Innovation in Advanced Theological Education
The surge of theological education in the rapidly growing church of the Majority World has highlighted the inadequacy of traditional Western methods of thinking and learning to fully accomplish the task at hand. The limitations of current theological education are embodied in the formation and assessment of the master’s or doctoral dissertation; processes that follow a linear-empiricist tradition developed in the West and exported to the Majority World. Challenging Tradition: Innovation in Advanced Theological Studies highlights the need for these traditions to be reconsidered in every context throughout the world. Drs Shaw and Dharamraj, with their team of contributors, present innovations in research and documentation that demonstrate how we may better prepare theological leadership through means that are contextually relevant and locally meaningful.
Challenging Tradition: Innovation in Advanced Theological Education is a rich collection of the work of twenty-three global theological scholars, who share about their own life and experience serving in theological education in the Majority World for many years. Theological educators and church leaders committed to develop disciples of Jesus Christ, who are able to serve effectively in theological education institutions and churches in their own contexts, will benefit with this valuable resource.
Orbelina Eguizabal, PhD
Professor of Christian Higher Education,
Talbot School of Theology, Biola University
Former professor and academic dean at SETECA, Guatemala
This book challenges the “one-size-fits-all” approach in higher education which favors the western model of linear-empiricist study. While not discounting the strengths of this classic approach, the book points out its limitationsconsidering the different patterns of learning and communication in Majority World contexts. Most certainly, this book will spur the much-needed changes in advanced theological studies!
Theresa Roco-Lua, EdD
General Secretary, Asia Theological Association
In Challenging Tradition, we are offered an invaluable insight into alternative and innovative approaches to theological education and advanced theological studies. I found the insights of this book both challenging and thrilling, and believe that this book will help renew and transform theological education worldwide.
Graham Hill, PhD
Provost, Morling College, Sydney, Australia
Author of GlobalChurch
Most of theological education in the world is in crisis. The problem is not the resources or the curriculum or teachers. The real problem is the lack of vision to our time. The world has changed, the church has changed, and the ministry has changed, but theological education remains the same. This book that has the intention to change this situation with a creative and challenging approach. All who have a real concern about advanced theological education for the present and the future must read this book, not just to be aware of new ideas but to be part of this revolution.
Norberto Saracco, PhD
Founder, Facultad Internacional de Educación Teológica (FIET)
As the epicenter of global Christianity is shifting to the Global South, it is time to hear the theological and educational issues facing the changing world from the perspectives of those in the Majority World. This is a must read for all theological educators and church leaders.
Joseph Shao, PhD
Biblical Seminary of the Philippines
Challenging Tradition issues a welcome and timely call for theological institutions and educators in the Majority World to move beyond the linearempiricist model of theological research that dominates the Western academy, adopting and adapting alternative models of research that are equally rigorous but are more suitable for non-Western ways of thinking and communicating. [It] provides practical options without sacrificing a commitment to rigour.
Kevin Smith, PhD
South African Theological Seminary
A most helpful collection of writings for Asian seminaries considering alternative approaches to the traditional way of carrying out their graduate programs. The text has encouraged and challenged me to explore approaches that are consistent with a Trinitarian conception of learning and knowing and which form the whole person. I will recommend that my colleagues study the text for help to better equip theological leaders.
Sunny Tan, ThD
Director of Theology Programs, Asia Graduate School of Theology (Alliance)
Academic Dean, Malaysia Baptist Theological Seminary, Penang, Malaysia
This expansive collection of essays joins a growing number of efforts questioning PhD education in the theological disciplines: Is the degree too expensive and take too much time? Does it impose an intellectual pattern that is insensitive to other patterns of intellectual effort? How does it advance the work and witness of communities of faith? While the editors state that the intended audience is leaders of emerging programs of advanced theological studies in the Majority World, these essays have considerable value for theological educators in the West as well.
Daniel O. Aleshire, PhD
Former Executive Director,
The Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada
The Commission on Accrediting
Table of Contents
Introduction - Perry Shaw and Havilah Dharamraj
Section I: Principles for Innovation in Advanced Theological Studies
- 1. My Journey into Theological Education - Ashish Chrispal
- 2. A Context Conducive to Innovation: How Changes in Doctoral Education Create New Opportunities for
- Developing Theological Leaders - Evan R. Hunter
- 3. Innovation and Criteria: Ensuring Standards While Promoting Innovative Approaches - Perry Shaw
- 4. “What You Get Is What You See”? Addressing the Hidden Curriculum of Doctoral Studies - Allan Harkness
- 5. Culture, Gender, and Diversity in Advanced Theological Studies - Perry Shaw
- 6. The Imperative of Cultural Integration in Advanced Theological Studies: Perspectives from the Majority World - Lal Senanayake
- 7. Scholarship in Our Own Words: Intercultural Rhetoric in Academic Writing and Reporting - Stephanie L. Black
- 8. Nurturing Emancipatory Local Knowledges - César Lopes
- 9. A Theology for Advanced Theological Studies - Ian W. Payne
Section II: Innovative Possibilities for the Dissertation
- 10. Pathways of Integration for Theological Knowledge: Integrative Knowing/Learning for Thesis Construction in Advanced Theological Studies - Paul Allan Clark
- 11. Problem-Based Learning in Advanced Theological Studies - John Jusu
- 12. Action Research for Theological Impact: Reflections from an Arab Context - Caleb Hutcherson with Bassem Melki
- 13. Studying Together: Joint and Collaborative Research - Rafael Zaracho
- 14. Chicken Theology: Local Learning Approaches from West Africa - Jay Moon
- 15. Ethnohermeneutics and Advanced Theological Studies: Towards Culturally Appropriate Methodologies for Doctoral Programs - Larry Caldwell
- 16. Boldly Go! Tracking Trends in Comparative Literature - Havilah Dharamraj
Section III: Innovative Forms of Advanced Theological Studies
- 17. Exploring the Possibilities of Portfolio as an Alternative to the Traditional Dissertation - Joanna Feliciano-Soberano
- 18. Digital Scholarship - Marvin Oxenham
- 19. Doing Theology from the “Land of Samba”: Integrating Personal Experience in the Task of Advanced Theological Research - Samuel Ewell
- 20. Telling Tales: Stories That Embox Theology - Havilah Dharamraj
- 21. Proverbs as Theology - Dwi Maria Handayani
- 22. Poetry as Theology: A Creative Path - Xiaoli Yang
- 23. Verse by Verse: The Use of Poetry in Advanced Theological Education - Havilah Dharamraj, Xiaoli Yang, Grace al-Zoughbi Arteen, and Karen Shaw
About the Contributors