Basic Issues Research in Theological Education

Project Number: 
Start Date: 
Tue, 07/01/1986
End Date: 
Sat, 04/30/1994

Following on previous work designed to assist theological schools in better understanding their distinctive mission, The Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada began a broad-based effort to concentrate on research into basic issues in theological education. Focused on competitive grants to individuals in approximately fifty schools, the program also included a planned series of seminars and summer conferences to promote critical response to research and another series of regional forums and national meetings to include a larger number of educators. It was also expected that the best reports would be published in a variety of media. In addition to publications, available in the product section in this database, a variety of products and activities emerged that, in themselves, constitute a profile of the work of this extensive grant program. They are listed here. 1) Appointment of an Advisory Committee and the ATS Council on Theological Scholarship and Research to supervise the grant program and to engage in conversation about the basic issues raised: a) Summary consultation, Council on Theological Scholarship and Research, 11/17-18/90 2) Through the Advisory Committee and ATS Council, the award of competitive grants to individuals and schools to study issues of institutional purpose and other basic issues in theological education (began in 1982): a) 1981-82: Joseph D. Ban, McMaster Divinity School (christological foundations); Francis Fiorenza, Catholic University (fundamental theology); W. Clark Gilpin, Phillips University Graduate Seminary (ecclesiology); Carter Heyward, Episcopal Divinity School (feminist theology); James F. Hopewell, Candler School of Theology (congregational studies); William Bean Kennedy, Union Theological Seminary (ideology); M. Douglas Meeks, Eden Theological Seminary (professionalism and justice-oriented mission); Robert L. Moore, Chicago Theological Seminary (cultural anthropology and social scientific models); Lewis S. Mudge, McCormick Theological Seminary, and James N. Poling, Bethany Theological Seminary (practical theology) b) 1982-83: Jackson Carroll, Hartford Theological Seminary; James H. Evans, Jr., Colgate Rochester; Cain H. Felder, Howard University; Thomas C. Oden, Drew University; Sharon Parks, Harvard University; George P. Schner, Regis; Charles M. Wood, Perkins School of Theology c) 1984-85: Franklin Sherman, Chicago Cluster Project; Charles Gerkin (practical theology as paradigm); Charles Courtney (religious pluralism and unity in theological education); Burton Mack (role of human sciences in theological education); Max Stackhouse (contextualism and theological education) d) 1985-86: Barbara J. Hargrove, Iliff School of Theology (sociological study of regionalism, religious perspectives and theological education); Robin M. Maas, Wesley Theological Seminary, and Gabriel O' Donnell, Dominican House of Studies (pluralism and spiritual formation); Rodney L. Petersen, Trinity Evangelical Theological Seminary (mission, ecclesiology and theological education); Rodney Hunter, Candler School of Theology (practical disciplines and implications for theological education) e) 1987-88: Gary J. Bekker, Gordon- Conwell Theological Seminary (spiritual formation); James F. Bradley, Fuller Theological Seminary (classic guides to spirituality); Ronald H. Cram, Presbyterian School of Christian Education (experiential learning and character formation); Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza, Episcopal Divinity School (hermeneutical reflection and theological education) f) 1987-88: Two commissioned grants: one to consider issues of pluralism, especially encounter between Christianity and other religions, the other to study presuppositions of feminist theological perspectives and their implications for Canadian theological education g) Grant support for October 1987 conference at University of Chicago Divinity School to respond to Christian Identity and Theological Education by Joseph Hough and John B. Cobb. h) Small grants to support institutional forums on basic issues: (1) 1987-88: Columbia Theological Seminary, Fuller Theological Seminary, Jesuit School of Theology (Berkeley, CA), Phillips Graduate Seminary, St. Paul Seminary, Talbot School of Theology, United Theological Seminary, Washington Theological Union 2) 1988-89: Denver Conservative Baptist Seminary, The University of Chicago Divinity School, Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology (Berkeley), Memphis Theological Seminary, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Louisville), Emmanuel College (Toronto), Presbyterian School of Christian Education, Pacific School of Religion, Vanderbilt Divinity School, Washington Theological Union 3) 1989-90: Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminaries, Emmanuel School of Religion, Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, Perkins School of Theology, Queen's Theological College (Ontario), and schools of the Kansas City Association of Theological Schools: St. Paul School of Theology, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Central Baptist Theological Seminary, Nazarene Theological Seminary i) 1988-89: Philip E. Devenish, University of Chicago Divinity School (purposes of theological education); Francis S. Fiorenza, Harvard Divinity School (theological and religious studies); Suzanne Johnson, Perkins School of Theology, SMU (educational implications of Charles Woods' Vision and Discernment) j) Commissioned grant on Black theological perspectives and their implications for theological education to Peter Paris, Princeton Theological Seminary k) Invitation to women at Toronto School of Theology to design study of Canadian feminist perspectives and implications for theological education; directed by Doris Dyke, Emmanuel College, Victoria University l) Commissioned grant to W. Clark Gilpin to prepare a retrospective account of Basic Issues Research program in the form of an intellectual history m) Grant to Leon Pacala to study executive leadership in theological education n) Grant for four consultations on issues of concern to underrepresented constituencies: Asian-Americans, African-Americans, Hispanic Americans and women 3) Through the Advisory Committee, conducting basic issues seminars for all persons receiving grants: a) Conference to support research projects, New Harmony, Indiana, April 12-14. 1983 b) Workshop for forum consultants with extended discussion of Vision and Discernment by Charles Wood, March 1988 with papers presented by Richard Mouw and Sharon Parks 4) Conducting a series of summer seminars for grantees and their academic deans focused on structural themes: a) "Education for Christian Ministry in a Religiously Diverse World," Estes Park, CO Seminar, 7/16 - 20/86 b) "Theological Education as the Formation of Character," Wayzata, MN Seminar, 7/15-19/87 c) "Commitment and Critical Inquiry in Theological Education, " Santa Barbara, CA Seminar, 7/6-10/88 d) "Criteria for Excellence in Theological Faculties, " New Harmony, IN, Seminar, 7/5-9/89 5) Conducting other national and regional forums for dissemination of, and critical response to, the research generated: a) Regional consultations on nature and meaning of basic issues program in Chicago, Toronto, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Dallas and San Francisco in October & November, 1981 b) Regional forums on the teaching offices of the church and theological education in New York City (10/13- 14/82), St. Louis (10/19-20/82), and San Francisco (10/26-27/82) c) Regional forums on unity and fragmentation in theological education in Chicago (10/3-4/83), Atlanta (10/12- 13/83), Boston (10/24-25/83), San Francisco (10/31-11/1/83) d) Convocation to focus on basic issues, Chicago, October 9-10, 1984 e) Workshop, "The Academic Dean and the Nurture of Theological Scholarship and Research," April 1987 f) Conference to assess and interpret research program through response to Wheeler and Kelsey evaluation report, San Francisco, 1/3-5/91 g) Deans' Consultation, "Building Theological Faculties of the Future," 3/1-3/91 h) Forum for thirty theological educators at the University of Chicago, January 1993, to discuss David Kelsey's To Understand God Truly: What's Theological about a Theological School (with critical reviews by Philip Devenish, James Evans, Sheila Greeve Devaney, Lisa Sowle Cahill, Robert Johnston and Craig Dykstra) 6) Publication of the research in Theological Education, books and other media: a) Summary report of findings from regional consultations in October & November, 1981, transmitted to all theological schools in January, 1982 b) Articles by Carl E. Braaten, John Cobb, Avery Dulles, Edward Frazer, Joseph C. Hough, Jr., George Lindbeck, Robert J. Schreiter and David Steinmetz from regional forums on the teaching offices of the church and theological education in New York City, St. Louis, and San Francisco in October, 1982 in Theological Education c) Articles by David H. Kelsey and Barbara G. Wheeler, James