Tuesday, December 29, 2009

TWB News by Email

Change of Method
I am no longer announcing requests for teachers or mentioning ‘Expressions of Interest’ by public blog posts.

Instead I am sending regular newsletters by email including ‘Macedonian Calls’ and teaching opportunities.

While this may look like a reversion from the newer (circa 1997) web log technology to the ancient (circa 1969) practice of electronic mail, the change is made to better target the information and to safeguard privacy.

Ramping Up
This change in no way represents a scaling down of operations as the more direct approach to your Inbox will hopefully ramp up activities and lead to more personal one-to-one conversations.

Broader Base—Greater Reach
While Theologians Without Borders was born (2006) and grew under the auspices of the Baptist World Alliance, it is well and truly interdenominational in character and ecumenical in spirit.

TWB serves seminaries and challenges teachers to volunteer from many different branches of the Christian church.

Staying Alive
This Theologians Without Borders blog will remain alive to serve as an archive of information, opportunities and ideas about theological education.

Action
* To become acquainted with Theologians Without Borders follow these links to read some basic information in English, Spanish, French, German, Bahasa, Tagalog, Portuguese and Italian. For other languages try Google Translate.

* Let me know if your seminary, school or Convention has a need for a teacher or trainer and I will get the word out.

* Register your interest (without commitment) in serving as a theological teacher or trainer in a short term international assignment by sending to me your CV, a digital photo, a completed Expression of Interest form and the email addresses of two referees.

* Write to me if you would like to be added to the Theologians Without Borders mailing list. My address is geoffpound(at)gmail.com

Dr Geoff Pound
Coordinator of Theologians Without Borders.


Friday, October 23, 2009

Teacher Requested for Sri Lanka

A seminary in SL is requesting a person to visit them in the week, 15-19 February 2009.

The one week intensive course is at the Bachelors level and the subject can be arranged in accordance with the teacher’s areas of expertise.

Do let me know if you are interested in exploring this opportunity of service.

For First Time Readers of TWB or a Refresher
A general introduction to Theologians Without Borders is offered in several languages at these links:
Theologians Without Borders
Teólogos Sin Fronteras
Théologiens Sans Frontières
Theologen Ohne Grenzen
Ahli Teologi Tanpa Sempadan
Ang mga Dalubhasa sa Salita ng Diyos na Walang Hangganan
Teólogos Sem Fronteiras
Teologi Senza Frontiere

Interested in Serving With TWB?
A good place to start (without making a commitment) is to adapt this Expression of Interest and send your information with a digital photo to me.

Dr Geoff Pound

Coordinator, Theologians Without Borders

Contact me on email at geoffpound[@]gmail.com or on Facebook or Twitter.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Diary of a Theologian Without Borders

Dr T is from the south Pacific and is spending his sabbatical in different parts of India.

I thought it would be enrich to post excerpts of his travel diary as a way of broadcasting some of his thoughts about doing theological education in another culture and to illustrate the enrichment it is for people who undertake this service.

Daily food is an interesting part of my visit to India. Sometimes it is a case of buy it if it is available. Otherwise make do. I am enjoying rice and noodles but also have potatoes. Dahl is a tasty sauce on fish cakes or fried chicken that A prepares for me. Today she made a custard with nuts, apple and sultanas in it – my first dessert in India. I will make one bowl last a few days.

I rise with the sun at 5 am breakfast after 6, when I have cornflakes with banana or delicious mango, and milk from powder. I get the best toast using the Teflon frypan, especially as the electric toaster suffers from the frequent low voltage power. I can spread vegemite that G gave me, or cheese from a tin, or honey or jam.

My colleague Y (31) takes me shopping via rickshaw, about ten minutes. The store is like a Dimmys with a small food section. The building is still under construction. You can see how bamboo is used for scaffolding even to support newly poured concrete floors. Near the school gate, a man spreads his plastic and various vegetables we buy fruit weighed on traditional scales, beans, cabbage, squash, pumpkin.

In the early evening I make a light meal, perhaps with egg, or some left overs. In between I have snax and even chocolate. I have enjoyed meals in some faculty homes. But last week I inadvertently loaded a sauce which they soon told me had lots of chili in it. I have learnt the hot way that I can manage curry OK. But chili wipes me out!

So Indian food is rich and enjoyable, as also the food for thought that nourishes us. Yesterday we farewelled the very delightful Dr K, a retired international professor of Old Testament, which is also my area). It has been amazing to me how in special campus lectures we each gave we put a common viewpoint, namely that Law and Gospel go hand in hand throughout the Bible.

