catholic Church to better serve Latin@s, the new demographic plurality, by resourcing faculty across the curriculum at a Roman Catholic school of theology and ministry. The design is grounded in an organic approach that recognizes that the development of intercultural ministerial competencies in students calls for teaching/learning strategies built on the interconnectedness of cultural, theological and ...
Proposal abstract :
This project seeks to prepare lay and ordained ministers in the Roman Catholic Church to better serve Latin@s, the new demographic plurality, by resourcing faculty across the curriculum at a Roman Catholic school of theology and ministry. The design is grounded in an organic approach that recognizes that the development of intercultural ministerial competencies in students calls for teaching/learning strategies built on the interconnectedness of cultural, theological and practical knowledges as well as particular ways of being community. This project intentionally includes the theological component because it is often ignored in ministerial competency development programs. The project utilizes accompaniment as a means of resourcing faculty. By inviting an interdisciplinary team of Latin@ theological educators, the project establishes within the school faculty community a teaching/learning network of Latin@ colleagues who form a critical mass--for the duration of the project--of those who are usually underrepresented on theological faculties.

Learning Abstract :
The challenge of resourcing graduate school faculty to prepare students as ministers, teachers, and theologians for service in a church that has rapidly become plurality Latin@ is magnified by the reality that the majority of theological educators are not Latin@ let alone familiar with the distinctive theologizing that arises from Latin@ theologians and contexts. This educating of a faculty is best achieved in settings where typically underrepresented Latin@ faculty establish a critical mass and are viewed as expert peers. The cultivation of relationships of peer accompaniment reduces tensions and establishes networks for collegial engagement within the project parameters and beyond. In this project, the commitments, sources and methods of Latin@ theologies offered strategies for teaching/learning, informed pedagogical trajectories and program design.
Grants cover image

Integrating Student-Centered Inquiry for Transformational Learning among Diverse Students

Awarded Grant
Elness-Hanson, Beth
Trinity Lutheran College
2014
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Trinity is in the crucible of change. However, this kairos-time provides the opportunity to strategically innovate—integrating “student-centered inquiry"—for stronger learning outcomes among a wonderfully-diverse student body. The past eight years have seen changes from a traditional Bible college to a “biblically-centered liberal arts college” with new majors beyond traditional ministry. The changes of campus location, president, academic dean, Biblical Studies chair, new majors, and adding athletic programs has ...
Proposal abstract :
Trinity is in the crucible of change. However, this kairos-time provides the opportunity to strategically innovate—integrating “student-centered inquiry"—for stronger learning outcomes among a wonderfully-diverse student body. The past eight years have seen changes from a traditional Bible college to a “biblically-centered liberal arts college” with new majors beyond traditional ministry. The changes of campus location, president, academic dean, Biblical Studies chair, new majors, and adding athletic programs has resulted in a vastly different student body— with 42% people of color, almost half are athletes, and approximately 7% are non-Christian—a radical change from a decade ago. Thus, the faculty seeks to engage the diversity of ethnicity, faith traditions, and learning styles by integrating the “gracious space” provided through student-centered inquiry. We seek to develop our capacity to empower active, responsible participants in their own learning in ways which respects diversity while engaging meaningfully in exploring the Christian world view.

Learning Abstract :
Trinity Lutheran College faculty and administrative staff were able, over the short period of the grant, to "develop our capacity to empower active, responsible participants in their own learning in ways which respects diversity while engaging meaningfully in exploring the Christian worldview," as well as identify limitations of our ability to accomplish these aims. After baseline measures and post-test comparisons, as well as trainings for faculty, Trinity applied changes to our core religious curriculum. Further, the grant made obvious that while change in syllabi and pedagogical practices can indeed make a small impact on how students learn, the "who" students work with is an equally important question that needs to be asked and addressed. The need to diversify the faculty profile is paramount to student success in biblically centered curriculum.
Grants cover image

Aligning and Adopting a Model of Blended Learning

Awarded Grant
Johnson, Aaron
Denver Seminary
Theological Schools
2014
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Technology and Teaching

Proposal abstract :
Denver Seminary is a thriving community with a distinct mission and character, reflected in both its faculty and its student body. Our overarching goal is to translate the seminary’s distinctives into a blended learning initiative. We posit that blended learning that is well aligned with institutional values and student realities will be more fully and quickly adopted by faculty and students. Therefore, the specific goals of this project are ...
Proposal abstract :
Denver Seminary is a thriving community with a distinct mission and character, reflected in both its faculty and its student body. Our overarching goal is to translate the seminary’s distinctives into a blended learning initiative. We posit that blended learning that is well aligned with institutional values and student realities will be more fully and quickly adopted by faculty and students. Therefore, the specific goals of this project are to design a model of blended learning that is uniquely fit to the institutional character of Denver Seminary and to our profiles of our students, to support that model with corresponding pedagogies, and to foster the adoption of blended learning throughout our community. A faculty committee and a Blended Learning Community of Practice will implement the project through faculty dialogue and development, course design and execution, and established institutional policies and protocols.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to discover how to align a new blended learning initiative with student needs and institutional values. Additionally, the project endeavored to promote faculty adoption of blended learning pedagogies and best practices.
The grant supported the work of a Faculty Blended Learning Community of Practice that met regularly to discuss their challenges and successes in developing and teaching blended courses. A faculty committee, formed from several of these same instructors, explored the tacit teaching and learning values of the institution, articulated those values, then crafted specific guidelines and protocols for blended courses. Course evaluations, focus groups, instructor debriefs, and surveys were used to gather the feedback used to improve scheduling options and teaching and learning strategies. The most significant lessons learned include: factors that positively influence faculty adoption of innovations (interim report), student adoption of blended learning, and insights into best practices for blended learning.
Grants cover image

Learning From Our Graduates: Alumni Experiences of Ministry and the Revision of Our MDiv Degree Program

Awarded Grant
Schlager, Bernard
Pacific School of Religion
Theological Schools
2014
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Identity, Vocation, and Culture of Teaching   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
Project funding will support the reconfiguration of how religion, theology, and pastoral ministry skills are taught to the rapidly-changing student body in our MDiv program. This project will support twelve faculty members each interviewing three alums who have graduated since 2003. As a seminary that remains deeply committed to our MDiv degree as one important component of our mission, we are currently revising this degree to better meet the rapidly-changing needs ...
Proposal abstract :
Project funding will support the reconfiguration of how religion, theology, and pastoral ministry skills are taught to the rapidly-changing student body in our MDiv program. This project will support twelve faculty members each interviewing three alums who have graduated since 2003. As a seminary that remains deeply committed to our MDiv degree as one important component of our mission, we are currently revising this degree to better meet the rapidly-changing needs of (1) those interested in traditional and emerging forms of church ministries, and (2) those who desire a strong theological education for their current and future work as change agents in organizations outside of traditional religious institutions. We know that we have much to learn from these 36 alums as our seminary undergoes its most significant renovation of its faculty, degrees, and related programs since the early 1970s.

Learning Abstract :
As Pacific School of Religion (PSR) undertakes a revision of our MDiv degree program, this Wabash-funded project supported the work of five faculty members and one senior administrator who interviewed (and, in most cases, shadowed) 30 of our recent alums in their current ministry/work settings. The goal of these interviews was to understand the work of these alums so that our revised degree remains responsive to current trends in ministry and better prepares future PSR students to succeed in traditional and non-traditional fields of service to church and society. The conclusions of this study include (1) "5 Affirmations" of the degree program: Field Education; Contextual Learning Opportunities; The Graduate Theological Union (GTU); Community Life; and PSR's Centers; and (2) "4 Recommendations for Improving the PSR MDiv Degree Program": eradicating Racism and White Privilege/Supremacy; Spiritual Formation; Community Life; and the need for a course in Non-Profit Administration and Management.
Grants cover image

Andragogy of Spiritual Formation and Online Community Building in a Distance Education Program

Awarded Grant
Brown, Charles S.
Payne Theological Seminary
Theological Schools
2014
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Technology and Teaching

Proposal abstract :
At Payne Theological Seminary over 90 percent of the student population is enrolled in the distance education M.Div. program. Payne’s core faculty of six teaches over 90 percent of the online courses. Payne faculty has learned spiritual formation andragogy and online learning community building practices in two online and learning certificate programs. Implementation of learning is critical and is the focus of this exploration on how well Payne faculty are ...
Proposal abstract :
At Payne Theological Seminary over 90 percent of the student population is enrolled in the distance education M.Div. program. Payne’s core faculty of six teaches over 90 percent of the online courses. Payne faculty has learned spiritual formation andragogy and online learning community building practices in two online and learning certificate programs. Implementation of learning is critical and is the focus of this exploration on how well Payne faculty are utilizing new technology mediums to support the teaching of student spiritual formation and development of rich online learning communities. Payne faculty will review relevant spiritual formation frameworks and identify concrete ways to strengthen spiritual formation andragogy throughout the M.Div program and deepen online community building using cutting-edge field models. Andragogical changes and online community building strategies will be implemented and assessed through two years. Lessons learned and field implications will be shared with the broader theological community through publications.

