Compassionate teaching is not new; however, the topic is receiving renewed interest as educators around the world endeavour to respond empathetically and practically to students’ complex holistic needs. This review provides practical insights from the Bible and secular educational literature that will appeal to Christian teachers in a wide range of educational contexts including churchbased ministries. One implication from this study is that teachers and leaders within church educational ministries and Christian schools might critically reflect on how authentically compassion is experienced within their communities. The report concludes by emphasizing that judicious and relational expressions of compassion can have a transformational effect in people’s behavior and learning, supporting the injunction in Jude 1:22: “and of some have compassion, making a difference” (KJV).
Key words: Christian education, compassionate pedagogy, restorative practices, transformative teaching.
There is currently no empirically supported consensus on what children’s ministers need to know in order to effectively serve the children in their local congregations. To shed light on this question, this paper presents a qualitative content analysis of undergraduate children’s ministry degree programs in the United States (N = 30). Findings revealed a strong emphasis on theology and general ministry preparation, with most programs drawing from the related academic disciplines of psychology and education. Children’s ministry specific courses included philosophical, programming, and administrative topics. Commonly assigned textbooks included both philosophical and practical content. Implications for practice and research are discussed.
Keywords: higher education, training, clergy, children’s pastors, family ministry, religious education
The purpose of this study was to discover the connection between the lived experiences with Christianity of teenage African-American females ages 16 to 18 and their self-esteem by exploring their lived experiences with this form of faith. The participants in the study were African-American females who all attended church at a large, predominantly African-American congregation in Prince George’s County, Maryland, identified by the initials MEBC. All of the participants had a belief in God and used prayer to exercise that belief. The average age of the participants was 17.25. Their level of education ranged from completion of 11th grade to completion of the first year of college with an average of 11.65 years of education. All of the participants live in Prince George’s County, Maryland, in the cities of Clinton, Waldorf, and Capital Heights. Three of the participants were raised in two-parent families and the other five were raised in single-parent homes. This qualitative inquiry used a phenomenological design. A total of five main themes emerged from the data: (a) prayer to God, (b) believe in God, (c) high self-esteem based on Christian values, (d) Christian walk impacts self-esteem, and (e) seeking help from God.
Key words: self-esteem, Christianity, spirituality, African-American teenagers, phenomenology
This is an examination of the experience of adolescent conversion, with particular attention to teenagers who report having made multiple commitments to Christ. Conversion of these teenagers is seen as a long process containing multiple spiritually significant commitment events. The aspects of faith that James Fowler measures to mark the transition from his mythic/literal stage to the synthetic/conventional stage are used as a framework to understand the perceived need of these teenagers to make what appear to be multiple commitments to Christ.
Key Words: conversion, adolescent conversion, child evangelism, James W. Fowler, faith development, adolescence, identity development
In an attempt to encourage the retelling of Bible stories and holistically engaging Scripture, I developed an approach I call Storymakers. It is an approach to reading and engaging Scripture that is both simple and profound, that pays attention to the text and also one’s personal story. Because of its simplicity, participants have little difficulty in learning and practicing it. In this article, I explain the foundational elements that underpin Storymakers and give a description of its actual practice through its five movements.
Key Words: Bible study, lectio divina, Scripture meditation, small group Bible study
The vast majority of the institutions that comprise the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) fall short of their stated diversity objectives. In view of this gap in practice, the author argues that CCCU educators should explore Culturally Responsive Pedagogy’s (CRP) transformative potential for the teaching and learning that takes place in their multicultural classrooms. This article examines several ways in which this approach challenges common majority-culture educators’ assumptions about culture, power, and teacher-student roles and discusses suggestions for CCCU educators’ professional development and personal transformation in light of CRP. Key Words: culturally responsive pedagogy, multicultural classrooms, funds of knowledge, community cultural wealth, teacher-student role reversals
The concept of team teaching is not new, but based on her qualitative research findings the author has conceptualized intercultural team teaching in the field of theological education and its implications for global theological education. This article introduces the model that emerged from a bilingual qualitative case study exploring the contextual appropriateness of a graduate theological program in Korean at a North American theological school. How does teaching and learning happen across languages and cultures in the theological classroom? By design, intercultural team teaching can be a pedagogical model for intercultural collaboration in global theological education.
Key words: intercultural team teaching (ITT), team teaching, co-teaching, global theological education, intercultural teaching collaboration
In a learning community, the skilled use of dialogue as a mode of communication has the potential to nurture student growth, encourage authentic relationship development, and open new vistas of thought and action. Leaning on seminal authors such as Bohm, Buber, Freire, and Isaacs, the focus of this article is to explore the process, practices, purpose, people, produce, and potential of dialogue, highlighting implications for educational ministry in the classroom and beyond.
Keywords: dialogue, group learning, educational practice
Narrative has long held pride of place in human formation and development, enjoying ubiquity if not primacy in educational theories. Developments in neuroscience resonate with many educational concepts regarding narrative, with intriguing implications for educational practice. The insights of interpersonal neurobiology and the fresh perspectives they provide on narrative open up a new frontier of innovation in how we intentionally seek to steward the spiritual formation of our children.
Keywords: narrative, interpersonal neurobiology, Christian formation
This article outlines a pedagogical approach named facilitated agency with a focus on its relational and learning process aspects. This overview will include the approach’s biblical foundations, core values, and basic structure. Following a brief literature review, key findings from 13 focus groups regarding participant experience of facilitated agency will be presented. Finally, emerging implications for teaching and learning practice will be discussed.
