Denominational Identity and Higher Education: Formation and Discernment

From: Volume 2NS, Issue 2: Fall 1998 Pages 111-122


Denominations such as the Church of the Nazarene face a crisis of theological identity in the new, postmodern world. Denominational universities and colleges, and their religion departments, are often called upon to teach for ecclesial identity. Religion faculty who desire to teach for identity, however, face a number of tensions in balancing the internal forces of the liberal arts environment with their ministerial background and academic training. These tensions can be explored through an analysis of prescriptive and descriptive educational methods. An alternative approach based upon methods of formation and discernment is offered as a means to reconceive identity formation in higher education and perhaps overcome the current tensions.



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