My students are first year with BA or B.Theol. Some have (if you will pardon me) a good Baptist Bible knowledge. But there is little depth or understanding of scholarly method. Even some third year students are poor preachers: they fall back on exhortation and fail to educate.

I have begun to see that exhortation about our own faithfulness can be helpful only if the preacher also speaks of the grace of God. So I am telling them that the main character in every chapter of Genesis is God, and that they should talk about God’s grace and will in a way that inspires us all to grow. That is the meaty food we have to offer.

There are about 12 teaching faculty here, most with doctoral degrees…. The IT phenomenon is just beginning to revolutionise their education. Each year a few more students come with laptops. But so far the library has not matched their commitment. It is very clear to me that a few computers in the library linked to the web will increase their resource access immeasurably.

I am sure I am the learner. The faith of others is one of the great foods that can nourish our lives.

Got a Sabbatical?
Got a sabbatical or study leave coming up? It could be enriching to spend part of it teaching in another culture.

To Get You Going
A general introduction to Theologians Without Borders is offered in several languages at these links:
Theologians Without Borders
Teólogos Sin Fronteras
Théologiens Sans Frontières
Theologen Ohne Grenzen
Ahli Teologi Tanpa Sempadan
Ang mga Dalubhasa sa Salita ng Diyos na Walang Hangganan
Teólogos Sem Fronteiras
Teologi Senza Frontiere

Interested in Serving With TWB?
A good place to start (without making a commitment) is to adapt this Expression of Interest and send your information with a digital photo to me.

Dr Geoff Pound

Coordinator, Theologians Without Borders

Contact me on email at geoffpound[@]gmail.com or on Facebook or Twitter.

Image: “Dahl is a tasty sauce on fish cakes or fried chicken that A prepares for me.”

Monday, September 28, 2009

Imagine Yourself Making a Difference in a Needy Part of the World



This video is about making our lives count, improving the lot of others and shaping our world for good.

If you are a theological teacher, imagine how your ministry might be multiplied by giving a week or two teaching in a needy country of the world.

For First Time Readers of TWB or a Refresher
A general introduction to Theologians Without Borders is offered in several languages at these links:
Theologians Without Borders
Teólogos Sin Fronteras
Théologiens Sans Frontières
Theologen Ohne Grenzen
Ahli Teologi Tanpa Sempadan
Ang mga Dalubhasa sa Salita ng Diyos na Walang Hangganan
Teólogos Sem Fronteiras
Teologi Senza Frontiere

Interested in Serving With TWB?
A good place to start (without making a commitment) is to adapt this Expression of Interest and send your information with a digital photo to me.

Dr Geoff Pound
Coordinator, Theologians Without Borders
Contact me on email at geoffpound[@]gmail.com or on Facebook or Twitter.

Link
Nitin Nohria & Amanda Pepper, Harvard Business School’s Leadership Initiative and XPLANE, YouTube, 24 June 2009.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Variety of Opportunities

Do continue to peruse the recent postings for the many and varied opportunities for service.

Two new requests have arrived:

South India
A request has come in with quite some detail but is best described as a visit of encouragement with many opportunities for church leadership (including pastors) training seminars.

Uganda
Again, another visit of encouragement with a specific emphasis of ministry among children, young people and widows.

I would love to hear of people who are facing an upcoming window of opportunity and are considering some voluntary service in another country for a week or the best part of a semester.

Where to Start?
A general introduction to Theologians Without Borders is offered in several languages at these links:
Theologians Without Borders
Teólogos Sin Fronteras
Théologiens Sans Frontières
Theologen Ohne Grenzen
Ahli Teologi Tanpa Sempadan
Ang mga Dalubhasa sa Salita ng Diyos na Walang Hangganan
Teólogos Sem Fronteiras
Teologi Senza Frontiere

Interested in Serving With TWB?
A good place to start (without making a commitment) is to adapt this Expression of Interest and send your information with a digital photo to me.

Dr Geoff Pound

Coordinator, Theologians Without Borders

Contact me on email at geoffpound[at]gmail.com or on Facebook or Twitter. I would love to establish email contact with you in discerning areas of service.

Image: Your unique gift could be just the contribution to fit the need in another part of the world.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Bubbling Along

Wow, things are bubbling along with Theologians Without Borders:

* One Aussie guy has just finished a two month assignment teaching an OT course in N E India (he is a pastor—what a great way to use part of your sabbatical).

* An American seminary student is currently engaged in a two week visit of encouragement to church leaders and members in South India.