Learning Abstract :
Payne faculty reviewed relevant spiritual formation frameworks and identified concrete ways to strengthen spiritual formation andragogy throughout the M.Div program and deepen online community building using cutting-edge field models. Andragogical changes and online community building strategies were implemented and assessed through two years. Faculty took various approaches in their individual courses with varying degrees of progress toward the goals and priority of the grant project. All, however, open the door for a deeper and broader view of the liberative and community building resources available for spiritual formation in the Payne Theological Seminary context.
Grants cover image

Teaching Doctor of Ministry Students: Toward Contextuality- and Culturally-Attentive Pedagogical Approaches

Awarded Grant
Sauceda, Teresa
San Francisco Theological Seminary
Theological Schools
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 :
Grants cover image

Study on "The Relationship between Religious Commitments and Views on Social Issues"

Awarded Grant
Johnson, Nicole
University of Mount Union
Colleges/Universities
2014
Topics: Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Identity, Vocation, and Culture of Teaching

Proposal abstract :
This grant project was conducted in the context of the Wabash Center’s
2013-14 Colloquy on Religious Commitments in the Undergraduate Classroom.
The proposed research project forms the centerpiece of the REL400 seminar, entitled "Theologies of Nonviolence." The project seeks to answer the following working question: What is the relationship between the religious commitments of Mount Union students and their commitments to nonviolent belief, practice, and lifestyle? Another ...
Proposal abstract :
This grant project was conducted in the context of the Wabash Center’s
2013-14 Colloquy on Religious Commitments in the Undergraduate Classroom.
The proposed research project forms the centerpiece of the REL400 seminar, entitled "Theologies of Nonviolence." The project seeks to answer the following working question: What is the relationship between the religious commitments of Mount Union students and their commitments to nonviolent belief, practice, and lifestyle? Another version of the question currently under discussion is: Do stronger/higher religious commitments translate into stronger/higher commitments to nonviolence? While the project does not explore religious commitments solely, they are a key concern of the project insofar as they are explored in conjunction with and connection to undergraduate commitments to nonviolent belief and practice and to related social issues.

Learning Abstract :
This Wabash Center grant-supported project involved a student-led, mixed methods research project which served as the centerpiece of an upper-level seminar on "Theologies of Nonviolence." The project was developed and conducted collaboratively from beginning to end with students and sought to explore the relationship between undergraduates' religious commitments and their perspectives about ethical and social issues related to nonviolent belief and practice. The work involved engagement with the literature of faith-based nonviolence theory and practice, a survey of juniors and seniors at the University of Mount Union, qualitative interview data collection and analysis, and a formal class presentation at SCHOLAR Day, Mount Union's annual undergraduate research forum in late April.
Grants cover image

Humor, Departmental Identity, and Religious Commitments

Awarded Grant
Houck, Anita
Saint Mary's College - Notre Dame
Colleges/Universities
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
2013-14 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 ...
Proposal abstract :
This grant project was conducted in the context of the Wabash Center’s
2013-14 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.
Grants cover image

Teaching Sexuality and Religion to a Changing Student Body: Challenges and Strategies for Classroom Instructors

Awarded Grant
Ott, Kate
Drew University
Colleges/Universities
2014
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Sexuality, more so than other subject areas, magnifies the embodied nature of teaching and learning as well as conspicuously silences open dialogue given its taboo status in many religious and theological contexts. Students need to be equipped to consider affective and contextual issues of sexuality in the context of their overall educational formation. Instructors need constructive pedagogical strategies for teaching sexuality across a variety of cultural contexts and religious traditions ...
Proposal abstract :
Sexuality, more so than other subject areas, magnifies the embodied nature of teaching and learning as well as conspicuously silences open dialogue given its taboo status in many religious and theological contexts. Students need to be equipped to consider affective and contextual issues of sexuality in the context of their overall educational formation. Instructors need constructive pedagogical strategies for teaching sexuality across a variety of cultural contexts and religious traditions in order to deal effectively, responsibly, and explicitly with classroom dynamics and institutional contexts. We will convene eleven professors with expertise teaching sexuality and religion across disciplines, from diverse institutional and religious contexts, to: 1) identify the unique aspects of the religious or theological context contributing to the null curriculum related to sexuality; and 2) develop pedagogical strategies to overcome these constrictions, which we will then implement and share at our home institutions, a national conference, and through peer-reviewed publication(s).

Learning Abstract :
Sexuality, more so than other subject areas, magnifies the embodied nature of teaching and learning as well as conspicuously silences open dialogue given its taboo status in many religious and theological contexts. Yet, student learning about sexuality that incorporates knowledge of and about religion, in particular, may greatly improve the public discourse about sexuality through our students as responsible citizens and as leaders in their chosen professions. To bridge this gap, a collaborative group of professors and instructors with expertise and experience teaching sexuality and religion in a variety of disciplines and diverse institutional and religious contexts developed, tested, and refined classroom teaching strategies to shift from a content-based "subject matter" to an embodied learning experience, resulting in perspective transformation as a primary student-learning outcome. Findings in the form of "guiding questions," encourage instructors to attend to contextual, experiential and performative aspects of the classroom environment.
Grants cover image

Teaching Theology and Religion in the Twenty-First Century: Challenges, Prospect, and the Ph.D.

Awarded Grant
Mathewes, Charles
University of Virginia
Colleges/Universities
2014
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Preparing Graduate Students to Teach

Proposal abstract :
We seek funding to host a two-day workshop, in consultation with the Wabash Center, which will evaluate the role of U.Va’s Ph.D. program in the formation of teachers of religion and theology. While we intend to use this opportunity to assess the efficacy of the various elements of the Ph.D. program, we will focus especially on gauging the preparedness of our graduates for teaching duties in ...
Proposal abstract :
We seek funding to host a two-day workshop, in consultation with the Wabash Center, which will evaluate the role of U.Va’s Ph.D. program in the formation of teachers of religion and theology. While we intend to use this opportunity to assess the efficacy of the various elements of the Ph.D. program, we will focus especially on gauging the preparedness of our graduates for teaching duties in the academy. To these ends, the workshop will gather information regarding the advantages and disadvantages of the graduate experience at U.Va using first-person data from graduates in recent years. This data will enable U.Va to consider how best to structure its Ph.D. program in years to come; it will also provide a case study from which other institutions may profit.

Learning Abstract :
Grants cover image

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
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.
Grants cover image

Fostering Inquiry-based Learning in Undergraduate Theology Courses

Awarded Grant
Born, Christopher|Benson, Joshua
Catholic University of America
Theological Schools
2014
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Preparing Graduate Students to Teach

Proposal abstract :
This project has two closely related goals. We first seek to identify how to revamp our introductory undergraduate theology course (TRS 201: Faith Seeking Understanding) so it can serve both as a gateway course to later theology and religious studies courses, and, more importantly, an engaging, inquiry-based course more focused on active student learning. Second, we seek to train all our undergraduate instructors in practices that make their courses more inquiry-based. ...
Proposal abstract :
This project has two closely related goals. We first seek to identify how to revamp our introductory undergraduate theology course (TRS 201: Faith Seeking Understanding) so it can serve both as a gateway course to later theology and religious studies courses, and, more importantly, an engaging, inquiry-based course more focused on active student learning. Second, we seek to train all our undergraduate instructors in practices that make their courses more inquiry-based. The project allows The Catholic University of America to train full-time faculty mentors who can continue forming doctoral students in best practices related to inquiry-based learning. Additionally, through continued implementation and evaluation of the new pedagogical practices, we can spread the model to other undergraduate courses across our school. The process will enhance the undergraduate experience within these courses, effectively train graduate students to incorporate this model in future positions, and enrich the teaching experiences of current full-time faculty.

Learning Abstract :
We set out to introduce undergraduate instructors to the inquiry-based teaching model to more effectively engage undergraduate students and connect theology and religious studies to their lives and other fields of study. Starting with "big questions" and other issues aligned with students' interests, instructors used authors and theories in theology and religious studies as effective routes to consider these larger concerns. Challenges arose in moving from the theoretical to the practical with regard to the design and delivery of inquiry-based learning activities. Additionally, we recognized the importance of assessing how and whether including the types of activities in undergraduate courses actually increase student engagement. In the end, we were most successful when instructors gathered and discussed how to implement specific in-class or out-of-class activities related to the inquiry-based model. Peer observations and subsequent conversations were also effective to illustrate utilization of the inquiry-based method in tangible activities and exercises.
Grants cover image

Faculty Colloquy on Teaching for Pastoral Education about Same-Sex Desires, Behaviors, Identities, and Relationships

Awarded Grant
Priest, Robert|Luy, David
Trinity International University
Colleges/Universities
2014
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Our society and world is undergoing rapid changes in our understandings and convictions related to same-sex desires, behaviors, identities, and relationships, which raises the difficult and pressing need for our MDiv graduates to provide wise, loving, and theologically faithful leadership in pastoral settings in relationship to contemporary sexualities. Building on recent emergent interest in this topic among Trinity faculty and students, we are proposing to convene a faculty cohort to ...
Proposal abstract :
Our society and world is undergoing rapid changes in our understandings and convictions related to same-sex desires, behaviors, identities, and relationships, which raises the difficult and pressing need for our MDiv graduates to provide wise, loving, and theologically faithful leadership in pastoral settings in relationship to contemporary sexualities. Building on recent emergent interest in this topic among Trinity faculty and students, we are proposing to convene a faculty cohort to meet 7 times over the next semester where we will do shared readings, and where we will brainstorm and consider ideas for improving the quality and depth with which contemporary sexualities are engaged within the classroom and curriculum as a whole. Our goal is create an interdisciplinary faculty cohort on campus with shared conversations about desired program-based outcomes for our MDiv program, and shared conversations about how to achieve these positive outcomes through improved teaching in this area.

