Recent theological work on foundations of Christian education has explored a wide range of important systematic theology topics (e.g., sanctification, ecclesiology, pneumatology, Trinity, the nature of Scripture). An area that has not received much attention is eschatology. How do understandings of Christ’s promised return impact the focus of educational ministries in the church? What is important for us to learn in this time of waiting? This paper focuses on biblical images and themes associated with waiting for Christ’s return and key issues that should have an impact on Christian educators’ ministry efforts. It explores how eschatological views give direction and shape to the church’s teaching ministries.
Key Words: Eschatology, Theological foundations, Christ’s Return
Christian educators fillmany roles in a variety of contexts. However, central to what we do is teaching, and usually within an organizational context. Whether it be a Sunday school class or a lecture hall in a Christian university, teaching is a fundamental foci of our ministry. Our profession is teaching. Regardless of everything else that our profession may entail and require of us, our profession is ultimately teaching. While we may teach students about the education ministry, or theorize about congregational education models; many of us serve in institutions of Christian higher education. This edition of the Christian Education Journal focuses its attention on the teaching profession within Christian seminaries and universities. The broad spectrum of articles comprising this edition is representative of the breadth of the professorate, and the issues that continue to shape our profession.
Spiritual formation is one of the recognized benchmarks of higher education that is Christian. A communal commitment to spiritual formation is indeed part of the Christian higher education community's DNA, and is in fact reflected in the criteria for accreditation in both the Association of Biblical Higher Education (ABHE) and the Association of Theological Schools (ATS). However, as many Christian institutions of higher education begin to engage in online instruction, even offering entire degree programs online, how can they affirm their campus's commitment to the spiritual formation of students? This article addresses the question of providing intentional Christian nurture toward spiritual formation in online degree programs. The aim of the article is to inform participants of the challenges and opportunities for student spiritual formation in online degree programs so as to better equip participants to develop Christian nurture initiatives for online students from an informed perspective. To do so the article includes two parts: (a) the development of a theoretical matrix for online spiritual formation, based principally on precedent literature and the experience of the two authors; and (b) a survey of actual Christian nurture and spiritual formation models specifically designed for online programs.
Of increasing interest to New Testament scholars is the educational background of Paul and the early Christians. As evangelical educators, such studies also engage our understanding of the Biblical and historical basis of Christian education. This article endeavors to ascertain the early Christian community's, and particularly Paul's, assessment of education in first-century A.D. Greco-Roman culture as one dimension of the interactions between the early Christian community and its culture. It will (1) provide a brief review of passages in the New Testament that reflect or interact with the educational community of the first-century A.D., (2) Conjecture Paul's assessment of education in Greco-Roman culture, with which early Christians interacted, (3) Itemize implications of Paul's opinion on Greco-Roman education for our understanding on the formation and history of Christian education, and finally (4) Address the need for further study of the subject.
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Faith-learning integration is a distinctive concern of evangelical higher education. Regardless of how one may evaluate the effectiveness of Christian higher education'??s endeavor to integrate faith and learning, the focus of these endeavors has primarily been on the academic disciplines, i.e., the curriculum or academic research. What has typically escaped notice in this concern is administration in Christian higher education. What is "Christian"? about higher education administration in the Christian or Bible college? This presentation will attempt to apply a paradigm of faith-learning integration based on Niebuhr'??s Christ and Culture (1951) to the place and function of academic administration in institutions of Christian higher education. Based on a survey of the precedent literature and a 1998-99 study of academic deans in member institutions of the Accrediting Association of Bible Colleges (AABC), this presentation will provide direction toward a theologically-informed approach to Christian academic administration. It will address the matter in seven sections: (1) Faith-learning integration and Christian higher education; (2) The necessity of a theologically-based academic administration in Christian higher education; (3) Theological foundations and frameworks for Christian higher education administration; (4) Theologically-informed values in academic administration; (5) Theologically-informed metaphors in academic administration; (6) Toward an integrated approach to academic administration in Christian higher education; and (7) Practical means of implementing a theologically-informed approach to the deanship.
The integration of faith and learning has been a continual concern of the evangelical community. This concern is seen most readily in the higher education endeavors of Christian education. This article explains the concerns and challenges of faith-learning integration and surveys the various approaches and proposed methodologies for it. The article then presents an approach to and methodology for faith-learning integration based on Richard Niebuhr's Christ and Culture (1951). The discussion of faith-learning integration is placed in the context of Christian higher education, concluding with recommendations for implementing such an approach in the Christian college.
Wesley represents an eighteenth century attempt at integrating theology and educational theories into a practical approach to Christian education. This article explores the theological and philosophical influences that impacted Wesley's thoughts, as well as the resulting educational philosophy produced by Wesley.