Series 3

Volume 10, Issue 2

Fall 2013, Transformational Teaching and Learning

Special focus issues also contain articles of general interest to the field of Christian education.

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Articles in this Issue

  1. Editorial: "The Heart of the Matter"

    By Dr. Kevin E Lawson — Pages 259-263

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  2. Such as These: Exploring Conversations with Southern Baptist Children about Conversion and Baptism

    By Dr. Thomas Sanders — Pages 264-285

    The history of Baptists describes their changing views of conversion and baptism of children. This qualitative research was designed to explore how 22 children, their parents/guardians, pastors, and other leaders from 14 Southern Baptist churches describe the phenomenon of conversion and baptism in the lives of the boys and girls. The research revealed that leaders in the faith community play a significant role in conversion, language of the faith can assist and distract from understanding, and children are influenced by the need to be included or by concern related to exclusion.

    Key Words: conversion, baptism, children, Southern Baptists, New Christians class

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  3. The Powers of Evaluation: The Understanding and Practice of Evaluation in Youth Ministry Communities of Practice in Illinois

    By Dr. Michael K Severe — Pages 286-308

    Evaluation is a powerful tool for improvement yet is often perceived as simply a rearview mirror into the past. A two-tier qualitative method was used to uncover the practice and understanding of evaluation among youth pastors in Illinois. Reliance on indicators, such as stories and observation, tended to reinforce assumptions in practice. Evaluation was pervasive, powerfully guided perception, and primarily implicit.

    Key Words: youth ministry, evaluation, communities of practice, networking, assessment, church work with youth

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  4. Rote Learning: A Revived Strategy for Religious Instruction

    By Joel A. Smelley Jr. — Pages 309-321

    This article is designed to explore the use of rote learning as a viable solution as an educational method. Argued herein, it is a viable method of teaching and learning if it is used within the framework of catechism, a method of teaching using the question-and-answer format. Important considerations such as the definition of rote learning, the benefits and limitations of rote learning, and the use of catechism in the home and church as a means to lead to meaningful learning are addressed. The catechism is a useful tool for presenting the gospel and passing along the faith once for all delivered to the saints to the next generation.

    Key Words: catechism, meaningful learning, rote learning

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  5. Transformational Learning in Ministry

    By Curtis J. Young — Pages 322-338

    Transformational learning theory describes the learning process that leads to deep change in adults. Transformational learning research has been conducted and described from within the discipline of adult education (Loder, 1981; Loder & Fowler, 1981; Mezirow, 1991; Taylor, 2000). The purpose of this research is to describe transformational learning from the perspective of practical theology, based on pastors’ observations of transformational learning in their ministries. With contextualized knowledge, ministry leaders can more readily foster transformational learning through ministry practices, including teaching, preaching, and counseling.

    Key Words: adult learning, Loder, Mezirow, pastoral ministry, qualitative research, transformational learning, transformative learning

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  6. Perception and Experience of Transformative Learning and Faculty Authenticity Among North American Professors of Christian Education (NAPCE)

    By Dr. Hokyung Paul Kang — Pages 339-359

    Perception and experience of transformative learning and faculty authenticity among Christian education professors in North America were explored in this qualitative research. Through convenient purposeful sampling, 19 professors from North American Professors of Christian Education were recruited for this study, and, ultimately, 16 professors participated in the whole research process. The findings from the research study consist of Christian professors’ experience and perception of transformative learning and faculty authenticity, and through the qualitative research analysis three components to “pedagogy of authenticity” were derived, namely (a) integrity; (b) facilitating disorientation; and (c) relational teaching.

    Key Words: faculty authenticity, transformative learning, NAPCE, professors.

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  7. Guest Editorial: Transfiguring Transformational Teaching

    By Dr. Beverly C. Johnson-Miller — Pages 360-364

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  8. Transformed by the Transfiguration: Reflections on a Biblical Understanding of Transformation and its Implications for Christian Education

    By Dr. S. Steve Kang and Michael Feldman — Pages 365-377

    How can we develop a biblical framework for understanding transformational education? The New Testament provides some keys for doing so. In this article, we look at the verb metamorpho through its uses by the New Testament authors in both the Gospels and in the Epistles. God provides an image and an invitation to his people to be transformed when Jesus Christ is transfigured before Peter, James, and John. Why was Christ transfigured, and how is it significant for transformational education today? How then can the apostles help us understand what this transformation looks like in our lives and the educational ministry of the church?

