In obedience to Christ’s command, we seek to “make disciples … teaching them to obey” all that he commanded (Mt. 28: 18-20). Discipleship education (Christian faith formation) is a complex process, which requires not just biblical and theological foundations, but a thorough understanding of pedagogical, developmental and curricular theories. The mission of this program is to develop educational leaders to build the church for its mission in the world. Graduates of this programme will demonstrate the following outcomes on completion of their studies:
- A cogent biblical-theological foundation and vision for education as a potent force in forming the church for mission in the world.
- Cognizant of major educational philosophies in the history of western education and their impact on church education.
- Understand conceptual issues of curriculum theory and their applications to learning, faith development and the traditional forms of church life.
- Understanding and evaluation of the role of developmental psychology to Christian education and faith development.
- Outline foundational and conceptual issues related to the integration of the social sciences within the theological curriculum for disciplined research in educational ministries.
Understanding the theory and design of qualitative research (ethnography) to facilitate the reading and analysis of culture for contextualized ministry planning and strategy.
- Able to articulate and implement a clear vision for Christian education & faith formation in the church.
- Able to motivate and lead the church toward an equipping and missional paradigm for ministry, i.e. every member taking responsibility for Christian discipleship, ownership and use of spiritual gifts and active engagement of the faith community with the social & cultural contexts. The purpose of the “church gathered” is for the “church scattered.”
- Familiar with basic educational theories and adept with a repertoire of teaching approaches appropriate to children, youth and adult learners.
- Wrestled with the definitions of key elements in an educational philosophy (e.g. metaphysics, epistemology, axiology) and developed a personal “pedagogical creed” that is both biblical and educational, and which forms the seedbed for a teaching ministry and ongoing reflection.
- Able to conduct needs assessment, evaluate published curriculum and educational events with greater precision and depth.
- Able to design and carry out developmentally appropriate teaching for a children, youth and adults.
- Able to design, carry out and evaluate field-based research projects for educational planning and theory development.
Character and Spiritual Formation
- The teacher is convinced that God’s Word is foundational for the formation and preservation of God’s people. Thus, the teacher must first be a passionate student of the Word.
- The teacher always seeks congruence between theory and practice, profession and life. Teaching not only informs the mind, but also stirs foundational values resulting in life change. Thus, the teacher consistently seeks to conform to the Word, and teaches to change lives.
- The teacher realizes that life change is ultimately the work of the Holy Spirit, within the context of a community of faith. Thus, the teacher views teaching and learning as both spiritual and communal acts.
- The teacher adopts Christ’s model of “self-emptying” as the paradigm for the teaching ministry, and strives to walk alongside learners to better understand their contexts and needs. For the teacher, teaching (and learning) involves a transaction in truth between two or more people in a relationship.