* A seminary teacher has offered to teach a course in Christian Education and we are looking on the African continent for an appropriate opportunity.

* A seminary in Sri Lanka is still needing a teacher or two for a 10 day intensive in November—Hermeneutics or the Synoptic Gospels.

* I am looking for a trainer in some basic areas of Christian leadership for a one week course in Orissa (preferably between November and December but times are flexible).

* There are several pastors and teachers who have submitted their completed ‘Expression of Interest’ (see below) and we are awaiting the right opportunity.

* Many teachers are requested for one week assignments in China.

* Would you be able to spare one or two weeks next year to teach in West Africa (Liberia, Sierra Leone) with some leaders in a mobile theological school? I have several dates and subjects.

These are a sample of the requests and offers. Do get in touch with me about more details.

For First Time Readers of TWB or a Refresher
A general introduction to Theologians Without Borders is offered in several languages at these links:
Theologians Without Borders
Teólogos Sin Fronteras
Théologiens Sans Frontières
Theologen Ohne Grenzen
Ahli Teologi Tanpa Sempadan
Ang mga Dalubhasa sa Salita ng Diyos na Walang Hangganan
Teólogos Sem Fronteiras
Teologi Senza Frontiere

If you can translate this statement into your language I would be keen to add it to this list.

Interested in Serving With TWB?
A good place to start (without making a commitment) is to adapt this Expression of Interest and send your information with a digital photo to me.

Dr Geoff Pound

Coordinator, Theologians Without Borders

Contact me on email at geoffpound[at]gmail.com or on Facebook or Twitter.

Image: “Wow, things are bubbling along with Theologians Without Borders.”

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Seth Godin and Theological Education at the Crossroads

When author and marketing expert Seth Godin speaks at conferences there’s always a packed house.

When he posts articles to his blog every day, 44,000 people around the world stop what they are doing to read Seth’s Blog. It’s ranked in the top 150 blogs and the #1 marketing blog in the world. Seth also started last year a new 6 month MBA program.

Earlier this month (August 2009) he wrote the following article entitled ‘Education at the Crossroads’. The prophetic nature of it got me thinking about ‘Theological Education at the Crossroads.

Actually, there isn't one, there are three choices that anyone offering higher education is going to have to make.

Should this be scarce or abundant?
MIT and Stanford are starting to make classes available for free online. The marginal cost of this is pretty close to zero, so it's easy for them to share. Abundant education is easy to access and offers motivated individuals a chance to learn.

Scarcity comes from things like accreditation, admissions policies or small classrooms.

Should this be free or expensive?
Wikipedia offers the world's fact base to everyone, for free. So it spreads.

On the other hand, some bar review courses are so expensive the websites don't even have the guts to list the price.

The newly easy access to the education marketplace (you used to need a big campus and a spot in the guidance office) means that both the free and expensive options are going to be experimented with, because the number of people in the education business is going to explode (then implode).

If you think the fallout in the newspaper business was dramatic, wait until you see what happens to education.

Should this be about school or about learning?
School was the big thing for a long time. School is tests and credits and notetaking and meeting standards. Learning, on the other hand, is 'getting it'. It's the conceptual breakthrough that permits the student to understand it then move on to something else. Learning doesn't care about workbooks or long checklists.

For a while, smart people thought that school was organized to encourage learning. For a long time, though, people in the know have realized that they are fundamentally different activities.

The combinations...
Imagine a school that's built around free, abundant learning. And compare it to one that's focused on scarce, expensive schooling. Or dream up your own combination. My recent MBA program, for example, was scarce (only 9 people got to do it) and it was free and focused on learning.

Just because something is free doesn't meant there isn't money to be made. Someone could charge, for example, for custom curricula, or focused tutoring, or for a certified (scarce) degree. When a million people are taking your course, you only need 1% to pay you to be happy indeed.

Eight combinations of the three choices are available and my guess is that all eight will be tried. If I were going to wager, I'd say that the free, abundant learning combination is the one that's going to change the world.

Link
Seth Godin, Education at the Crossroads, Seth Godin’s Blog, August 2009.

Subscribe! It’s free!

Related
Seth Godin Tells Teachers: Quit Textbooks and Publish Free Online, Seth’s Blog, 14 June 2009.

