It is my pleasure to introduce our fourth “Mini-theme” issue of the Christian Education Journal for our readers. Along with our regular articles, this issue has a collection of seven articles focused on the role and development of field education in Christian higher education.
This mini-theme of CEJ focuses on field education in Christian education. As we begin a new century and a new millennium, field education becomes increasingly critical for a well-rounded education in professional ministry degrees in graduate and undergraduate schools. Clearly, churches and faith-based organizations want to hire people with at least some experience. And while field education, in the form of internships, practica, and student ministry, provides only limited experience, it is nonetheless some. George Hillman, in a very recent publication on internships titled Ministry Greenhouse: Cultivating Environments for Practical Learning (2008), offers three compelling reasons for field education (pp. 1–10). First, field education balances theological education. The Bible college and seminary must do both the practical application and theological preparation for ministry. In reality, however, the school cannot do it all. Thus, field education serves as a necessary
link between theory and practice (p. 4). Second, field education is a necessary component of leadership development. The academics of a sound theological education provide the groundwork for a biblical worldview and offer the basics of ministry leadership, “but the theoretical needs to be integrated with the practical in the leadership laboratory in the field” (p. 6). Third, ministry development needs a greenhouse. Just as greenhouses guard plants from the environmental hazards such as temperature extremities and pests, when done correctly field education experiences can provide an environment where the transformational process can begin for future ministers and other Christian leaders (pp. 8–9).
Field education, as a key link between Christian education institutions and practical ministry experience, has expanded in recent decades. This article introduces the reader to the foundational issues of field education including definition of terms, the nature of experiential education, the history of field education, and significant issues for field education related to educational ministry programs.
Schools preparing students for vocational ministry have used a variety of models to situate students in fieldwork placements. This article will categorize such designs by their relationship to the academic setting as well as by their duration. Some of the most common models of ministry placements, including their advantages and disadvantages, will be discussed along with detailed considerations concerning evaluation and selection. Two additional considerations related to placement and the models will be explored followed by a brief mention of some current trends in program design.
This article maintains that neither churches nor theological institutions alone prove adequate to accomplish the task of preparing ministers. Field education, as collaboration between church and institution, can utilize the best of both contexts to prepare "reflective practitioners." In order for this to happen, field education must move toward the center of the curriculum rather than be relegated to the margins. This article addresses the critical areas that enable this move.
This article examines the role of the field education supervisor as it relates to function and process. It is the writer's contention that observed emphases in supervisory paradigms, as these are appropriated in the arena of theological field education, may be largely descriptive of two primary responsibilities: mentoring and coaching. This treatment explores the development of the roles of "mentor" and "coach" as a means to clarify and extend the task of overseeing students in theological field education.
Field education has been utilized with classroom instruction for many years in Christian education programs. The oversight of these students by Christian education faculty has been limited by time and distance. The use of technology has some clear advantages of improving the oversight of these interns by alleviating some of the problems of time and distance and as a result improving the field education outcomes of the field-based educational process. This article will examine the value of using technology in field-based education, problems and concerns of using technology in field-based education, specific learning methods that can be used in field-based education, and several recommendations that will help implement technology into field-based Christian education programs.
This article describes a 9-month longitudinal study, which in part examined how seminary students (N=60) connect classroom learning with field education experiences. Findings indicate that many students began field education either underestimating the connections between their courses and ministry in the field or overestimating their ability to move between theory and practice. Over time, students gained a deeper appreciation of the nuanced connections between classroom and experiential learning. Some students emerged from this deeper sense of connection disillusioned by disconnects between real-life ministry and their classroom learning. This disillusionment is important for educators to expect, understand, and address.
The term constructivism is commonly used in the field of education. As a solely pedagogical term, it is helpful in understanding the human learning process. Yet, the term is often bundled together with a variety of overlooked or unconsidered philosophical assumptions that are unnecessary and often detrimental to its pedagogical underpinnings. Many educators unwittingly adopt the concept without understanding or fully delineating what form of constructivism they embrace. This article provides a simple background to help the educator recognize the many permutations of constructivism and helps them to tease out the philosophical baggage that often seems indelibly etched into the concept. Educators must learn to embrace the helpful pedagogy while critically determining for themselves whether to accept the attached baggage.
