Pride continues to be a prevalent vice among those who serve as professional ministers and Christian leaders. English Puritan Richard Baxter (1615–1691) was attentive to this concern and wrote a great deal on ministerial pride in his various publications. He explored the ways in which pride infected ministers both through an elevated personal assessment and through a heightened desire for human praise. This article examines his diagnosis of the diverse manifestations of ministerial pride and looks carefully at his recommendations for addressing its corrosive influence, providing insights and suggestions for contemporary Christian ministers.
Key Words: Richard Baxter, pride, envy, vice, ministry, leadership
This article seeks to articulate the outlines of a framework that can be used for the development of a philosophy of ministry. Against the foil of the well-known model proposed by William K. Frankena in the 1960s, this model seeks to make room for a more comprehensive approach, highlighting four distinct ministry domains: learners, leaders, external communities, and systems. Seeking to delineate aims, practices, and missions for all four categories, the model attempts to recognize the need for focused theological, philosophical, and empirical attention in each domain. Finally, the article attempts to demonstrate how the model can be used as a means of facilitating the real-life implementation of the developed philosophy.
In post-Christian American culture, emerging adult vocational discernment has become a more protracted and complex process. If ministers are going to utilize this discernment process for emerging adult spiritual formation, they must address two significant domains. First, this culture tends to produce a dualistic and compartmentalized vision of vocation, constricting the fullness of the Christian story. Second, the culture has deified choice, threatening vocational commitment while blinding emerging adults to the already-present action of God. This article addresses these challenges and discusses the theological and practical means by which the Church can foster a renewed vision of vocational faithfulness. While the cultural scripts for vocational living emphasize a narrowed vocational sphere and the expansion of options, the Christian narrative points to a different posture: vocation rooted in purpose and providence.
Spiritual formation is both an opportunity and a challenge for educators in Christian colleges and seminaries. How can students be nurtured and guided in developing spiritually within the curriculum? Drawing on a number of educators, studies, and arguments, this article develops a rationale for engaging in spiritual formation and for the use of practical assignments or "soul projects." A selection of such projects is grouped into genres, followed by a brief exploration of best practices and an evaluation of such assignments.
2008 marks the fiftieth anniversary of Lois LeBar’s classic Christian education text, Education That is Christian. During her tenure as a professor at Wheaton College, LeBar wrote several influential texts, including Children in the Bible School (1952) and Focus on People in Church Education (1968).However, it was Education That is Christian that established this educator as an influential leader in the field of Christian education. Nearly all historical examinations of evangelical Christian education include LeBar as a spokesperson, and this commendation is typically attached to her 1958 book (e.g., Pazmino,1988; Burgess, 1996; Anthony and Benson, 2003). The book was highly regarded at the time of its publication, and its revised editions retain wide usage in colleges, Bible schools, and seminaries around the world. In this brief article, I hope to discuss the development of LeBar’s text, wrestle with some of its key themes, and comment on what I see as its enduring value academically and pedagogically.
In this mini-theme issue of the Christian Education Journal, we explore the area of college and young adult ministry. While age 18 is the typical marker for the beginning of collegiate ministry, the precise age range indicated by “young adulthood” is currently a hotly contested topic among psychologists and sociologists. Psychologist Jeffrey Arnett (2000) has recently posited a new life stage—emerging adulthood—to span the years (roughly 18 to 25) between adolescence and true adult status. With the typical marks of adulthood—the completion of education, marriage, financial independence, and the beginning of a career—delayed both by social factors and personal choices, “emerging adults” experience a prolonged stage of exploration and self-definition that carries its own unique challenges and opportunities. “Having left the dependency of childhood and adolescence, and having not yet entered the enduring responsibilities that are normative in adulthood,” he notes, “emerging adults often explore a variety of possible life directions in love, work, and worldviews” (p. 469). On the other end of the age spectrum, sociologist Robert Wuthnow (2007) has recently suggested that young adulthood in America actually lasts into the early 40s. Delays in adult status and stability, combined with the extension of the life span, indicate that the middle of adult life does not occur until closer to age 50. In light of such research, perhaps it would make sense to consider college and young adult ministry as inclusive of individuals ranging from ages 18 to 40.
Preliminary results of a recent interview project with veteran professors of Christian education regarding key transitions in the field over the last several decades. Four main areas of change are addressed, including issues of professional identity, the role of social sciences, the role of Scripture and theology, and cultural changes impacting educational ministry.
There is no abstract available for this article.