For First Time Readers of TWB or a Refresher
A general introduction to Theologians Without Borders is offered in several languages at these links:
Theologians Without Borders
Teólogos Sin Fronteras
Théologiens Sans Frontières
Theologen Ohne Grenzen
Ahli Teologi Tanpa Sempadan
Ang mga Dalubhasa sa Salita ng Diyos na Walang Hangganan
Teólogos Sem Fronteiras
Teologi Senza Frontiere

If you can translate this statement into your language I would be keen to add it to this list.

Interested in Serving With TWB?
A good place to start (without making a commitment) is to adapt this Expression of Interest and send your information with a digital photo to me.

Dr Geoff Pound
Coordinator, Theologians Without Borders

Contact me on email at geoffpound[at]gmail.com or on Facebook or Twitter.

Image: Seth Godin.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Will Theological Texts Soon Be a Thing of the Past?

This recent article by Carmel Egan contains predictions that school text books will soon be a thing of the past and it raises questions about theological texts and seminary libraries.

There are copyrighting challenges, technology obstacles and traditional preferences for hard copies but in countries around the world where books are expensive to buy and shipping costs are over the top, will e-books win the day? What do you think?

HEAVY book-filled school bags could soon be a thing of the past, with the e-book industry claiming most of students' textbooks will be contained in light hand-held portable devices within three years.

The internet-linked reading devices will store hundreds of e-textbooks bought online or borrowed from school libraries.

''E-textbooks will be mainstream within three years,'' the executive director of DA Direct, Australia's largest distributor of portable reading devices and e-books, Richard Siegersma, predicted.

Mr Siegersma said digital technology would lead to the costs of e-textbooks falling in a year to 18 months.

''There will be just-in-time and customised delivery to flexible, full-colour screens; textbooks with audio and video components; touch screens for handwriting and margin note-taking and text highlighting,'' he said.

Speaking at a conference of school librarians in Melbourne last week, Mr Siegersma told them to prepare for the transition from print to e-readers, e-books and e-textbooks.

While book lovers in the US can already access thousands of digital titles via Amazon's Kindle e-reader, users of the new technology complain they can be slow to upload, screens are black and white, page-turning is slow and titles are limited to certain publishers.

Mr Siegersma said technological breakthroughs, such as flexible, full-colour screens along with improved digital management and delivery systems, will revolutionise the way students access information.

Pressure from educational institutions, public libraries and government will also force print book publishers to address pent-up demand for more titles to be made available online.

The acting head of cultural studies at Macquarie University and author of The Book Is Dead, Long Live the Book, Sherman Young, agrees.

''The world is at the e-book tipping point and librarians will be the vanguard of the introduction of e-textbooks,'' Dr Young told the conference, organised by Curriculum Corporation and the School Library Association of Victoria.

''Book culture is still confused with print culture and it is really only this year people have started to get e-books.''

In 2005, Macquarie University library bought 16,651 books in print form, rising to 16,764 in 2007.

By comparison, the number of e-books bought rose from 896 in 2005 to 68,719 in 2007.

However, many obstacles stand between e-textbooks and classroom domination, according to Australian Copyright Council lawyer Sneha Balakrishnan.

''Some schools are already in the process of negotiating licences tailored to their needs,'' Ms Balakrishnan said.

''But there are still lots of issues to be worked through.''

Several Melbourne secondary schools have trialled e-books with students and staff in the past year with mixed results.

At the selective boys' secondary Melbourne High School, students were not persuaded by the new technology.

While enjoying e-book mobility and easy access to multiple titles, they complained of slow data uploading, slow page-turning and too few titles available free.

Wesley College's head of library and information services, Wilma Kurvink, trialled 18 e-readers with staff and students.

''Digital rights management restrictions at the point of sale have been developed for individuals on personal computers with credit cards, but publishers have not yet envisaged libraries as part of the mode or thought of building a lending system,'' Ms Kurvink said.

''School libraries have used very traditional acquisition models but that will not work with this new technology and we need to start forming collaborative groups to work with publishers in partnership.''

Link
Carmel Egan, Students to Dump Textbooks for e-books, The Age, 16 August 2009.

For First Time Readers of TWB or a Refresher
A general introduction to Theologians Without Borders is offered in several languages at these links:
Theologians Without Borders
Teólogos Sin Fronteras
Théologiens Sans Frontières
Theologen Ohne Grenzen
Ahli Teologi Tanpa Sempadan
Ang mga Dalubhasa sa Salita ng Diyos na Walang Hangganan
Teólogos Sem Fronteiras
Teologi Senza Frontiere

If you can translate this statement into your language I would be keen to add it to this list.

Interested in Serving With TWB?
A good place to start (without making a commitment) is to adapt this Expression of Interest and send your information with a digital photo to me.