Learning Abstract :
Our society and world is undergoing rapid changes in its understandings and convictions related to same-sex desires, behaviors, identities, and relationships. These changes accentuate the pressing need for MDiv graduates to gain discourse competency in the area of contemporary sexualities, while also being formed in such a way that they might provide appropriate leadership and support to lay persons within a variety of pastoral settings. This project sought to assess ways in which this need could intentionally be addressed more effectively within an MDiv program. It did so by organizing a series of text-based discussions among a group of seminary faculty members and staff persons associated with student life. These eleven meetings were designed to promote a more nuanced familiarity with the contemporary landscape of contemporary sexuality, identify sites of personal and vocational intersection, and stimulate the formulation of strategies for addressing apparent lucanae through pedagogical, curricular and co-curricular adaptation.
Grants cover image

Teaching Qualitative Research in Theological Education for Enhancing Leadership for Change in the Church

Awarded Grant
Willhauck, Susan
Atlantic School of Theology
Theological Schools
2015
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
This project consists of a Symposium of practical theological faculty who teach qualitative research in order to examine the purposes and pedagogies involved toward the formation of effective pastoral leadership, and to put forth a rationale for the teaching, learning and evaluation of qualitative research in M.Div. programs. Qualitative research methods are part of the curriculum at Atlantic School of Theology (which hopes to host the Symposium) and at ...
Proposal abstract :
This project consists of a Symposium of practical theological faculty who teach qualitative research in order to examine the purposes and pedagogies involved toward the formation of effective pastoral leadership, and to put forth a rationale for the teaching, learning and evaluation of qualitative research in M.Div. programs. Qualitative research methods are part of the curriculum at Atlantic School of Theology (which hopes to host the Symposium) and at other schools of theology. At AST qualitative research methods are seen as congruent with ministerial practice because they help students learn how to assess the needs of a congregation and/or community. The purpose of this project is to determine how the teaching and learning of qualitative research methods can develop leadership capacities in ministry students.

Learning Abstract :
I learned that qualitative research is an essential tool for the formation of ministers, and is increasingly becoming part of the theological curriculum in the U.S, Canada and elsewhere. An "ethnographic disposition" can equip theology students to learn to assess a social context, to produce knowledge in that context and to transform it. While there are pedagogical challenges in the teaching/learning of QLR, these can be creatively addressed through understanding it as a disposition rather than as applied competencies. There is no silver bullet in theological education to quell the tide of church decline, but theology students can be better equipped to lead in their contexts. Leaning qualitative methods can enhance the practice of leadership for change as students learn and embrace the arts of listening, attending to people, holding back judgment, observing and analyzing to get at the meanings of things in order to disrupt the status quo.
Grants cover image

Can Virtue be Learned? An Exploration of Student Learning Experiences Using Select Pedagogies and Their Implications for Fostering Altruism, Compassion, and Solidarity as Learning Outcomes in Undergraduate Ethics Courses

Awarded Grant
Fozard Weaver, Darlene|Agnew Cochran, Elizabeth
Duquesne University
Colleges/Universities
2015
Topics: Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
What does it mean to teach virtue, or to learn it? We consider this question through research related to student learning outcomes in undergraduate ethics courses at a religiously-affiliated university with an explicit commitment to social justice. We will gather qualitative data on student learning experiences, with particular focus on select pedagogical approaches that involve exposing students to the experiences of others. We also focus our inquiry around the implications ...
Proposal abstract :
What does it mean to teach virtue, or to learn it? We consider this question through research related to student learning outcomes in undergraduate ethics courses at a religiously-affiliated university with an explicit commitment to social justice. We will gather qualitative data on student learning experiences, with particular focus on select pedagogical approaches that involve exposing students to the experiences of others. We also focus our inquiry around the implications of these pedagogies in relation to student understanding of and attitudes regarding three character traits identified as “other-regarding” virtues in theological and philosophical scholarship--altruism, compassion, and solidarity. Our research will assist us in refining student learning outcomes for our ethics courses and will also generate a collaborative journal article exploring virtue and select pedagogies in the undergraduate classroom.

Learning Abstract :
This qualitative study examined student experiences of learning in required undergraduate ethics courses at a religiously affiliated university. The study used three pedagogical strategies (reflection on literature and film, deep listening via community-engaged conversations, and experiential learning activities) that expose students to others' experiences. Our guiding questions were: How do our students understand the purposes and value of ethics courses? Do students experience some pedagogical strategies as having greater impact on the learning, particularly with regard to virtues of altruism, compassion, and solidarity? Do their attitudes toward the moral value of theological resources shift during the course? Students reported that the pedagogical strategies positively impacted their learning by enhancing comprehension of course material, introducing affectively engaging moral exemplars, and facilitating cognitive shifts that informed their moral reasoning. The results aligned with student attitudes regarding the purposes and value of ethics courses but showed less impact on attitudes toward theological resources.
Grants cover image

Constructing a Religion Department in Changing Times

Awarded Grant
Reed, Randall
Appalachian State University
Colleges/Universities
2015
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Significant institutional, personnel, cultural changes, and millennials with different learning needs have resulted in a decline in student enrollments/majors threatening the Religious Studies major at Appalachian State University. During a Wabash consultancy with Gene Gallagher, we developed a departmental mission and learning goals to address these learning needs. We seek a Project Grant for a two-year cycle of retreats and reflection to develop a radically new curriculum to effectively ...
Proposal abstract :
Significant institutional, personnel, cultural changes, and millennials with different learning needs have resulted in a decline in student enrollments/majors threatening the Religious Studies major at Appalachian State University. During a Wabash consultancy with Gene Gallagher, we developed a departmental mission and learning goals to address these learning needs. We seek a Project Grant for a two-year cycle of retreats and reflection to develop a radically new curriculum to effectively address the learning needs of this new generation. With Professor Gallagher, we will spend 2015-16 creating and implementing a plan, meeting regularly to address challenges and develop strategies to confront those challenges. A second retreat will evaluate progress, correct problems, and expand successes. Our goal is to do the hard work to create a collegial environment that addresses millennial learning needs, enhances the caliber of our teaching, strengthens our program, and increases student enrollment/majors securing our program’s continued existence.

Learning Abstract :
The Appalachian State University Religious Studies Program has engaged in an lengthy process of introspection thanks to the grant provided by the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning. The two year grant has allowed us to accomplish several things: We have established a program mission and learning goals. We have created better alignment between our curriculum and our learning goals. We have established a deep foundation of discussions about pedagogy. We have undertaken to better understand our students through qualitative and quantitative measures. We have and are developing several new pedagogical approaches to religion that will undoubtedly bear fruit in the coming months and years. We have realized that despite disciplinary and ideological differences, we do share a common goal in the teaching of our students. We have created a kind of camaraderie and group cohesion through regular program discussions made possible by the Wabash Grant.
Grants cover image

Meeting of the Society for Teaching Comparative Philosophy

Awarded Grant
Kalmanson, Leah
Drake University
Colleges/Universities
2015
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Funding will help support the second conference of the Society for Teaching Comparative Philosophy, to be held at Drake University in July 2015. The conference goals are to provide educators in our field with pedagogical resources, to further our field’s contributions to the scholarship of teaching and learning, and to promote the inclusion of global and multicultural perspectives in philosophy and religion classrooms at the undergraduate level. The small project ...
Proposal abstract :
Funding will help support the second conference of the Society for Teaching Comparative Philosophy, to be held at Drake University in July 2015. The conference goals are to provide educators in our field with pedagogical resources, to further our field’s contributions to the scholarship of teaching and learning, and to promote the inclusion of global and multicultural perspectives in philosophy and religion classrooms at the undergraduate level. The small project grant from the Wabash Center will help cover travel expenses and stipends for workshop leaders and invited speakers, as well as catering costs for a 2-day conference. Our pedagogical materials will be shared on the STCP’s website, and selected presentations will be eligible for inclusion in an upcoming special issue of the journal ASIANetwork Exchange.

Learning Abstract :
The 2015 Meeting of the Society for Teaching Comparative Philosophy brought to the foreground the politicized nature of comparative philosophy as a field. As teachers, our practices in the classroom impact our students' perceptions of cultural diversity and their capacities for cross-cultural dialogue. Hence, the question of pedagogy necessarily entails that we as teachers critically interrogate our own assumptions, not only about what we do in the classroom, but about how we understand the parameters of "comparative philosophy" as a methodology. Indeed, the challenges we face in the classroom are often catalysts for critical scholarly inquiry. This productive relationship between teaching and scholarship has become one of the key values that the STCP seeks to foster.
Grants cover image

Teaching Theological Studies from the Center of Diversity: Developing Pedagogical Approaches for FY 2040 in the Mid-Twenty-teens

Awarded Grant
Butler, Lee
Chicago Theological Seminary
Theological Schools
2015
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
The dominant traditional image for theological education is the white steeple church which affirms white privilege and white ideological concerns as central to the formation of American religious ideals and principles. This image is counter-intuitive for teaching theology and ministry for the 21st century where racial and ethnic margins will become the center of American life. Crossing the tipping point on diversity while maintaining a curriculum and pedagogy that is ...
Proposal abstract :
The dominant traditional image for theological education is the white steeple church which affirms white privilege and white ideological concerns as central to the formation of American religious ideals and principles. This image is counter-intuitive for teaching theology and ministry for the 21st century where racial and ethnic margins will become the center of American life. Crossing the tipping point on diversity while maintaining a curriculum and pedagogy that is guided by a steeple church theology of the 19th and 20th centuries is a funeral approach to theological education. This project seeks to effect a change within theological educators that will better prepare them to teach an intercultural, contextually relevant theology to learners who are racially and ethnically diverse, spiritual and religious, marginally spiritual yet interreligious, and spiritual but not religious. Through a process of critical engagement and reflection on provocative case study material, the faculty will explore pedagogical strategies that will create a new image for teaching theological studies from the center of diversity.

