Is It Working? Researching Context to Improve Curriculum
A Resource Book for Theological Schools
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.
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.
Rev Luke Cheung, PhD
Professor in Biblical Studies,
Vice-President, China Graduate School of Theology, Hong Kong
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.
Associação Evangélica de Educação Teológica na América Latina (AETAL)
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),
Table of Contents
- Preface: Engaged and Effective!
- Introduction: “We Want to Know if It Is Working”
- Section I: Assessment of Context: Why? What? How?
- 1 – Effectiveness and Impact in Theological Education from a Biblical Perspective (Christopher Wright)
- 2 – Assessment Beyond the 4Bs (Scott Cunningham)
- 3 – Connecting Curriculum and Context: The Foundations for Relevance in Theological Education (Rupen Das)
- 4 – My Assessment Journey (Ashish Chrispal)
- Section II: Stories from the Field: Institutions Which Assessed Their Context and Changed Their Curriculum
- 5 – A Colombian Experience: Doing Research in the Context of Displacement (Jhohan Centeno)
- 6 – An Indian Experience: Seeing the Gaps (Havilah Dharamraj)
- 7 – A Zimbabwean Experience: Journey to Maturity (Ray Motsi and Robert Heaton)
- Appendix: Proposed Curriculum Model
- 8 – A Sri Lankan Experience: Some Surprising Outcomes (Lal Senanayake)
- Section III: Issues in Change
- 9 – Leading for Change: The View from the President’s Office (Elie Haddad)
- 10 – What’s It Worth? Developing the Library (Melody Mazuk)
- 11 – Practical Notes on Impact-Based Curriculum Development (Scott Cunningham)
- 12 – A Critical Assessment of the Impact Agenda (Marvin Oxenham)
- 13 – Culture, Communication, and Research on Impact (Perry Shaw)
- 14 – What Difference Do We Make? Impact-Based Assessment (Elizabeth Sendek)
- List of Contributors