Is It Working? Researching Context to Improve Curriculum

Is It Working? Researching Context to Improve Curriculum : A Resource Book for Theological Schools

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It is a bold thing to ask, "Is what we are doing working?" We know the danger of evaluating things as the world does -- with measurements and financial strength. We rightly rejoice at the stories of faithful ministry with little fruit and know that it says something profound about our God and his true servants.

And yet . . . Good leadership has always asked whether the wineskins are adequate for the new wine. Traditional Western theology has brought various benefits throughout the world but has failed to sufficiently encourage the development of local theologizing required in every context.

At the triennial ICETE international consultation in 2015, institutional leaders from a diverse global background presented research-driven revision of theological education designed to improve understanding of the real ministry needs and better equip students to minister in their own contexts. These reports of institutional change and their insights, compiled in this publication, show a new path to effective theological education. With widespread support across the world from educators involved with ICETE, the concept of research-driven change in theological education institutions is here to stay and will continue to grow in importance. This book is an invitation to courageously embrace these concepts and join in understanding and theologizing for your own context.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 168 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 9mm | 235g
  • Langham Global Library
  • Carlisle, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1783683333
  • 9781783683338
  • 968,717

Review quote

The fast-changing world we are living in is facing unprecedented challenges: economic, technological, social and personal. Meeting these challenges calls for new educational priorities or even new paradigms of education. This book helps us to rethink how to develop our curriculum in view of our socio-cultural context and challenges us to establish educational priorities in fulfilling the mission of the church. The generous sharing of these theological education institutions and various leaders involved in curriculum revision has opened our eyes to see the importance of sensitivity, openness, innovation, and collaborative efforts in bringing the needed changes. This book is definitely an invaluable resource book for institutions determined to have impact in this age.

Rev Luke Cheung, PhD, Professor in Biblical Studies, Vice-President, China Graduate School of Theology, Hong Kong

Is It Working? extends the reach of the stimulating presentations and discussions on impact assessment at the ICETE 2015 Consultation in Antalya. It provides theological institutions with a helpful framework for assessing the effectiveness of their training programs and in implementing a "research-driven curriculum revision" to strengthen their impact on the church and in society. Several examples from the field were presented to flesh out the concept. These serve as an inspiration for theological schools to take on the challenge of investigating the impact of their graduates and making the necessary curriculum change informed by research data. Furthermore, this book calls accrediting agencies to focus more on the assessment of outcomes and impact in their accreditation of programs. This invaluable resource is a must for all leaders and educators serious about maximizing the impact of their training programs!

Theresa Roco-Lua, EdD, General Secretary, Asia Theological Association

What a great initiative to make this book available - an ideal tool and resource based on the last theological educators forum (ICETE 2015). The continuous development of methods and approaches will bring tremendous benefits for the global church through theology studies.

Márcio Matta, President, Associação Evangélica de Educação Teológica na América Latina (AETAL)

This book argues that theological education benefits when we dare to ask the question: Is what we are doing working? As the leader of SAIACS and one of the participants in the research-based curriculum review process that led up to

the ICETE 2015 conference, I agree whole-heartedly. The testimonies show each institution learned unique and valuable things.

I began with some qualms - Should usefulness be the criterion of impact? Are we humans responsible for kingdom outcomes? Does action trump contemplation? To echo Marven Oxenham's fine article, does "Martha" trump "Mary"? I decided that such research-based review needn't fall into these traps, and it sure beats keeping our eyes shut! In fact, in SAIACS' case, we discovered employers and alumni both wanted more "Mary" emphasis on spiritual formation.

This book will encourage more theological education institutions toward confidence they are meeting their goals. It certainly helped SAIACS towards "excellence for the sake of mission."

Ian W. Payne, PhD, Former Principal, South Asia Institute of Advanced Christian Studies (SAIACS), Bangalore, India
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