Learning Abstract :
The dominant traditional image for theological education is the white steeple church which affirms white privilege and white ideological concerns as central to the formation of American religious ideals and principles. This image is counter-intuitive for teaching theology and ministry for the 21st century where racial and ethnic margins will become the center of American life. Crossing the tipping point on diversity while maintaining a curriculum and pedagogy that is guided by a steeple church theology of the 19th and 20th centuries is a funeral approach to theological education. This project seeks to effect a change within theological educators that will better prepare them to teach an intercultural, contextually relevant theology to learners who are racially and ethnically diverse, spiritual and religious, marginally spiritual yet interreligious, and spiritual but not religious. Leaders at the forefront of advocating for diversity within theological education will facilitate reimagining conversations with the faculty. Through a process of critical engagement and reflection on provocative case study material, the faculty will explore pedagogical strategies that will create a new image for teaching theological studies from the center of diversity.
Grants cover image

Enhanced Strategies and Methods for Communal Formation in Online Teaching and Learning

Awarded Grant
Nessan, Craig
Wartburg Theological Seminary
Theological Schools
2015
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Technology and Teaching

Proposal abstract :
Wartburg Theological Seminary faculty members are engaged in online instruction for both degree and certificate programs. We are accredited by both ATS and HLC for delivery of comprehensive distance education programs. Our church body, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), has both Masters level and Certificate tracks toward ordination. We are seeking support for the honorarium of a consultant (2 days @ $500 per day = $1000) to help us develop and implement new ...
Proposal abstract :
Wartburg Theological Seminary faculty members are engaged in online instruction for both degree and certificate programs. We are accredited by both ATS and HLC for delivery of comprehensive distance education programs. Our church body, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), has both Masters level and Certificate tracks toward ordination. We are seeking support for the honorarium of a consultant (2 days @ $500 per day = $1000) to help us develop and implement new and enhanced online teaching and learning strategies and methods focused on communal formation of our students, who are engaged in online teaching and learning. We propose for the consultant to provide two workshops for faculty members, full time instructors and adjunct instructors. We are asking the consultant to offer an introductory workshop on Tuesday, November 3, 2015 and an advanced workshop on Wednesday, November 4, 2015. This proposal follows the format of the very successful workshop provided by the Wabash Center Consultant Program in October 2014. We are also requesting $1500 for the purchase of textbooks to be used by workshop participants.

Learning Abstract :
Wartburg Theological Seminary faculty members are engaged in online instruction for both degree and certificate programs. This project provided a consultant and reading materials for a two day workshop. The workshop had three goals: 1) To provide new and creative strategies and methods for extending the communal and relational ethos of our seminary in the online teaching environment that are coherent with the mission statement, learning outcomes, and curriculum of our school; 2) To provide ongoing instruction in online teaching and learning for new or recent instructors in striving toward excellence in online teaching and learning; 3) To build and promote excellence in the overall online teaching and learning initiatives of the school. The workshop was most effective in introducing new faculty to effective practices of teaching and learning online. The workshop also gave instruction and encouragement to all faculty to implement new methods for engaging students in asynchronous teaching and learning.
Grants cover image

Teaching about Religions in Public: A Workshop on Theories and Methods for Deepening Public Knowledge

Awarded Grant
Kilde, Jeanne|Edgell, Penny
University of Minnesota
Colleges/Universities
2015
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
The Religious Studies Program respectfully requests a grant from the Wabash Center to partially fund a two-day workshop for faculty members aimed at (1) investigating issues and problems related to teaching about religions in public settings outside of college classrooms, specifically public forums, media interactions, and K-12 professional development workshops, (2) evaluating several pedagogical models and related methods for translation into these public settings, and (3) developing plans for a series of events ...
Proposal abstract :
The Religious Studies Program respectfully requests a grant from the Wabash Center to partially fund a two-day workshop for faculty members aimed at (1) investigating issues and problems related to teaching about religions in public settings outside of college classrooms, specifically public forums, media interactions, and K-12 professional development workshops, (2) evaluating several pedagogical models and related methods for translation into these public settings, and (3) developing plans for a series of events and initiatives to enact selected pedagogies across the subsequent two years. Participants in the workshop will include 20-25 faculty members and graduate students from the University of Minnesota and other Twin Cities area institutions who teach about religions. We will invite Dr. Elaine Ecklund (Rice University) to facilitate the workshop. This event is part of a larger initiative, titled “Religion and Public Life,” sponsored by the Religious Studies Program on the University of Minnesota.

Learning Abstract :
Two conclusions: First, the importance of having discussions across disciplines and topics to develop shared strategies for creating public discussions that "work" in the sense of fostering widespread participation of those with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and views, and supporting respectful dialogue and constructive disagreement as well as exploring areas of commonality. Second, the necessity to interrogate widely shared discourses which may adopt a universal
language but which in reality are deeply rooted in a particular, historically constituted
set of experiences in order to create an atmosphere of genuine inclusion.
Grants cover image

Practicing Pedagogical Integration

Awarded Grant
Newman, Elizabeth
Baptist Theological Seminary, Richmond
Theological Schools
2015
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Relating Pedagogy and Curriculum

Proposal abstract :
This proposal on pedagogy and integration supports two activities: 1) a series of MTS seminars (four per semester) over a two year period jointly led by faculty from across the biblical, historical and theological disciplines and 2) participation in a faculty day retreat at the end of each year. The primary purpose of these activities is for faculty 1) to practice a pedagogy that integrates the distinct disciplines in a single seminar, 2) to ...
Proposal abstract :
This proposal on pedagogy and integration supports two activities: 1) a series of MTS seminars (four per semester) over a two year period jointly led by faculty from across the biblical, historical and theological disciplines and 2) participation in a faculty day retreat at the end of each year. The primary purpose of these activities is for faculty 1) to practice a pedagogy that integrates the distinct disciplines in a single seminar, 2) to model dialectical exchange and interdisciplinary discussion, and 3) to evaluate the potential benefits of this pedagogy for the wider curriculum.

Learning Abstract :
Grants cover image

Educating for Agility

Awarded Grant
Blodgett, Barbara
Lexington Theological Seminary
Theological Schools
2015
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
How can theological educators nurture a new generation of religious leaders who are innovative and agile in their leadership? This project would study how teaching and learning practices within theological education themselves foster the skills, competencies, and habits associated with agility. We assume that if they have been learners under conditions that foster agility, our students can become leaders of it. Rather than studying pedagogical innovations per se - i....
Proposal abstract :
How can theological educators nurture a new generation of religious leaders who are innovative and agile in their leadership? This project would study how teaching and learning practices within theological education themselves foster the skills, competencies, and habits associated with agility. We assume that if they have been learners under conditions that foster agility, our students can become leaders of it. Rather than studying pedagogical innovations per se - i.e., the use of instructional technologies and novel techniques for delivering education - we would begin to curate a set of pedagogical practices that directly or indirectly communicate the need for agility, privilege the habits of agile learners, and/or allow students to develop the characteristics of agile leaders. This grant would support a 24-hour gathering of theological educators; ideally our project would continue beyond this initial gathering.

Learning Abstract :
Using a shared online space for discussion prior to a 24-hour gathering, this project studied how teaching and learning practices within theological education themselves foster the skills, competencies, and habits associated with agility. Our main conclusions were that theological educators can nurture a new generation of religious leaders who are agile in their religious leadership by taking ownership of the language of ‘agility' and ‘leadership' in ways appropriate to the theological community. Reflective, meditative, and narrative practices may help theological learners relate to tradition and stay connected to what is essential even while leading change toward what is new. Immersing learners in community projects and partnerships with local organizations that are creating real change is also crucial.
Grants cover image

Learner-Centered Teaching for Divinity Faculty

Awarded Grant
Voss Roberts, Michelle
Wake Forest University Divinity School
Theological Schools
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.
Grants cover image

Formation in Place: Renewing Teaching Through Attention To Our Contexts

Awarded Grant
Van Meter, Timothy
Methodist Theological School in Ohio
Theological Schools
2015
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
MTSO seeks to continue our growth in exploration of educational ecologies, building on previous work in cultural competency, advocacy, and education in areas that further racial/ethnic justice and equity. Through a small grant request, MTSO plans on exploring the possibilities our campus ecological initiatives offer for deepening the faculty’s teaching and student learning. Our ecological initiatives have opened possibilities for pedagogy that is intentional about our place while ...
Proposal abstract :
MTSO seeks to continue our growth in exploration of educational ecologies, building on previous work in cultural competency, advocacy, and education in areas that further racial/ethnic justice and equity. Through a small grant request, MTSO plans on exploring the possibilities our campus ecological initiatives offer for deepening the faculty’s teaching and student learning. Our ecological initiatives have opened possibilities for pedagogy that is intentional about our place while deepening our commitment to sustainable ecological, economic, and social justice throughout the Midwest.