    Key Words: metamorpho, transfiguration, transformation, Romans 12:1–2

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  9. Conversational Teaching and Christian Transformation

    By Dr. Beverly C. Johnson-Miller — Pages 378-391

    Teaching that cultivates Christian transformation requires conversation, not just as a small component in the teaching process, but conversation as the overarching pedagogical framework and catalyzing force of transformational learning. This article aims to demonstrate the necessity of conversational teaching by discussing the meaning and magnitude of conversation as a force for learning and change; the progressive recognition of conversational epistemology in history; and how conversational teaching maximizes the interdependence of conversation and cognition as well as the social nature of knowing in relationship with God and all other aspects of life and faith. Reflections on life-changing encounters with Christ illustrate the transformational power, meta-components, and specific practices of teaching via conversation.

    Key Words: conversational teaching; social epistemology; Christian transformation; and Christian education

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  10. Stop, Look, Listen: Contemplative Teaching and Learning

    By Dr. E. Byron Anderson — Pages 392-406

    In an age of overwhelming quantities of information, an increasing superficiality of understanding, and an increasing emphasis on “devices,” Christian educators can invite learners into transformational learning through focal contemplative practices that help learners sharpen their attention and deepen their experience. Participation in focal practices invites the emergence of contemplation and helps cultivate a readiness to receive the gift of contemplation. This essay explores briefly the relationship between focal practice and contemplation. It then considers three particular practices that can support and encourage contemplative knowing across a range of teaching/learning contexts: contemplative looking, contemplative reading, and contemplative play.

    Key Words: contemplation, attentiveness, focal practice, device paradigm, lectio divina, Godly play

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  11. Transformational Teaching Insights from Neuroscience

    By Dr. Dean G Blevins — Pages 407-423

    The current intellectual and social interest in neuroscience invites Christian educators to engage this complex and sometimes disparate field for the sake of transformative teaching and learning. Recognizing that neuroscientists differ over the nature of transformation—as educators differ on a definition of transformative learning—should not detract from neuroscience’s contribution to transformative teaching within Christian education. This article contributes to the conversation by charting a “neuro-logical” approach to resources for transformative teaching and learning. The article maps the field of transformative learning, provides neuroscience insights that support transformative teaching through cognitive, emotional and social domains of neuroscience, and discusses approaches to neuroscience that explain the very processes of transformation within Christian education.

    Key Words: neuroscience, transformational teaching, transformative learning, Christian Education

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  12. Transformative Learning Theory: Connections with Christian Adult Education

    By Dr. Ellen L Marmon — Pages 424-431

    This article explores Transformative Learning Theory, primarily as asserted by Jack Mezirow, and highlights its relevance for the field of Christian education. The theory’s core elements of experience, critical reflection, corporate discourse, authentic relationships, and change identify significant building blocks of effective adult discipleship.

    Key Words: transformative learning, disorienting dilemma, critical reflection, corporate discourse

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  13. The Christian Story and Our Stories: Narrative Pedagogy in Congregational Life

    By Benjamin D. Espinoza — Pages 432-443

    Story has been shown in Christian education scholarship to be an effective pedagogical tool. However, story has become even more vital to Christian education in the postmodern world. This article explores how narrative pedagogy, a pedagogical approach that seeks to transform personal narratives with the narrative of the Christian faith, can prove to be an effective pedagogical approach that forms identities, strengthens communities, and transforms congregations. The article will also examine practical ways teachers can use narrative pedagogy in the church’s educational ministries and encourage scholars and practitioners to explore the possibilities of narrative pedagogy in Christian education.

    Key Words: narrative pedagogy, postmodernism, Christian education, story, congregational studies

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  14. Resources for Transfiguring Transformational Teaching

    By Dr. Beverly C. Johnson-Miller and Benjamin D. Espinoza — Pages 444-447

    Annotated Bibliography on Transformational Teaching

    Finding God in the Graffiti: Empowering Teenagers Through Stories. 2012. Frank Rogers, Jr. Pilgrim Publishing.

    Teaching as a Sacramental Act. 2004. Mary Elizabeth Mullino Moore. Pilgrim Publishing.

    Teaching and Christian Practices: Reshaping Faith and Learning. 2011. Edited by David I. Smith and James K.A. Smith. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

    The Teacher’s Way: Teaching and the Contemplative Life. 2005. Maria Lichtmann. Paulist Press.

    Teaching that Transforms: Facilitating Life Change Through Adult Bible Teaching. 2010. Richard Melick and Shera Melick. Broadman and Holman Academic.

    Neuroscience, Psychology, and Religion: Illusions, Delusions, and Realities about Human Nature. 2009. Michael Jeeves and Warren S. Brown. Templeton  Foundation Press.

    The New Science of Teaching and Learning: Using the Best of Mind, Brain, and Education Science in the Classroom. 2009. Tracey Tokuhama-Espinosa. Teachers College Press.

