Special Issue "Practical Theology & Theological Education—An Overview"

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444). This special issue belongs to the section "Religions and Health/Psychology/Social Sciences".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 September 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Sheryl A. Kujawa-Holbrook
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Claremont School of Theology, Claremont, CA 91711, USA
Interests: interreligious education; theological education; Anglican studies; religion and education; Christian spiritualities
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

It has become a truism that most of us live within the midst of religious pluralism and there is a growing trend across theological schools to reflect this diversity of religious voices. In Christian contexts, we have been talking about the need to re-imagine theological education for the new generation. What lies ahead is the ongoing work of the transformation of humanity (and our planet) in which each one of us shares a part. It is integral to theological education today to teach theology in ways that acknowledge the value of context and individual stories; appreciate that there is not one truth, but multiple centers of truth; and, to cultivate activist-theologians who thrive on religious pluralism, while standing deeply within their own traditions. This style of leadership is found in the prophets, who both loved and challenged their own traditions. Theological education is about strengthening hearts and challenging minds. At its most basic, it is about creating intentional communities of transformation. This selection of articles from theological educators reflects the growing diversity of voices in the field, and their own experiences in the field. This work is yet to be fully realized; there is much ahead to do.

Prof. Dr. Sheryl A. Kujawa-Holbrook
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Theological Education
  • Interreligious Education
  • Interreligious Studies
  • Interreligious Dialogue
  • Religious Pluralism
  • Interfaith
  • Formation

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Article
The Openseminary Methodology: Practical Theology as Personal, Local and Transformative
Religions 2021, 12(8), 652; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12080652 - 17 Aug 2021
Viewed by 611
Abstract
Theological education continues to be subject to rapid social and technological change, which is further exacerbated by the recent global pandemic. Practical theology as a discipline continues to grow, being well placed methodologically to engage with diverse contexts and these global realities. The [...] Read more.
Theological education continues to be subject to rapid social and technological change, which is further exacerbated by the recent global pandemic. Practical theology as a discipline continues to grow, being well placed methodologically to engage with diverse contexts and these global realities. The task for theological education is whether it can meet these challenges and be part of the transformation required. Openseminary as a methodology and program was developed in the early 2000s by Wynand De Kock to enable students to both learn practical theology as a methodology, as well as reflect theologically in their own context. Over the last two decades, it has run in South Africa, at Tabor College in Australia, as well as Palmer Seminary in the United States. In what follows, the methodology and program are explored in terms of their genesis, history, and current articulation. It is argued that it is a practical theological methodology well suited to the personal, local, and transformative goals of theological education today. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Practical Theology & Theological Education—An Overview)
Article
Bivocational Ministry as the Congregation’s Curriculum
Religions 2021, 12(1), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12010056 - 15 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 876
Abstract
Ambiguities and uncertainties about defining bivocational ministry are an opportunity for theological reflection and religious education. This article begins by acknowledging a context of anxiety about congregational vitality in North American mainline denominations and utilizes Boyung Lee’s communal approach to religious education to [...] Read more.
Ambiguities and uncertainties about defining bivocational ministry are an opportunity for theological reflection and religious education. This article begins by acknowledging a context of anxiety about congregational vitality in North American mainline denominations and utilizes Boyung Lee’s communal approach to religious education to facilitate imagining new ways of being church for white-majority congregations, which seem to have difficulty coming to terms with bivocational ministry. The central sections of this article proceed descriptively, exploring the breadth of definitions of bivocational ministry and related terms, organized around several loci: vocation and ministry; jobs and finances; and commitment. Constructively, this article conceives of intentional bivocational ministry as the congregation’s curriculum, a practice of the entire faith community. This article concludes with a call for religious educators to assist in this endeavor. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Practical Theology & Theological Education—An Overview)
Article
Race, Disability and COVID-19: A DisCrit Analysis of Theological Education
Religions 2021, 12(1), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12010035 - 07 Jan 2021
Viewed by 853
Abstract
The coronavirus pandemic of 2020 has generated public debate and private discussion about systemic racism in contemporary U.S. society and the ill preparedness and misdirected focus of clergy responding to this crisis. Later research will reveal reasons trained clergy called denominational offices, requesting [...] Read more.
The coronavirus pandemic of 2020 has generated public debate and private discussion about systemic racism in contemporary U.S. society and the ill preparedness and misdirected focus of clergy responding to this crisis. Later research will reveal reasons trained clergy called denominational offices, requesting assistance to address the needs of patients and parishioners, and initiated lawsuits demanding to gather for worship against medical advice and government mandates. While theological educators cannot anticipate every emergency awaiting graduates, U.S. history records national crises (i.e., hurricanes, mass shootings, BLM protests, etc.) that repeat. Practical theology course offerings, course content and course assignments, therefore, should be designed to prepare students to lead in anticipation of personal and communal tragedies. As professors introduce students to theory/theorists, we must also create space for the development of critical consciousness about and praxis for: problem solving, advocacy, race relations, relationship building, crisis management, identity politics, privilege, implicit curriculums and race-based disparities in health care, policing, religion, education, etc. Critical Race Theorists assert that this nation’s colonial past still plagues contemporary behaviors, employing the framework of Disability Studies and CRT (Dis/Crit), I analyze theological education to address what has been identified as racial paterfamilias in the institution, which may explain our colonial/capitalist response to COVID-19. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Practical Theology & Theological Education—An Overview)
Article
DMin as Practical Theology
Religions 2021, 12(1), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12010031 - 04 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 515
Abstract
The Doctor of Ministry is a professional degree accredited by the Association of Theological Schools. As delineated by ATS, the theological program requires to meet specific learning outcomes in a minimum of 30 credit hours with a culminating project that contributes to the [...] Read more.
The Doctor of Ministry is a professional degree accredited by the Association of Theological Schools. As delineated by ATS, the theological program requires to meet specific learning outcomes in a minimum of 30 credit hours with a culminating project that contributes to the understanding of ministry practice. Practical theology is a discipline that seeks to take “both practice and theology seriously”. As a consequence, the DMin can be generally conceptualized as practical theology. However, this paper demonstrates a number of the specific ways in which this general claim can be substantiated. It does this with reference to a number of theoretical discussions within practical theology as to the discipline’s nature. It then examines the implication of this for the status of the DMin, student learning, program design, and the nature of the DMin project. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Practical Theology & Theological Education—An Overview)
Article
Theological Field Education as a Bridge across Disciplines
Religions 2021, 12(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12010010 - 24 Dec 2020
Viewed by 740
Abstract
Theological field education—also known as contextual education—operates as the explicitly embodied nexus of seminary-based learning, placing both practical theological and broader theological, religious, and/or spiritual educational frameworks in dialogue with one’s experiences within a particular site context. Drawing upon the example of the [...] Read more.
Theological field education—also known as contextual education—operates as the explicitly embodied nexus of seminary-based learning, placing both practical theological and broader theological, religious, and/or spiritual educational frameworks in dialogue with one’s experiences within a particular site context. Drawing upon the example of the events that took place in March 1965 at the Edmund Pettus Bridge connecting Selma to Montgomery, as well as the bridge’s enduring function as a material and symbolic site of transformation, connections are made to the ways that theological field education bridges both practical theology and other areas of theological education, generally and as actualized specifically within one theological school’s field education program, through three overarching themes: Embodiment, reflection, and formation. In the acts of bridging that occur in each of these areas, points of commonality are discussed and illustrated. Finally, initial suggestions for further bridging between disparate academic fields and theological field education are offered toward the cultivation of a more integrative, transformative curriculum. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Practical Theology & Theological Education—An Overview)
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