Learning Abstract :
"Formation in Place" successfully grounded faculty teaching in MTSO's commitments to ecology and sustainable justice, with focus on our living laboratory—Seminary Hill Farm. We gathered best practices from other theological schools through visits and discussions, establishing networks of innovative teaching centered in food, land, place, climate change, ecology and theology. Conversations moved beyond these subjects to a deeper desire for anti-racist and decolonizing pedagogies elevating ecological concerns beyond dominant discourse and populations. The work of this seed grant has successfully initiated faculty discussion that will continue to shape our ideas about creating learning movements for sustainable ecological justice. The grant also has allowed MTSO to develop partnerships with a variety of institutions working toward joint degrees and educational programming. The work completed has extended our vision and mission into the next decade by creating an imagination for a sustainable and just ecological future based in robust, meaningful education.
Grants cover image

Collaborative and Innovative Practices for Engaged Teaching in Theology and Religion in the 21st Century

Awarded Grant
Harrison, Renee|Knight, Jennie
Howard University School of Divinity
Theological Schools
2015
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
This grant derives from the co-facilitators’ (Renee K. Harrison, Howard University, School of Divinity, DC and Jennie S. Knight, Guilford College, NC) recent publication Engaged Teaching in Theology and Religion (Palgrave Macmillan, October 2015). The grant's purpose is to gather an intergenerational, multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, and interdisciplinary network of scholars of religion and theology, within the Washington, DC Theological Consortium (WTC). Primarily, to engage in meaningful, honest, and open discussion and, share ...
Proposal abstract :
This grant derives from the co-facilitators’ (Renee K. Harrison, Howard University, School of Divinity, DC and Jennie S. Knight, Guilford College, NC) recent publication Engaged Teaching in Theology and Religion (Palgrave Macmillan, October 2015). The grant's purpose is to gather an intergenerational, multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, and interdisciplinary network of scholars of religion and theology, within the Washington, DC Theological Consortium (WTC). Primarily, to engage in meaningful, honest, and open discussion and, share pedagogical practices that enhance teaching and learning about difficult, sensitive, and relevant social phenomena. These phenomena may include racism, injustice, criminal justice and incarceration, sexism, misogyny and patriarchy, classism, poverty, LGBTQ identification, same-sex marriage, environmental justice, and various other related socio-political factors affecting U.S. and global communities. Harrison and Knight will lead the participants through a process of self-reflection about their pedagogical practices, offer effective practices across disciplines, and invite participants to support, brainstorm, and collaborate with one another.

Learning Abstract :
Grants cover image

The World Religions Course and the Pedagogy of Site Visits

Awarded Grant
Schell, C. Hannah|Ott, Daniel
Monmouth College
Colleges/Universities
2015
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Designing Courses   |   Relating Pedagogy and Curriculum

Proposal abstract :
What are the “best practices” for teaching the World Religions course so that it is engaging and challenging to students, and supports the goals of our major? How do we teach the course in a way that allows students to encounter the embedded, particular instantiations of religion in the world around them? How can the site visits become even more impactful for students and be a significant, meaningful feature of ...
Proposal abstract :
What are the “best practices” for teaching the World Religions course so that it is engaging and challenging to students, and supports the goals of our major? How do we teach the course in a way that allows students to encounter the embedded, particular instantiations of religion in the world around them? How can the site visits become even more impactful for students and be a significant, meaningful feature of the course? Our proposal has three goals: first, to reconfigure our approach to the study of world religions so that it emphasizes fewer traditions; second, to develop and implement a pedagogy of site visits for the course; and third, to foster relationships with leaders of religious communities in our region.

Learning Abstract :
The World Religions course at Monmouth College now emphasizes helping students to engage with world religions in the environment around them (western Illinois). The course is built on modules, focusing on only three or four religious traditions and moves students quickly from general overview to particular, embedded expressions of the tradition. The site visit becomes the center of student learning. Preparation for the site visit drives the content of the course. And reflection on the site visit is the primary location for assessing student learning. The site visits are also important opportunities for students to come in contact with practitioners of the faith traditions studied. Finding and fostering good partnerships with local religious leaders is key to the success of these visits and the interactions that students have.
Grants cover image

The Teaching and Learning of Religion at a Public University

Awarded Grant
Lowe, Margaret
Bridgewater State University
2015
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
BSU, like most state universities, has not yet addressed the teaching and learning of religious studies. Though faculty across disciplines regularly engage the subject, BSU lacks formal curricula, CORE requirements, or pedagogical collaborations in religious studies. To address this fundamental gap, our grant proposes a semester-long BSU Teaching Circle which will: (1) evaluate BSU’s existing ad hoc efforts; (2) study and adapt for BSU best practices culled from regional and national ...
Proposal abstract :
BSU, like most state universities, has not yet addressed the teaching and learning of religious studies. Though faculty across disciplines regularly engage the subject, BSU lacks formal curricula, CORE requirements, or pedagogical collaborations in religious studies. To address this fundamental gap, our grant proposes a semester-long BSU Teaching Circle which will: (1) evaluate BSU’s existing ad hoc efforts; (2) study and adapt for BSU best practices culled from regional and national models; (3) craft an initial religious studies prospectus aligned with BSU’s mission, strategic plan and specific population; and, (4) develop a sustainable Community of Scholars. Key outcomes are: (1) a clearly articulated, BSU-specific template for a religious studies curriculum; an internal, campus-wide system for sharing ideas, materials and resources (Blackboard); and (2) a set of potential assessment tools and metrics to evaluate the teaching and learning of religious studies in relation to student success at BSU.

Learning Abstract :
The Bridgewater State University (MA) Teaching Circles created an intensive, semester-long collaborative framework for a dedicated group of inter-disciplinary faculty who considered and then established critical, substantive and specific guidelines for the teaching and learning of religion at a public university. Based on our rigorous, systematic and reflective effort, we aligned these guidelines to BSU's specific institutional context, mission and student population. The project resulted in wide-spread administrative and faculty support to establish a new minor in Global Religious Studies as well as additional internal funding and an on-going Community of GRS Teacher/Scholars.
Grants cover image

Campus Book Discussion on Religious Violence

Awarded Grant
Royalty, Robert
Wabash College
Colleges/Universities
2015
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
The purpose of this small grant is to support a campus conversation on the pedagogies of teaching about religious diversity and conflict led by the Religion department and supported by the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Religion and Theology. The focus of the conversation will be the recent book by Jonathan Sacks, Not in God's Name.
Proposal abstract :
The purpose of this small grant is to support a campus conversation on the pedagogies of teaching about religious diversity and conflict led by the Religion department and supported by the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Religion and Theology. The focus of the conversation will be the recent book by Jonathan Sacks, Not in God's Name.

Learning Abstract :
Grants cover image

Transforming Teaching about Religion and Spirituality in a Transformative Time

Awarded Grant
Richey, Jeffrey
Berea College
Colleges/Universities
2016
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
This small grant will support research on the impact of the changing cultural-historical context of “religion” and “spirituality” on the teaching of Religion at Berea College. The goals are to survey polling data related to student perceptions of “religion” and “spirituality” and, in response, develop course syllabi and other curricular revisions to address the challenges of teaching about these subjects in an increasingly “spiritual, not religious” era.
Proposal abstract :
This small grant will support research on the impact of the changing cultural-historical context of “religion” and “spirituality” on the teaching of Religion at Berea College. The goals are to survey polling data related to student perceptions of “religion” and “spirituality” and, in response, develop course syllabi and other curricular revisions to address the challenges of teaching about these subjects in an increasingly “spiritual, not religious” era.

Learning Abstract :
Grants cover image

Teaching Contemplation across Traditions: An Inter-religious Colloquium

Awarded Grant
Iwamura, Jane|Gauthier, Tina
University of the West
2016
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
University of the West, a Buddhist-founded institution, will host a one-day event for select faculty of our interfaith consortium partners: Claremont School of Theology (Christianity), Academy for Jewish Religion (Judaism), Bayan Claremont (Islam), and the Indic Foundation (Hinduism). The colloquium, entitled “Teaching Contemplation Across Traditions,” will focus on 1) how contemplative practices and pedagogies are incorporated into religious and theological education within the five aforementioned religious traditions, and 2) how each of ...
Proposal abstract :
University of the West, a Buddhist-founded institution, will host a one-day event for select faculty of our interfaith consortium partners: Claremont School of Theology (Christianity), Academy for Jewish Religion (Judaism), Bayan Claremont (Islam), and the Indic Foundation (Hinduism). The colloquium, entitled “Teaching Contemplation Across Traditions,” will focus on 1) how contemplative practices and pedagogies are incorporated into religious and theological education within the five aforementioned religious traditions, and 2) how each of the five traditions prepares clergy and members to teach contemplative practices to others. The student learning needs that prompt this colloquium are twofold. First, as mentioned, contemplative practices enhance student learning experiences by bringing together mind, body, and spirit. Contemplation enables students to access new knowledge pathways (i.e. emotional, spiritual, kinesthetic, embodied, contextual, etc.) not always accessible through traditional academic practices. The second learning need deals with preparing religious leaders and pastoral care workers to serve diverse populations and foster inter-religious cooperation through the use of contemplative practices. The second need is particularly student-driven, while this particular solution is faculty-centered.

