Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Providing a Taster for Theological Education

Further in the series on creative things happening in theological education is the notion of a short term trial and experience of something that could go longer and deeper.

The idea is to provide courses or streams for those not sure about or ready for a three year Seminary Education.

Morling College, Sydney, Australia has developed Plunge, a “one year of focussed biblical and spiritual engagement for 18-23 year olds looking to journey deeper into life and faith.” It leads to a Certificate in Christian Studies but it is a first step for people testing out whether they want to plunge deeper.

Tabor College, in Victoria, Australia has A Year in the Son, which is similar to Morling’s Plunge and is developed for the same purpose.

The theological rationale for this approach is ‘taste and see’!

People make a short term commitment which suits the generation that finds commitment hard to muster. It gives them the experience of theological education, earns them credit if they choose to pursue a longer journey and overcomes the idea and stigma of ‘dropping out’ if they leave during the first part of a three year course.

Thanks to Graham Hill, Lecturer in Pastoral & Practical Studies at Morling College, for drawing our attention to this creative idea.

If you have a creative idea in theological education that you think would be encouraging to others, send me a letter and we can make a posting.

Dr. Geoff Pound

Image: Plunge!