How can seminary students learn to integrate knowledge into practice? What courses and experiences lead to ministers who are creative, intuitive artists in their professional practice? How do ministers hone their capacity for practical judgment in the midst of ecclesial and cultural change? How do they grow in spiritual insight and wisdom?
The Seminar on Integration in Theological Education brings together theological educators, administrators, and ministers to explore how seminaries form and educate pastoral leaders who can integrate expert knowledge, competent skill, personal identity and vocation into wise practice in the communities they serve.
The goal of the Seminar is to expand the understanding of integration in the classroom, the curriculum, and the seminary’s life and culture.
Assistant Dean for Ministry Studies and Field Education and Lecturer on Ministry, Harvard Divinity School
Ed Foley, Capuchin
Duns Scotus Professor of Spirituality and Professor of Liturgy and Music, Catholic Theological Union
Jeffrey D. Jones
Director of Ministry Studies, Andover Newton Theological School
David O. Jenkins
Associate Professor in the Practice of Practical Theology, Candler School of Theology
Associate Professor of Christian Education, Princeton Theological Seminary
David M. Rylaarsdam
Professor of Historical Theology, Calvin Theological Seminary
Academic Dean and Associate Professor of Worship and the Arts, Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary
Jeffery L. Tribble, Sr.
Associate Professor of Ministry, Columbia Theological Seminary
Kathleen A. Cahalan
Project Director, Collegeville Institute Seminars
Professor of Theology, Saint John’s School of Theology and Seminary
What We Are Studying
Since 2011, the Seminar on Integration in Theological Education has been meeting twice yearly to explore the complex interplay between knowledge, skill, identity, judgment, and community for seminary students. The Seminar is studying models of apprenticeship, expertise and deliberate practice, embodiment, adult education theory, curriculum design and pedagogies in other professions.
Connecting the Dots: Integrating Work in Theological Education
In 2017, the members of the Seminar on Integration in Theological Education will co-publish a book titled, Connecting the Dots: Integrating Work in Theological Education (tentative title), edited by Kathleen A. Cahalan, Edward Foley, and Gordon S. Mikoski, and published by Wipf and Stock. Below is a short book description.
If only we could do a better job helping students at “connecting the dots,” theological educators commonly lament. Integration, often proposed as a solution to the woes of professional education for ministry, would help students better integrate knowledge, skills, spirituality, and personal integrity. When knowing, doing, and being remain isolated and disconnected, incompetence ensues and the cost runs high for most churches, denominations, and for ministers themselves.
This book, however, shifts the frame and dismantles the long-held view that integrating work falls to students alone. Integrating work is a multifaceted, constructive process of learning that is contextual, reflective, and dialogical. It aims toward important ends—competent leaders who can guide Christian communities today. It entails rhythms, not stages, and dynamic movement, including disorientating and disintegrating moments. Integrating work, as these authors describe, is learning in motion, across domains, and among and between persons. It is social and communal, born of a life of learning together for faculty, staff, administrators and students. It is work that bridges the long-standing gaps between school, ministry practice, and life. It’s a verb, not a noun.
A diverse group of theological educators have been pondering these issues together for over five years. Through descriptive case studies, theological reflection, and theory building, they offer a distinctive contribution to understanding integrating work and how best to achieve it across three domains: in community, curriculums, and courses.