Learning Abstract :
The colloquium brought together faculty from our Southern California interfaith consortium—Academy for Jewish Religion (Judaism), Bayan Claremont (Islam), Claremont School of Theology (Christianity), Indic Foundation (Hinduism), and University of the West (Buddhism)—to discuss: 1) how contemplative practices and pedagogies are incorporated into religious and theological education within the five aforementioned religious traditions, and 2) how each of the five traditions prepares clergy and members to teach contemplative practices to others. Sixteen faculty participants gained a deep appreciation of contemplative practice from the respective faith traditions. Participants were especially impressed by the diversity of these practices and the different ways these practices engaged mind, body, and spirit. We also began to discuss how we incorporate these practices and perspectives into the classroom. A major realization was the communal nature of contemplative practice, i.e., the way in which religious contemplation (often seen as a solitary endeavor) actually creates and strengthens community.
Grants cover image

Faculty Retreat program

Awarded Grant
Shire, Michael
Hebrew College
Colleges/Universities
2016
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Hebrew College will hold its first faculty retreat in June 2016 as a culmination of a year of faculty working parties devoted to various themes of teaching and learning including peer teaching observations, methods of teaching in higher education, showcasing faculty assets, refining the student feedback cycle for greater impact on instruction and teaching resources for classroom and online environments.
Proposal abstract :
Hebrew College will hold its first faculty retreat in June 2016 as a culmination of a year of faculty working parties devoted to various themes of teaching and learning including peer teaching observations, methods of teaching in higher education, showcasing faculty assets, refining the student feedback cycle for greater impact on instruction and teaching resources for classroom and online environments.

Learning Abstract :
A group of faculty in an institution of higher learning can be further motivated and increasingly collaborative when they are invested in their own professional learning and reflective of their practice in the classroom. A Wabash Center small grant enabled the faculty of Hebrew College to initiate a peer led group of working parties on teaching and learning including the development of intellectual assets, peer to peer classroom observations, developing the student feedback assessment loop and deliberating on best practice in theological and textual teaching. Working parties were able to present their deliberations at a faculty retreat at the end of the year leading to swift implementation in the fall semester. Evidence of greater faculty collaboration across schools ensued and initiation of proactive reflective practice including syllabi review, co-teaching, etc. This year long project culminating in an end of year retreat is a model to be replicated as well as preparing faculty for an accreditation self-study for improvement in teaching and learning at the College.
Grants cover image

The Hebrew Learning Project

Awarded Grant
Seow, Choon-Leong
Princeton Theological Seminary
Theological Schools
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.
Grants cover image

Faculty Seminar on Teaching for Field Education

Awarded Grant
Bartlett, David |Blodgett, Barbara
Yale Divinity School
Theological Schools
2000
Topics: Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Educating Clergy

Proposal abstract :
Support a seminar to prepare members of Yale University Divinity School to teach more effectively a practical reflection and experiential learning course designed for students engaged in field education.
Proposal abstract :
Support a seminar to prepare members of Yale University Divinity School to teach more effectively a practical reflection and experiential learning course designed for students engaged in field education.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to prepare faculty members to teach more effectively a practical reflection and experiential learning course designed for students engaged in field education. It hoped to form established faculty toward a pedagogical style and instructional strategies that puts their academic specialty in conversation with students' experiential learning in ministry settings. It also hoped to introduce to faculty pedagogical theories about experiential learning.
A two-day summer seminar grounded basic issues of learning for faculty work in the supervised ministry practicum. In the classroom they paired each faculty member with a practitioner from a ministry site. They discovered that the presence of the practitioner freed faculty to engage their subject area with students, since the practitioner could address practical ministry questions. They discovered and implemented new teaching strategies, although faculty leaned more heavily on experiential learning pedagogies with which they were more familiar. Overall, the work was a successful revisioning of the teaching of field education at Yale.
Grants cover image

Arampur: A Virtual Indian Village on the World Wide Web

Awarded Grant
Schmalz, Mathew|Gottschalk, Peter
College of the Holy Cross
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.
Grants cover image

Integrating Archaeology into Biblical Studies: A Consultation Series for Improving Instruction

Awarded Grant
Aubin, Melissa
Florida State University
Colleges/Universities
2000
Topics: Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Consultation to work on improving teaching and learning in the area of biblical studies through identifying strategies for the integration of the study of archaeology.
Proposal abstract :
Consultation to work on improving teaching and learning in the area of biblical studies through identifying strategies for the integration of the study of archaeology.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to convene scholars in a series of consultations devoted to integrating knowledge from the field of biblical archeology into biblical studies courses that have been traditionally limited to the literature of biblical cultures. It sought to identify ways to integrate the material culture of the biblical world into biblical studies courses, to consider new pedagogical strategies to that end, and to strategize practical approaches for integrating the work into syllabi.
The first consultation was dedicated to creating material for an anthology of practical strategies for integrating archeology into biblical studies. Participants' remarks became the basis of essays for the anthology. They also discussed teaching experiences in this area, syllabi and teaching materials. The second consultation was devoted to continued discussion on the anthology and the practical pedagogical issues it raised. Finally, they discussed ways to present accumulated teaching materials and specific resources.
Grants cover image

Integrating the Five Textures Approach to Religious Texts Throughout the Religion Curriculum

Awarded Grant
Chismar, Doug
Chowan College
Colleges/Universities
2000
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Support faculty workshops and conversation on teaching and learning issues of using the “five textures” approach (an interdisciplinary approach to the study of texts and their contexts) in religion curriculum.
Proposal abstract :
Support faculty workshops and conversation on teaching and learning issues of using the “five textures” approach (an interdisciplinary approach to the study of texts and their contexts) in religion curriculum.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to implement within its curriculum an integrative pedagogical approach through a departmental retreat and a workshop with a professional consultant. The project hoped to develop an appropriate pedagogy to incorporate the "Five Textures Approach" interdisciplinary methodology for interpreting religious texts into all areas of the recently revised religion major curriculum.
The faculty retreat proved invaluable for this small department. It provided work space. As well as the social connections necessary to build a sense of community that facilitated their dialogue. As a result of their work, they were able to streamline and better integrate the major. They found the "Five Textures Approach" helpful, but the use of its language proved to be confusing for the students. New terminology helped them to put the approach into more accessible language. They also considered this pedagogy in light of recruiting concerns for the department major.
Grants cover image

Active Learning Theories and Applications in Religious Studies: A Collaborative Regional Consultation

Awarded Grant
Stratton, Beverly
Augsburg College
Colleges/Universities
1999
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Identity, Vocation, and Culture of Teaching

Proposal abstract :
Regional consultation to prepare for publication a volume on active learning theories and applications by participants from the Upper Midwest Region AAR/Lilly teaching workshop.
Proposal abstract :
Regional consultation to prepare for publication a volume on active learning theories and applications by participants from the Upper Midwest Region AAR/Lilly teaching workshop.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to gather scholars in a regional consultation seeking to improve the quality of teaching and learning in religious studies and theology by preparing for publication of a volume on active learning theories and applications. This consultation grew out of a regional AAR/Lilly teaching workshop in the Upper Midwest Region.
The Wabash grant helped them to begin to recognize through their teaching experience in the classroom, what they had learned in the AAR/Lilly teaching workshop. The ability to have safe, positive relationships with peers allowed them to become more critically reflective of their teaching practices and course goals. It also assisted them in their ability to test out new methods with teaching colleagues.
Grants cover image

Teaching Theology in the Contemporary Media Culture

Awarded Grant
Pence, Nadine
Bethany Theological Seminary
Theological Schools
1999
Topics: Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Technology and Teaching

Proposal abstract :
Study the pedagogical and epistemological changes that are implied with the use of contemporary visual media (films, videos, TV, computer imaging) in teaching the discipline of theology.
Proposal abstract :
Study the pedagogical and epistemological changes that are implied with the use of contemporary visual media (films, videos, TV, computer imaging) in teaching the discipline of theology.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to study the "pedagogical and epistemological changes that implied with the use of contemporary visual media (films, video, tv, computer imaging) in teaching the discipline of theology." The goal would be to understand the changes in a theological course and curriculum when these modes of learning and teaching are engaged.
The study found that "the use of digitalized images and media in the theological classroom could well expand the world of the students and their approach to the scriptural and interpretive texts such that the students were able to see with new eyes what might be possible." However, it does not replace the basic relationship between the teacher and the student which is central in a learning experience. Thus, she concludes the following: "contemporary media cannot itself a class session make, only a teacher can do that. The task of helping students in the theological construction of meaning is at the center of the theological classroom. Whatever media is chosen, it must be serviced to this goal, not any other."
Grants cover image

Case Book on the Teaching of Religion

Awarded Grant
Eckel, David
Boston University
Colleges/Universities
1999
Topics: Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Preparing Graduate Students to Teach

Proposal abstract :
Renewal of 1997 grant to extend a book of case studies about real-life classroom situations for use in training doctoral students and teaching fellows, focusing on the religious dimension of their work in the classroom.
Proposal abstract :
Renewal of 1997 grant to extend a book of case studies about real-life classroom situations for use in training doctoral students and teaching fellows, focusing on the religious dimension of their work in the classroom.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to continue the work begun two years earlier which involved creating a book of case studies about real-life classroom situations. The book would emerge from seminars for doctoral students on teaching, using an adapted version of the case study method developed at the Harvard Business School. With this second grant they hoped to create cases focusing on the religious dimensions of their classroom work, as well as expand its audience to include the teaching fellows of the Boston University School of Theology.
The manuscript, Casebook for College and University Instructors of Religion, was created. The project director reports that their teaching fellows found it both exciting and useful to reflect upon their teaching using this method, and that it made them "far more thoughtful and effective teachers."
Grants cover image