This three-part series considers the current and widespread trend of church-based small groups for adult spiritual formation. It is proposed that a focus on relationships must be kept in balance with learning and application of biblical truth in order for greater spiritual growth to result. The mini-series appears in three parts: The first article (Spring 2008) assesses small group ministries for an understanding of the current state of its sometimes blemished practice. In addition, a review of Christian-oriented small group literature is included, as well as an annotated bibliography of non- Christian-oriented small group literature. The second article (Fall 2008) is intended to augment small group practice by adapting key educational insights from the academic disciplines of group dynamics, communication theory, and educational psychology. The third article (Spring 2009) anchors small group practice by delving into the unique spiritual aspects of learning and addresses the biblical/ theological apologetic for the centrality of Scripture. Finally, suggested applications are given for small group leaders and trainers of leaders as to how adults may be more effectively stimulated to learn and grow through such group involvement.
The Five Smooth Stones: Essential Principles for Biblical Ministry. By Robertson McQuilkin. Nashville: B & H, 2007.
Review by Thomas Kimber, former church planter with the Evangelical Free Church International Mission, adjunct professor at Talbot School of Theology.
The future of Christian learning: an Evangelical and Catholic dialogue. By Mark A. Noll and James Turner; Thomas Albert Howard, ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos. 2008.
Review by Randall Nolan, Curriculum developer, Briercrest Distance Learning, Saskatchewan, Canada.
Theological reflection and education for ministry: The search for integration in theology. By John E. Paver. Burlington, VT: Ashgate. 2006.
Review by Sylvia Soeherman, Christian Education Department, Southeast Asia Bible Seminary,Malang, Indonesia.
Treating trauma and traumatic grief in children and adolescents. By Judith A. Cohen, Anthony P. Mannarino, and Esther Deblinger. New York: The Guilford Press. 2006.
Review by Kim Pond, Adjunct Faculty, Department of Religion,Wayland Baptist University, Plainview, TX.
Children and spirituality: Searching for meaning and connectedness. By Brendan Hyde. London: Jessica Kingsley. 2008.
Review by Annie George, faculty member in the Department of Christian Ministry, Faith Theological Seminary, Kerala, India.
Strategies for educating African American children. By Judith St. Clair Hull. Chicago: Urban Ministries. 2006.
Review by Dawn R.Morton, Adjunct Professor of Christian Education, Ashland Theological Seminary, Ashland, OH.
Follow me:What’s next for you? By Greg L.Hawkins and Cally Parkinson. Barrington, IL: Willow Creek Association. 2008.
Review by Kevin E. Lawson, Director of Ph.D. and Ed.D. programs in Educational Studies, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University, La Mirada, CA.
Multiple Intelligences: New Horizons (Revised and Updated). By Howard Gardner. New York: Basic Books, 2006.
Reviewed by Betty J. T. Shen Lu, Doctoral student, Talbot School of Theology, La Mirada, CA
Renewing minds: Serving church and society through Christian higher education. By David S. Dockery. Nashville, TN: Broadman and Holman. 2007.
Review by Richard Holt, Vice President of Program Design, Lee Hecht Harrison Inc., Woodcliff Lake, NJ, and Ed.D. student, Talbot School of Theology, La Mirada, CA.
Transforming church: Bringing out the good to get to great. By Kevin Graham Ford. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House. 2007.
Review by Joy Eunjung Song, Ph.D. student, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University, La Mirada, CA.
Real power: Stages of personal power in organization. 3rd ed. By Janet O. Hagberg. Salem,WI: Sheffield. 2003.
Reviewed by Troy Wathen, Headmaster, Providence Classical School, Spring, TX.
The teaching ministry of the church. 2nd ed. Edited by William R. Yount. Nashville, TN: B&H. 2008.
Review by Jeff Ritchey, Christian Education, Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary, Cochrane, AB Canada.