N. Poling and Donald E. Miller, Lewis S. Mudge, Joseph C. Hough, Jr., W. Clark Gilpin and Francis Schussler Fiorenza on "Issues in Theological Education" in Theological Education d) Article by David Kelsey reflecting on Consultation on basic issues, Chicago, October 1984, in Theological Education e) Article by James H. Evans, Jr. on Black church studies in Theological Education f) Book by Katie G. Cannon, et al. (The Mudflower Collective). God's Fierce Whimsey: Christian Feminism and Theological Education; also article by Carter Heyward et al. in Theological Education g) Book by Charles M. Wood, Vision and Discernment: An Orientation in Theological Study. h) Book by Francis Fiorenza, Foundational Theology, and article on foundational theology in Theological Education i) Book by Joseph C. Hough, Jr. and John B. Cobb, Jr. Christian Identity and Theological Education. j) Articles from Basic Issues grants by James Hopewell (congregational studies), Robert L. Moore (ritual studies), and George P. Schner (formation) in Theological Education, and by Thomas C. Oden (pastoral care) in Theology Today k) Book by Max L. Stackhouse et al., Apologia: Contextualization, Globalization, and Mission in Theological Education and article on contextualization in Theological Education l) Articles from summer seminar "Education for Christian Ministry in a Religiously Diverse World, " Estes Park, CO, 7/16 - 20/86, by Francis S. Fiorenza, James Gustafson, Margaret Miles, Richard Mouw and Gayraud Wilmore in Theological Education; also companion article by Francis Fiorenza in Theological Education m) Articles from workshop, "The Academic Dean and the Nurture of Theological Scholarship and Research, " April 1987, by Joseph C. Hough, Jr., Robert W. Lynn, Schubert M. Ogden, Jane I. Smith and Ronald F. Thiemann in Theological Education n) Articles from summer seminar, "Theological Education as the Formation of Character," Wayzata, MN Seminar, 7/15-19/87, by Douglas Hall, George Lindbeck, Robert Meye, Jane Smith and David Tracy in Theological Education, by David Kelsey in Theological Education (edited by W. Clark Gilpin); and Cornel West in Prophetic Fragments o) Book containing articles from Chicago conference in 1987 edited by Don S. Browning, David Polk and Ian S. Evison, The Education of the Practical Theologian: Responses to Joseph Hough and John Cobb's Christian Identity and Theological Education p) Book edited by Lewis S. Mudge and James N. Poling, Formation and Reflection: The Promise of Practical Theology q) Book edited by Joseph D. Ban, The Christological Foundations of Contemporary Theological Education r) "Basic Issues in Theological Education: A Selected Bibliography, " in Theological Education, prepared by W. Clark Gilpin s) Articles from summer seminar, "Commitment and Critical Inquiry in Theological Education," Santa Barbara, CA Seminar, 7/6-10/88, by John Coleman, Edward Farley, W. Clark Gilpin, Sallie McFague, Harry S. Stout, Vincent Wimbush with responses by Francis Fiorenza, Franklin Gamwell, David Kelsey, Barbara Wheeler and Charles Wood, in Theological Education t) Articles from summer seminar, "Criteria for Excellence in Theological Faculties, " New Harmony, IN, Seminar, 7/5-9/89, by Rebecca S. Chopp, John B. Cobb, Jr., W. Clark Gilpin, Garth M. Rosell, Roy I. Sano, George P. Schner, Marjorie H. Suchocki, Stephen Toulmin, and Ronald F. Thiemann in Theological Education u) Articles from Deans' Consultation, "Building Theological Faculties of the Future, 3/1-3/91, by Judith A. Berling, Frederick H. Borsch, Jane D. Douglass, James H. Evans, Jr., Thomas F. Gleeson, Joseph C. Hough, Jr., Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., David H. Kelsey and Barbara G. Wheeler, David H. Kelsey, Richard P. McBrien, Richard Mouw, Max L. Stackhouse, and Barbara Brown Zikmund in Theological Education v) Summary report and open letter from ATS Council on Theological Scholarship and Research to all ATS schools, adopted by the Council in November 1991 w) Article by Leon Pacala on executive leadership in theological education in Theological Education 7) Evaluation of the research results by the Auburn Theological Seminary team of Barbara Wheeler and David Kelsey: a) Articles by David H. Kelsey and Barbara G. Wheeler in Theological Education b) "Reflection" articles by David H. Kelsey in Theological Education c) Unpublished paper, "What Is Research in Theological Education?" by David Kelsey and Barbara Wheeler, presented at February 1989 meeting of Advisory Committee. (RG)

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