Research for Book on Theological Teaching

Awarded Grant
Foster, Charles
Candler School of Theology - Emory University
Theological Schools
1999
Topics: Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Funding for theological-school-based research project on theological teaching which will form the basis for a book.
Proposal abstract :
Funding for theological-school-based research project on theological teaching which will form the basis for a book.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to research the concept of theological teaching by examining six different professors in different disciplines of theology. The project hoped to reveal "the diversity of their approaches as practitioners of theological teaching and the convergence of their shared efforts in forming a theological community of teaching and learning."
Six faculty members from Candler representing the fields of Old testament, New Testament, Historical theology, World Christianity, Church and Community and religion and Education participated. Field notes from interviews, observations of classroom teaching and focus group conversations with the faculty became the basis of the research. This work will be integrated into a larger study on teaching practices in theological education sponsored by The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
Grants cover image

Collaboration on a Religion and Culture Course

Awarded Grant
Denzey, Nicola
Skidmore College
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.
Grants cover image

Towards an Infusion Model of Experiential Learning

Awarded Grant
Holmes, Barbara|Dekar, Paul
Memphis Theological Seminary
Theological Schools
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."
Grants cover image

Toward a More Racially Inclusive Curriculum and Pedagogy

Awarded Grant
Pressler, Carolyn
United Theological Seminary of Twin Cities
Theological Schools
1999
Topics: Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Relating Pedagogy and Curriculum

Proposal abstract :
Two workshops, an alumni focus group, and expert consultants to assist the faculty in revising curricula, syllabi and teaching strategies to create a more inclusive learning environment.
Proposal abstract :
Two workshops, an alumni focus group, and expert consultants to assist the faculty in revising curricula, syllabi and teaching strategies to create a more inclusive learning environment.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to develop faculty workshops and consultations dedicated to revising curricula, syllabi and teaching strategies to create a more inclusive learning environment. The workshops were in the area of understanding and dismantling racism and teaching in a multicultural environment. Consultations with faculty in the major areas of the curriculum would be held with educational consultants. They would also consult with a focus group of alumni/ae students of color.
From this work faculty have re-structured classes to incorporate anti-racism training, as well as incorporating more culturally diverse learning resources and theoretical models. They feel that they developed more useful skills to bring to curriculum revision. The faculty agreed that anti-racism training should be a required part of the revised curriculum.
Grants cover image

Teaching and Learning Workshop for Wartburg Theological Seminary Faculty

Awarded Grant
Priebe, Duane
Wartburg Theological Seminary
Theological Schools
1999
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Technology and Teaching    |   Identity, Vocation, and Culture of Teaching   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
Support for a teaching and learning workshop for Wartburg Theological Seminary Faculty, to be led by a Wabash Center consultant.
Proposal abstract :
Support for a teaching and learning workshop for Wartburg Theological Seminary Faculty, to be led by a Wabash Center consultant.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to fund a workshop on teaching and learning conducted by Wabash center faculty, reproducing for single faculty the process used for the Wabash Teaching Workshops. This included focus on one's vocation as a teacher, exploring teaching methods, teaching assessment, grading teachers as mentors, diversity among students, technology, collegiality of teachers and accountability in teaching.
They found that the workshop significantly expanded their use of educational technology in teaching. They describe it as having had "a major and lasting, transforming effect on the teaching of several courses." Their discussions on curriculum were fruitful, highlighting several contended areas that required extended work in a future workshop. The discussions on their common work as Wartburg faculty were very positive and useful. Finally, they found the outside facilitators connected to the Wabash Center to be excellent.
Grants cover image

A National Conference on Service/Learning in the Discipline of Religion: A Future of Service

Awarded Grant
McLain, F. Michael|Favazza, Joseph
Rhodes College
Colleges/Universities
1999
Topics: Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Convene a conference on service-learning in religion as a pre-conference of the 1999 AAR meeting in Boston and publish a volume based on the proceedings as part of the American Association of Higher Education’s series on service/learning in the disciplines.
Proposal abstract :
Convene a conference on service-learning in religion as a pre-conference of the 1999 AAR meeting in Boston and publish a volume based on the proceedings as part of the American Association of Higher Education’s series on service/learning in the disciplines.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to organize a national conference on service learning in religion, emphasizing foundational and curricular issues. It would be scheduled as a pre-conference to the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion. Based on conference proceedings they hoped to publish a volume on service learning in religion in collaboration with the American Association of Higher Education and National Campus Compact.
Conference evaluation forms indicate that the conference achieved its intended goals. Further, reflection included a continued effort to articulate issues related to service learning, including the positive and negative aspects of it as a pedagogical strategy. They also sought to clarify issues surrounding different service sites, different institutional locations and different missions. Finally, they saw the need to continue reflecting on the place of service learning in graduate programs.
Grants cover image

A Renewed Future for the Association for Case Teaching

Awarded Grant
Zabel, Sue
Association for Case Teaching
Agencies
1998
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Conference to envision innovative directions for the Association for Case Teaching and design a blueprint to achieve that renewed mission.
Proposal abstract :
Conference to envision innovative directions for the Association for Case Teaching and design a blueprint to achieve that renewed mission.

Learning Abstract :
The Association of Case Teaching, through Wesley Theological Seminary, sought funds to plan and implement a conference on a renewed future for the organization. It sought to envision new directions and design a blueprint to achieve its renewed mission. The process would be accomplished through a :Future Search Conference," which involved reviewing the past, exploring the present, creating ideal future scenarios, identifying common ground and making action plans.
The conference affirmed the continuation of the Association and its work, and committed itself to expanding this teaching process to other interest groups and settings. This involved both expanding its base constituencies and expanding the media through which the cases are made available. They also were able to create a concise mission statement and articulate a set of goals for the next ten years.
Grants cover image

A Multi-Disciplinary Team-taught Advanced Research Seminar Examining Discourse on “Spiritual Warfare”

Awarded Grant
Priest, Robert
Columbia Seminary/School of Missions of Columbia International University
Theological Schools
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.
Grants cover image

Roots and Development of Modern Cultures and Values

Awarded Grant
Tilley, Terrence
University of Dayton
Colleges/Universities
1998
Topics: Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Relating Pedagogy and Curriculum

Proposal abstract :
Summer workshop for faculty who teach religion and theology in university-wide core integrated studies curriculum.
Proposal abstract :
Summer workshop for faculty who teach religion and theology in university-wide core integrated studies curriculum.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to develop an innovative approach to core introductory courses in religious studies, philosophy and history. This involved delivering the three disciplines in one highly integrated course on Western Civilization that moved beyond a multi-disciplinary approach and focused on commonalities.
Overall, this project was a highly successful pilot project in interdisciplinary course development and teaching. The six faculty who team-taught the course found the intensive planning time over the summer to be stimulating and productive. Faculty also found it helpful to understand content beyond the confines of their own disciplines. Student reaction to the course was overwhelmingly positive.
Grants cover image

Developing Teaching Materials and Instructional Strategies for Teaching Asian and Asian American/Canadian Women’s Theologies in North America

Awarded Grant
Ng, Wenh-In
Emmanuel College
Theological Schools
1998
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
A project to develop teaching materials and strategies to meet the special needs of Asian, Asian American, and Asian Canadian women students of religion. These funds will enable three university faculty to join the ATS funded project.
Proposal abstract :
A project to develop teaching materials and strategies to meet the special needs of Asian, Asian American, and Asian Canadian women students of religion. These funds will enable three university faculty to join the ATS funded project.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to develop teaching materials and instructional strategies for teaching Asian and Asian American/ Canadian women's theologies in North America. The integrated project team would gather in Cambridge Mass. to create a text for use in the academy.
The report was created, including three sample syllabi. The report included the following topics: 1. the teaching of Asian and Asian North American theologies in the U.S. and Canada; 2. teaching materials and instructional strategies for teaching Asian and Asian North American theologies; 3. Asian and Asian North American women as faculty and students; and recommendations to institution.
Grants cover image

Taking the Pulse: A Survey of Seminary Introductory Christian Ethics Courses

Awarded Grant
Bounds, Elizabeth
Candler School of Theology - Emory University
Theological Schools
1998
Topics: Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Relating Pedagogy and Curriculum

Proposal abstract :
Research and assessment of pedagogical practices in Christian Ethics courses as the basis of course design and revision.
Proposal abstract :
Research and assessment of pedagogical practices in Christian Ethics courses as the basis of course design and revision.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to survey seminary Introductory Christian Ethics courses in order to assess the current condition of Christian Ethics in the U.S. on the basis of pedagogical practices. The goal was to revise the introductory course at Candler through this study. Also, academic papers would result from this study, including a review of pedagogical approaches.
Grants cover image

Project to Develop a Case Book for Teaching in Religion

Awarded Grant
Eckel, David
Boston University
Colleges/Universities
1997
Topics: Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Preparing Graduate Students to Teach

Proposal abstract :
Development of a case book for use in teaching religion comparable to the case studies about real-life classroom situations developed at Harvard Business School.
Proposal abstract :
Development of a case book for use in teaching religion comparable to the case studies about real-life classroom situations developed at Harvard Business School.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to develop a case book for teaching in religion, based on the model of case studies on teaching developed by the Harvard-Danforth Center for Teaching and Learning. With this tool they hoped to stimulate the quality of teaching at Boston University's religion program, to enhance the professional growth of their graduate students, and to develop a resource that would be useful to programs in graduate schools, divinity schools and liberal arts colleges.
A case book was developed entitled, Where Magic Dwells: A Teaching Casebook for Instruction of Religion in the University. The book includes twelve cases, written and presented by ten different graduate students. Some cases are distinctive to the study of religion and philosophy; other cases are more general to university teaching. The seminar on teaching and case studies became the central location of teacher training in the department. While beginning as an experimental program, it became required in the department.
Grants cover image

Imagining, Designing, and Evaluating 'Shared-Hybrid' Courses for Local and Distance Students

Awarded Grant
Brunner, Daniel|Tillman-Samuelson, Darla
Portland Seminary
Theological Schools
2016
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Technology and Teaching

Proposal abstract :
George Fox Evangelical Seminary serves both a local, commuter learning community and a hybrid community that combines online coursework with face-to-face intensives. A recent decline in local students led to the creation of a revised curriculum that will bring greater parity between the two learning communities. At the heart of this curriculum is the “shared-hybrid” course, with a population of both local and online students. This project explores the pedagogy ...
Proposal abstract :
George Fox Evangelical Seminary serves both a local, commuter learning community and a hybrid community that combines online coursework with face-to-face intensives. A recent decline in local students led to the creation of a revised curriculum that will bring greater parity between the two learning communities. At the heart of this curriculum is the “shared-hybrid” course, with a population of both local and online students. This project explores the pedagogy of this new delivery method. It revolves around three workshops. During the first two-day, retreat-style workshop, a professional facilitator will help the seminary assess its current pedagogy and practice and then imagine the challenges and opportunities in shared-hybrid courses. In the second workshop, nine months later, we will expand pedagogical dialogue to include course design. The focus of the final workshop, after a year of implementation, will be evaluation, with an eye toward improvement and then dissemination of our learnings.

