I thought it worth keeping going with some thinking about theological education after Alister McGrath’s proxy contributions to this blog 😉
Well I think about it all the time – preparing, teaching, reviewing and discussing with students how courses are going is happening continually raises questions.
And they point to the special demands of teaching the Bible – whether in church or in a theological college. For such teaching must be holistic if it is to be worth much …
And by holistic I mean it needs meaningfully to engage the affective, behavioural and cognitive elements of learning. And that is some challenge – one that reaches far beyond most other forms of teaching.
I plan a couple more posts on this engaging with some reading ..
But first some quotes of criticisms of the way much theological education is actually done. These are drawn from a very useful article by Perry Shaw, ‘Towards a Multidimensional Approach to Theological Education’ in International Congregational Journal 6.1, (2006), 53-63.
“the only similiarity between Jesus’ way of training and the seminary’s is that each takes three years” (Joe Bayly)
“our schools train academics not Christian leaders”
“the centrality of the mind and cognitive learning in our theological institutions is rooted in a faulty Enlightenment-based epistemology where knowledge is seen as some sort of object that needs to be acquired.” … And this myth “ falsely portrays how we know and has profoundly deformed the way we educate.”
Knowing God entails “a type of knowledge that speaks less of acquiring a masters degree in divinity as it does of being mastered by Divinity.”
“Most of our institutions of theological education are appallingly anachronistic. We decry secular rationalism while affirming through the hidden curriculum the basic tenets of rationalism in our almost exclusive focus on the cognitive domain.”
Comments, as ever, welcome.