Issues, Themes, and Models in Theological Education (Phase 3)

Project Number: 
Start Date: 
Wed, 01/01/1992
End Date: 
Mon, 05/30/1994

In this third phase of its review of basic issues in theological education, faculty of the seminary continued exploration of basic issues in theological education in the context of a review of its Master of Divinity curriculum. The curriculum they developed crossed disciplinary boundaries and brought more intellectual and spiritual depth to those preparing for ministry. The Seminary compiled papers and planning documents that would enable other theological institutions to benefit from its experience. The work of this grant was based on faculty position papers on pedagogy, spirituality, worship, Christology, salvation, religious pluralism, the Reformed tradition, the history of Columbia Seminary, theological education in the 21st century, Christian Education, a theological critique of contemporary culture, and the integration of credit and noncredit seminary programs. Seminars were also held under the direction of John Cobb and Robert Bellah in preparation for this work. Charles Cousar, Professor of New Testament at Columbia, was chair of the project steering committee. Issues addressed under this phase of the project included the nature of the cultural context (Christian or post- Christian) in which theological education occurs and the Church exists, the relationship between tradition and experience in the theological conversation, how therapeutic and liberation models fit together in a curriculum, how Columbia's emphasis on globalization and international study are integrated into the total curriculum, to what extent a congregational setting is employed as the location for certain theological and practical components of the curriculum, whether and how their first-level courses will serve as an experimental field for a new model in theological education, and what it means pedagogically to educate adult learners and to invite them into the learning-teaching context as co-participants. (KA)