Learning Abstract :
Grants cover image

Swimming in Uncharted Waters: Pedagogical Collaboration around Racial Reconciliation and Ethnic Diversity Among Faculty in a Faith-based HBCU and a PWI

Awarded Grant
Coleman, Daryll|Poe, Mary Anne
Union University
Colleges/Universities
2016
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Against the backdrop of racial tension in the United States, two ethnically diverse Christian college faculties - one from a historically black college and one from a predominately white institution - will partner to develop and co-teach a course on racial reconciliation and ethnic diversity at their respective institutions. Preparation for the course includes building deeper relationships among faculty in a retreat context, with consultation, followed by regularly scheduled faculty ...
Proposal abstract :
Against the backdrop of racial tension in the United States, two ethnically diverse Christian college faculties - one from a historically black college and one from a predominately white institution - will partner to develop and co-teach a course on racial reconciliation and ethnic diversity at their respective institutions. Preparation for the course includes building deeper relationships among faculty in a retreat context, with consultation, followed by regularly scheduled faculty development experiences. Using backward course design, faculty will develop a co-taught course to be offered at both institutions. Assessment of the student, faculty, and institutional experience will be offered for both local and national publication. We hope this will model for our larger faculties a way of inter-institutional relationship, research, and education. Most importantly, we hope that the students who take these courses will be formed and transformed by the experience in ways that will enable them to take those lessons with them to impact the world.

Learning Abstract :
Faculty and students realized at a deep level that the work of racial justice and reconciliation is difficult, time-intensive, and requires intentionality and purposefulness. The range and intensity of life experiences related to race varies dramatically from person to person, even within race subgroups, thus challenging any generalizations. The grant project generated an eagerness to continue to work together and to work toward having an impact more broadly in the community. The striking differences between a predominantly White, Southern Baptist-affiliated university and an historically Black college affiliated with the CME church pose challenges around racial justice and reconciliation, but also challenge other educational, political, social, and economic realities. The greatest challenge ahead for the two colleges in the effort to work toward racial justice may be the need to maintain momentum. Both schools are occupied with other institutional and educational responsibilities and each group participant has other primary job assignments.
Grants cover image

Diversity and the Search for Meaning

Awarded Grant
Hockenbery Dragseth, Jennifer|Rappe, Donald|Dougherty, Kathleen
Mount Mary University
2016
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices

Proposal abstract :
Mount Mary University theology and philosophy faculty will engage in sustained and comprehensive faculty development with a goal of fully re-conceptualizing "Search for Meaning," a team-taught theology and philosophy course that serves as the center of our core curriculum. As an urban, Catholic, women’s university with an increasingly diverse student population and a comparatively non-diverse faculty, we are keenly aware of the need for faculty development to connect our ...
Proposal abstract :
Mount Mary University theology and philosophy faculty will engage in sustained and comprehensive faculty development with a goal of fully re-conceptualizing "Search for Meaning," a team-taught theology and philosophy course that serves as the center of our core curriculum. As an urban, Catholic, women’s university with an increasingly diverse student population and a comparatively non-diverse faculty, we are keenly aware of the need for faculty development to connect our pedagogical approaches more directly to our students’ lives, experiences, and perspectives. We seek to reconceive the "Search for Meaning" course for our diverse population of students by engaging in faculty development regarding pedagogical methods that promote openness to diversity and a trauma-sensitive learning environment; acquiring new pedagogical skills for helping our students learn to listen attentively and speak empathetically; and creating a forum to promote sustained conversation and collaboration between faculty regarding pedagogical and experiences.

Learning Abstract :
Grants cover image

Faculty Seminar: Defining and Educating Digital-oral Learners

Awarded Grant
Wiggins, Rob|Mayo, Julia
Western Seminary
Theological Schools
2016
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Relating Pedagogy and Curriculum

Proposal abstract :
This project will help faculty to understand and then address the changes resulting from students increasingly accessing information via digital means. McLuhan (1964) and Ong (1982) noticed that technology was changing the way that students receive, process, remember, and then pass on information. More recently, Jonah Sachs (2012) observed that contemporary learners are now accessing information through digital means to the extent that they exhibit the characteristics of oral learners (as opposed to ...
Proposal abstract :
This project will help faculty to understand and then address the changes resulting from students increasingly accessing information via digital means. McLuhan (1964) and Ong (1982) noticed that technology was changing the way that students receive, process, remember, and then pass on information. More recently, Jonah Sachs (2012) observed that contemporary learners are now accessing information through digital means to the extent that they exhibit the characteristics of oral learners (as opposed to print learning characteristics). As a result, he described these learners using the term “digit-oral.” This project will provide means for faculty to evaluate their own students and then coach faculty to adjust their teaching approaches for digit-oral learners accordingly.

Learning Abstract :
Faculty now have a more complete understanding of why there a shift in student learning preferences from "print" learners to "digit-oral" learners is taking place. As well as which teaching methods are most helpful for digit-oral learners, knowledge of findings from recent research regarding digit-oral seminary students, and what changes can be made in the classroom to better serve digit­-oral learners. This project is part of a larger conversation regarding the theories of student learning. Categorizing a student as a "print" or "digit­-oral" learner benefits instructors by revealing which teaching methods are likely to be most effective. Understanding the effect of technology on learning styles is an ongoing field of study, but understanding the print - digit-oral spectrum can help instructors more effectively teach their students in the 21st century.
Grants cover image

Utilizing Directed Peer Groups to Enhance Teaching Fellow Effectiveness

Awarded Grant
Born, Christopher|Gregory, Bradley
Catholic University of America
Theological Schools
2017
Topics: Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Preparing Graduate Students to Teach

Proposal abstract :
Following up on a previous grant from the Wabash Center to develop an inquiry-based model of learning across undergraduate theology and religious studies courses, Catholic University’s School of Theology and Religious Studies proposes to further its work in peer mentoring among graduate student teaching fellows. The primary goal of this project is to identify the specific learning activities that are most effective in enhancing student engagement on a variety ...
Proposal abstract :
Following up on a previous grant from the Wabash Center to develop an inquiry-based model of learning across undergraduate theology and religious studies courses, Catholic University’s School of Theology and Religious Studies proposes to further its work in peer mentoring among graduate student teaching fellows. The primary goal of this project is to identify the specific learning activities that are most effective in enhancing student engagement on a variety of religious and theological topics and to implement those activities more widely among faculty and teaching fellows. Secondly, we will catalog the most effective learning activities among graduate teaching fellows as they witness, identify, and incorporate new activities into their own courses. The final goal is to enhance the undergraduate experience by encouraging teaching fellows to utilize best practices or activities related to the array of theology and religious studies topics.

Learning Abstract :
Grants cover image

Forming Rooted, Innovative, and Courageous Teachers

Awarded Grant
Johnson-DeBaufre, Melanie|Kendall, Susan
Drew Theological School
Theological Schools
2017
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Preparing Graduate Students to Teach   |   Identity, Vocation, and Culture of Teaching

Proposal abstract :
The doctoral program at Drew Theological School has a reputation for adventurous transdisciplinarity and social engagement, training scholars for the critical and creative transformation of the disciplines, the academy, and the society. This two-year grant project aims to align the pedagogical and professional mentoring practices of the PhD program with this transformational curricular ethos, cultivating both students and faculty as rooted, innovative, and courageous teacher-scholars. Through structured curricular workshops, teaching ...
Proposal abstract :
The doctoral program at Drew Theological School has a reputation for adventurous transdisciplinarity and social engagement, training scholars for the critical and creative transformation of the disciplines, the academy, and the society. This two-year grant project aims to align the pedagogical and professional mentoring practices of the PhD program with this transformational curricular ethos, cultivating both students and faculty as rooted, innovative, and courageous teacher-scholars. Through structured curricular workshops, teaching colloquia, and collaborative learning projects, we seek to initiate a culture shift in PhD mentoring toward co-learning and collaboration among Drew’s vibrantly diverse faculty and student body. At the end of the project, students will have developed a robust teaching portfolio and faculty will have identified next steps for embedding mentoring for contextually adaptive, interactive, and transformational teaching and learning throughout the PhD curriculum.

Learning Abstract :