Our Philosophy

Our Philosophy of Workshops, Consultations, and Other Gatherings

I. Teaching is a Vocation

  • Discerning the telos or goal of one’s teaching vocation is crucial to the teaching and learning task.
  • Good teaching is grounded in sound scholarship and nurtures an ongoing discussion about one’s subject area.
  • Clarifying one’s teaching philosophy and learning goals facilitates classroom decisions such as course design, assignments, and assessment.
  • Faculty members gain vocational colleagues and companions when they think collaboratively about teaching and learning.
  • Thinking holistically about the work of teaching and scholarship develops a sense of one’s career trajectory and stages.
  • When faculty members talk together about their craft, they discover a richness of teaching knowledge and experience among them.

II. Teaching is a Craft

  • Teaching is a craft developed over a lifetime of critically reflective practice.
  • Critical reflective practice is enhanced by engagement with pedagogical research and participation in the scholarly discourses on teaching and learning.
  • Improving one’s skill as a teacher enhances the quality and satisfaction of one’s vocational choice.
  • Teaching involves understanding the power of one’s persona and embodied presence in the classroom.
  • Teaching benefits from increased awareness, intentionality, and commitment to student learning. 
  • The digital environment has significant influence on teaching and needs to be reflectively engaged in classroom practice.
  • There are many perspectives about teaching and learning, each with its own particular strengths and weaknesses. Understanding this variety expands the range of one’s teaching capacity and ability to engage a diversity of students and learning environments.

III. Institutional Setting Matters

  • Appreciating the fundamental values of the institution is key to understanding the dynamics of teaching and learning in a particular place.
  • The larger teaching culture of an institution deeply influences the work in each particular classroom.
  • Sustained conversation about teaching and learning can transform the culture of teaching in a school or department.
  • Focusing on the daily work of teaching and learning transcends boundaries between different disciplines, ranks, and other academic divisions to create a space for collaborative and fruitful discussion.
  • Good teaching enhances the institutional culture and is an act of institutional citizenship.
  • Teaching is integrally connected to the public interpretive role of the department, seminary, or theological school.


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