Theological Reflection on Experience
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 and 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?