Key Words: facilitation, agency, hospitable pedagogy, inquiry-based learning, iteration, learning communities
Answering your kids’ toughest questions. By Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson. Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House. 2014. 173 pp.
Review by Shelly Melia, Assistant Professor of Childhood Education, Dallas Baptist University, Dallas, TX.
Children’s ministry in the way of Jesus. By David M. Csinos and Ivy Beckwith. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity. 2013. 208pp.
Review by Sharon Warkentin Short, Online Educator in Christian Formation and Ministry, Renton, WA.
The spiritual guidance of children: Montessori, godly play, and the future. By Jerome W. Berryman. Harrisburg, PA: Moorehouse Publishing. 2013. 212 pp.
Review by Colleen R. Derr, Associate Professor of Congregational Spiritual Formation and Christian Ministries, Wesley Seminary, Indiana Wesleyan University, Marion, IN.
Kingdom family: Re-envisioning God’s plan for marriage and family. By Trevecca Okholm. Eugene, OR: Cascade Books. 2012. 192 pp.
Review by Benjamin D. Espinoza, Covenant Church, Bowling Green, OH.
Exploring and engaging spirituality for today’s children: A holistic approach Edited by La Verne Tolbert. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock. 2014. 345 pp.
Review by Sara McReynolds, Research and Teaching Assistant Intern, Wesley Seminary, Marion, IN; undergraduate student at Indiana Wesleyan University, Marion, IN.
Blur: A new paradigm for understanding youth culture. By Jeff Keuss. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 2014. 198 pp.
Reviewed by Robert Drovdahl, School of Theology, Seattle Pacific University, Seattle, WA.
Foundations for youth ministry: Theological engagement with teen life and culture. 2nd ed. By Dean Borgman. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic. 2013. 297 pp.
Review by Darwin K. Glassford, Professor of Church Education and Director of MA Programs, Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, IN; Executive Pastor, Harderwyk Ministries, Holland, MI.
Hemorrhaging faith: Why and when Canadian young adults are leaving, staying and returning to church. By James Penner, Rachael Harder, Erika Anderson, Bruno Désorcy, and Rick Hiemstra. Richmond Hill, ON: Evangelical Fellowship of Canada. 2012. 139 pp.
Review by Kelvin F. Mutter, Associate Professor of Counseling and Spiritual Care, McMaster Divinity College, Hamilton, ON.
Jesus centered youth ministry: Moving from Jesus-plus to Jesus-only. Rev. ed. By Rick Lawrence. Loveland, CO: Group. 2013. 236 pp.
Review by Jason Lanker, Assistant Professor of Youth Ministries, John Brown University, Siloam Spring, AR.
Shield of faith: The power of religion in the lives of LDS youth and young adults. By Bruce A. Chadwick, Brent L. Top, and Richard J. McClendon. Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center. 2010. 367 pp.
Review by Darwin K. Glassford, Professor of Church Education, Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, MI; Executive Pastor, Harderwyk Ministries, Holland, MI.
Fostering faith: Teaching and learning in the Christian church. By Denise Janssen with Diane Janssen Hemmen and Sallie Verner. Valley Forge, PA: Judson Press. 2014. 115 pp.
Review by David Strawn, Minister of Education, First Baptist Church, College Station, TX; Resident Fellow in Christian Education, B.H. Carroll Theological Institute, Arlington, TX.
Teaching for a culturally diverse and racially just world. Edited by Eleazar S. Fernandez. Eugene, OR: Cascade Books 2014. 280 pp.
Review by William Yoo, Assistant Professor of American Religious and Cultural History, Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, GA.
Flourish: A visionary new understanding of happiness and well-being. By Martin E. P. Seligman. New York, NY: Atria. 2011. 349 pp.
Review by Judy L. Glanz, Educational Ministries, Multnomah University, Portland, OR.
A boy grows in Brooklyn: An educational and spiritual memoir. By Robert W. Pazmiño. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock. 2014. 134 pp.
Review by Rob O’Lynn, School of Bible and Ministry, Kentucky Christian University, Grayson, KY.
Christian spiritual formation: An integrated approach for personal and relational wholeness. By Diane J. Chandler. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic. 2014. 363 pp.
Review by Lisa Milligan Long, Christian Ministries, Lee University, Cleveland, TN.
Becoming whole and holy: An integrative conversation about Christian formation. By Jeannine K. Brown, Carla M. Dahl, and Wyndy Corbin Reuschling. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker. 2011. 214 pp.
Review by Benjamin D. Espinoza, Director of Youth and Community Life, Covenant Church, Bowling Green, OH.
Formation in faith: The congregational ministry of making disciples. By Sondra H. Matthaei. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press. 2008. 132 pp.
Review by Kirstin Phillips, MDiv Student, Wesley Seminary, Marion, IN.
Gospel coach: Shepherding leaders to glorify God. By Scott Thomas and Tom Wood. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 2012. 240 pp.
Review by Neal Ledbetter, Director of Campus Life, University of Mobile, Mobile, AL; PhD student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY.
Engaging resistance: How ordinary people successfully champion change. By Aaron D. Anderson. Stanford, CA: Stanford Business Books. 2011. 202 pp.
Review by Paul Wright, Rector, Instituto Bíblico Evangélico Mendoza, República Argentina.