    Connecting Brain Research with Effective Teaching: The Brain-Targeted Teaching Model. 2003. Mariale M. Hardiman. R & L Education.

    Experience The Mystery: Pastoral Possibilities for Christian Mystagogy. 1994. David Regan. The Liturgical Press.

    Effective Bible Teaching. 2012. James Whilhoit and Leland Ryken. Baker Academic.

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  15. 2013 SPCE Scholastic Recognition Award Recipients

    By — Pages 448-449

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  16. Book Reviews

    By Dr. Jane Carr — Pages 450-501

    In this section 15 books are reviewed, presented in the following general order: children/family ministry, youth ministry, adult ministry, foundations, teaching-learning process, spirituality/spiritual formation, and leadership/administration—although reviews may not appear for each area. A list of each area and responsible editors appears after the last review in this section. We invite readers to consider reviewing a book for CEJ. Guidelines are available in downloadable documents at under Publications Policy on the drop down menu.

    Disability and the gospel: How God uses our brokenness to display his grace. By Michael S. Beates. Wheaton, IL: Crossway. 2012. 191 pp.
    Review by Barbara J. Newman, Special Educator, Author, and Church Consultant, CLC Network, Wyoming, MI.

    Family ministry: A comprehensive guide. 2nd ed. By Diana R. Garland. Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press. 2012. 585 pp.
    Review by Thomas Sanders, Director, Master of Arts in Children’s Ministry and Master of Arts in Family Ministry, Dallas Baptist University, Dallas, TX.

    The spiritual condition of infants: A biblical-historical survey and systematic proposal. By Adam Harwood. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock. 2011. 181 pp.
    Review by Sharon Warkentin Short, Online Educator and Course Developer in Christian Formation and Ministry, Renton, WA.

    Consuming youth: Leading teens through consumer culture. By John Berard, James Penner, & Rick Bartlett. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 2010.
    Review by Jason Lanker, Assistant Professor of Youth and Outdoor Leadership Ministries, John Brown University, Siloam Spring, AR.

    The shaping of things to come: Innovation and mission for the 21st-century church. 2nd ed. By Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books. 2013. 288 pp. Review by Benjamin D. Espinoza, Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, KY.

    Effective Bible teaching. By Leland Ryken and James C. Wilhoit. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic. 2012. 208 pp.
    Review by Jennifer Jagerson, Talbot School of Theology, La Mirada, CA.

    Christianity and the soul of the university: Faith as a foundation for intellectual community. Edited by Douglas V. Henry and Michael D. Beaty. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic. 2006. 192 pp.
    Review by Mark Eckel, V.P. Academic Affairs and Director of Interdisciplinary Studies, Crossroads Bible College, Indianapolis, IN.

    Excellence: The character of God and the pursuit of scholarly virtue. By Andreas J. Köstenberger. Wheaton, IL: Crossway. 2011. 270 pp.
    Review by Mark Eckel, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Director of Interdisciplinary Studies, Crossroads Bible College, Indianapolis, IN.

    Kingdom calling: Vocational stewardship for the common good. By Amy L. Sherman. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press. 2011. 271 pp.
    Review by Mark Eckel, V.P. Academic Affairs, Interdisciplinary Studies Director, Crossroads Bible College, Indianapolis, IN.

    Spirituality and the awakening self. By David G. Benner. Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press, 2012. 240 pp.
    Review by Beatrice Hyunkyung Kim, Christian Counseling, World Mission University, Los Angeles, CA.

    Servant leadership for higher education. By Daniel Wheeler. Colorado Springs, CO: Jossey-Bass. 2012. 190 pp.
    Review by Agus G. Satyaputra, President of Bandung Theological Seminary, Indonesia.

    Reframing academic leadership. By Lee G. Bolman & Joan V. Gallos. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons. 2011. 254 pp.
    Review by Cesar Morales, Academic Dean, Evangelical Seminary of Lima, Lima, Perú.

    Leading so people will follow. By Erika Andersen. San Francisco, CA: Jossey- Bass. 2012. 224 pp.
    Review by Debra Ross, Grow Ministry Associate, Christ Church of Oak Brook, Oak Brook, IL; Ph.D. student, Lancaster Bible College, Lancaster, PA.

    Deep and wide: Creating churches unchurched people love to attend. By Andy Stanley. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 2012. 350pp.
    Review by Angie Ward, Adjunct Professor, Lancaster Bible College, Denver Seminary, Trinity International University, and Crossroads Bible College.

    Marketing higher education: Theory and practice. By Felix Maringe & Paul Gibbs. New York, NY: Open University Press. 2009. 195 pp. $9.59.
    Review by S’ Joseph, Ph. D. Student, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University,
    La Mirada, CA.

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