Introduction to Christian education and formation: A lifelong plan for Christcentered formation. By Ron Habermas. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 2008.
Review by James Mohler, Chair, Department of Biblical & Theological Studies, Talbot School of Theology, La Mirada, CA.
Water from a deep well: Christian spirituality from the early martyrs to modern missionaries. By Gerald L. Sittser. Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press. 2007.
Review by Rob Rhea, Chaplain and Director of Student Ministry, Trinity Western University, Langley, B.C., Canada.
Spiritual Formation as if the Church Mattered: Growing in Christ through Community. By James C. Wilhoit. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic. 2008.
Reviewed by Mark H. Heinemann, Associate Professor of Christian Education, Dallas Seminary, Dallas, TX.
From a list of NAPCE members, professors who teach Foundations of Education courses were asked to provide a list of textbooks utilized in their classes. Thirty-five individuals responded, and the following 14 books were listed most often. Each review below grows out of experienced classroom use by the reviewer. Longer reviews of some of these texts have appeared in previous issues of the CEJ. Reviews are organized alphabetically by the last name of the author of the book.
Introducing Christian education: Foundations for the Twenty-first Century. Edited by Michael J. Anthony. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic. 2001. 289 pp. $32.99.
Exploring the history and philosophy of Christian education: Principles for the 21st century. By Michael J. Anthony and Warren S. Benson. Grand Rapids,MI: Kregel. 2003. 443 pp. $26.00. paper.
Christian education: Foundations for the future. Edited by Robert E. Clark, Lin Johnson, and Allyn K. Sloat. Chicago, IL: Moody Press. 1991. 640 pp. $39.99.
Teaching for spiritual growth. By Perry Downs. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 1994. 224 pp. $24.99.
The teaching ministry of the church. Edited by Daryl Eldridge. Nashville, TN: Broadman. 1996. 326 pages. $34.99.
C.E.: The heritage of Christian education. Edited by James Riley Estep, Jr. Joplin,MO: College Press. 2003. 315 pp. $29.99. Includes CD.
Historical and philosophical foundations of education: A biographical introduction. 4th ed. By Gerald Gutek. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education. 2005. 451 pp. $78.00. paper.
Philosophy and education: An introduction in Christian perspective. Rev. ed. By George R. Knight. Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press. 2006. 301 pp. $24.99. paper.
50 foundational documents for Christian teachers & ministers. By Robert Franklin Lay. Marion, IN: Indiana Wesleyan Print Shop. 2004. 306 pp. $35.00. paper with CD.
God our teacher. By Robert Pazmiño. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic. 2001. 208 pp. $20.00. paper.
Foundational issues in Christian education: An introduction in evangelical perspective. 3rd ed. By Robert Pazmiño. Grand Rapids,MI: Baker Academic. 2008. 296 pp. $26.99. paper.
A history of Christian education. By James E. Reed and Ronnie Prevost. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman. 1993. 386 pp. $34.99. paper.
Basics of Christian education. By Karen Tye. St. Louis, MO: Chalice Press. 2000. 142 pp. $18.99. paper.
Created to learn: A Christian teacher’s introduction to educational psychology. By William R. Yount. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman. 1996. 394 pp. $39.99.
Elaine Becker, Director of Degree Completion, Tyndale University College, Toronto, OH (EB)
Dean G. Blevins, Professor of Christian Education,Nazarene Theological Seminary, Kansas City, MO (DB)
Robert Drovdahl, Professor of Educational Ministries, Seattle Pacific University, Seattle, WA (RD)
Dennis Fledderjohann, Professor of Educational Ministries, Moody Bible Institute, Chicago, IL (DDF)
Denis Frediani, Education Ministries, Bethel Seminary of the East, Willow Grove, PA (DF)
Darwin Glassford, Associate Professor of Church Education, Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, MI (DG)
Alvin Kuest, Professor of Christian Education, Great Lakes Christian College, Lansing,MI (AK)
Jeff Ritchey, Professor of Religious Education, Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary, Cochrane, AB (JR)
David Setran, Associate Professor of Christian Formation and Ministry, Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL (DS)