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A Lifelong Call to Learn [Paperback]

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Item Number 152339  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   296
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.2" Width: 6.04" Height: 0.8"
Weight:   0.98 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 31, 2001
Publisher   Abingdon Church Supplies
ISBN  0687071461  
EAN  9780687071463  


Availability  0 units.


Item Description...
Overview
Those who prepare themselves for ministry in theological seminaries and divinity schools receive in-depth instruction in the methods of biblical study, the theological traditions of the faith, and the practical tools related to preaching pastoral care, church administration, and the like. Yet five, ten, and twenty years after graduation they will tell you that, regardless of how excellent their education was, the most important lessons about the ministry have been learned while actively engaged in it.

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From the back of the book:  Sep 29, 2005
Those who prepare themselves for ministry in theological seminaries and divinity schools receive in-depth instruction in the methods of biblical study, the theological traditions of the faith, and the practical tools related to preaching pastoral care, church administration, and the like. Yet five, ten, and twenty years after graduation they will tell you that, regardless of how excellent their education was, the most important lessons about the ministry have been learned while actively engaged in it.

 
Learning never stops...  Feb 7, 2004
Continuing education is important in almost every field. Technology changes, new discoveries are made, new techniques are developed and established and traditional methods improved. This is as true in the field of ministry as any other -- even though the Bible is the same, the world has changed, so the way the world relates to it changes; while denominations and people may in many ways remain the same, there are also substantial changes that require adaptation.

Ministry is a field where much of the learning is on-the-job. Most minister go to seminary or through another kind of professional training and formation, but there are so many aspects of the profession that defy academic methodology (not that this isn't of vital importance as a foundation and framework). However, continuing education for ministers is often overlooked, in the crush of pastoral and administrative needs in the parish. Yet continuing education, from 'professional teachers' as well as peer-to-peer learning, is increasingly important for today's church.

This book edited by Robert E. Reber and D. Bruce Roberts looks at the issue of clergy continuing education. After examining the current state of affairs (official groups, denominational initiatives, seminary programmes, etc.) and the vision (or lack thereof) for continuing theological education, the authors explore some of the problems associated and the possibilities for greater participation and effectiveness, which include ideas such as clergy and lay participation in such programmes.

Perhaps the heart of the book lies in the section on practices. Here are chapters discussing clergy peer groups, linking faith and work (with a case study from Auburn involving legal professionals), theological education with and for the laity, working through extension sites and innovative programmes for continuing education (ITC in Atlanta is used as a good example here), and working for leadership in the increasingly multicultural environment of American society. This is more of a study than a how-to book, however, there are ideas here that can be useful, showing what works and doesn't, and what is available, and the inspired reader can use the references for further research.

The final two sections look at the nuts-and-bolts of creating and managing such continuing education programmes, including ideas for marketing, assessment, needs analysis, and more, and what the direction is for the future. In the final chapters, editors Reber and Roberts ask key questions, or rather, repeat the key questions that are at least implicit throughout much of the text. Will there be continuing education opportunities that are of interest? Will lifelong education for adults become at least an equal priority as the education of children? Will economic, racial and social barriers be effectively overcome to permit participation? Will this provide spiritual resources sought?

Reber and Roberts draw a large number of experts in the field of education, media, and religion (practical and academic) to the conversation, making a strong case for new and increased efforts for continuing theological education for clergy and laity of all denominations. Working with the needs and concerns of greater society as well as the innovations of new technology (current the world-wide web, but in the future other technology as it emerges), there are vast opportunities and possibilities, if we as theological 'professionals' will but taken advantage of them.

 

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