Theological Reflection on Experience (Case Study)
Case Studies will be shared and discussed during the Ministry Reflection Seminars (MRS). Email your case study to the other members of your group at least three days before the MRS. Submit a revised copy of the case study (online through the Internship Course page) to the TSIP Director within seven days after the MRS . Length: Reports should not exceed five (5) typed, single-spaced pages in length. The questions are suggestive, not prescriptive.
Select an Experience
- Think of several key incidents in your current placement in which you personally played a role. Select one, preferably one that was particularly challenging for you or that raised questions, concerns, or uncertainties.
- The best learning and most fruitful reflections are sparked by the selection of an experience that caused puzzlement, uncertainty, self-doubt, value conflict, dilemma, or dissonance between one’s expressed and operative theology.
Narrate the Experience (What happened?) - One page
- Briefly narrate the experience. Describe what happened (not what you felt or what should have happened) answering the basic questions of “who, what, when, where, and how.”
- Narrow the focus by identifying one segment of the experience that represents a key issue or critical concern.
- Describe how you specifically responded (provide a short verbatim or summary). What were you thinking and feeling as you went through this experience?
- Describe the response of others.
Analyze the Experience - One page
- What key issues do you see as being significant in this situation (e.g. interpersonal dynamics, social forces, cultural issues, power dynamics, value conflicts, assumptions, attitudes, etc.).
- How does this experience challenge your personal values, convictions, and faith tradition?
- List specific questions you are bringing to the group for reflection (i.e. What opportunity did I miss? How else could I have handled the situation?)
Reflect on the Experience - One page
- What key theological themes does this experience evoke or challenge?
- What Biblical principles or stories seem applicable in this context?
- What learning and insights from your theological studies are relevant?
- What insights from your personal faith experiences are called to mind?
- How do you perceive God to be present in this experience?
Assess Your Learning (complete this portion after sharing/interacting with your group) - One page
- What insights have surfaced from your reflection that you can take with you into this particular ministry situation or similar situations in the future?
- How has this experience challenged and/or affirmed your personal beliefs and theological convictions?
What have you learned from this experience about the practice of ministry?
What have you learned about yourself and your identity as a ministering person?
How will this change your behaviour, or philosophy of ministry as you move forward?