Dr Geoff Pound
Coordinator, Theologians Without Borders
Contact me on email at geoffpound[@]gmail.com or on Facebook or Twitter.

Image: “Will e-books win the day?”

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Future of Theological Education in Euro-Asia

Fascinating report just come in about the future of theological education in Russia and beyond.

Shrinkage – Necessary but Unhealthy
Moscow/Odessa -- A US-American active in Russia reports that the Southern Baptist Convention needs only five seminaries to support the ministry of its 16 million members. The countries of the former Soviet Union, which today may have as many as three million evangelical believers, host roughly 150 seminaries and Bible schools.

In an interview in Odessa this summer, Dr. Sergey Viktorovich Sannikov (Odessa), Executive Director and founding father of the “Euro-Asian Accreditating Association” (E-AAA), responded: “It’s very clear the number of theological schools will and must decrease. But it would be incorrect to label this process as one of ‘healthy shrinkage’.” Too many careers and patterns of foreign support are on the line – the process can therefore only be a painful one. “There was no strategic plan when these schools were founded – they were spontaneous creations. People were enthusiastic, Western support was available, and so they began.”

Sannikov added that the E-AAA is doing what it can to soften the blows. Extensive discussions on the Internet between leading educators are taking place. “We are encouraging schools to develop their own unique programmes or to merge with other ones. Each institute will need to have its own, distinctive face; each will need to find its own niche.” Diversification is needed – especially when a geographical advantage is not evident.

“Moscow Theological Seminary”, the flagship of the “Russian Union of Evangelical Christians-Baptists”, is one of the institutes actively involved in gathering branch institutes under its umbrella. Sannikov stated: “I think this is a very good development, especially in Russia. The government and economic conditions are putting pressure on smaller schools. Smaller institutions recognise they can work more effectively if they use the teachers and programs of a larger institution. Structural problems are being corrected: Larger institutions can much more effectively organise libraries and other resources and transfer them elsewhere.”

E-AAA’s head, a Ukrainian Baptist, also believes that, at least for the next several decades, the number of interdenominational educational institutions will not grow significantly. “Denominationalism is increasing rapidly,” he warned, “except among some of our youth. It is very difficult to somehow renounce one’s own denomination if one believes it to represent the sole truth.” Even tiny denominations such as the Wesleyans – not a part of the Methodists or Nazarenes – have their own school in Moscow. Moscow’s “Spiritual Academy of the Apostle Paul” also represents a very small constituency. A second, small “Moscow Theological Seminary” headed by Gennady Sergienko closed several months ago. One such interdenominational school is “Moscow Evangelical Christian Seminary” (See press release 09-14 from 28.4.2009).

In a few instances, expansion is still occurring. This is especially true for the Neo-Charismatic movement, which, despite very large number of “students” in congregations, is only now beginning to develop institutes capable of seminary-level training. Citing its geographical advantage, Greater-Europe-Mission-sponsored “Zaporozhye Bible College” just north of Crimea is involved in a major building programme.

Fifty-five of the roughly 150 institutes in the former Soviet Union are members of the E-AAA: 28 of these are in Ukraine, another 15 in Russia (seven in Moscow). One member each is found in Belarus, Moldova, Armenia and Lithuania. The Baptist seminary in Akademgorodok near Novosibirsk and a Baptist school for expository preaching in Samara/Volga are not members. Five to six years ago, the E-AAA listed a total enrolment of 7.000 among its members. Sannikov is unsure as to whether that number has since decreased. Counting enrolment has always been problematic: A Ukrainian school and E-AAA-member which has been teaching by extension for ex. has claimed an enrolment of 5.000. And how long are students to be considered enrolled if they have begun a programme without completing it? Consequently, the E-AAA has recently developed criteria for counting enrolment, hoping it will better reflect the true nature of an institution’s work.

In Central Asia, Tashkent/Uzbekistan has an officially-registered Baptist school; a second one allied primarily with Pentecostal and Charismatic circles is active in Almaty/Kazakhstan. Ukrainian institutions are involved in aiding several unregistered schools in the Central Asian republics. None of these have been accredited by the E-AAA. In addition, not a few future Central Asian pastors come to Russia or Ukraine for theological training.

The E-AAA, which was officially founded in 1997, includes Pentecostal, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Baptist and interdenominational schools – Adventist ones are lacking. Though several institutes are located elsewhere, the E-AAA regards itself responsible for Russian-language schools within the area of the former Soviet Union. Director Sannikov is keen to point out that the E-AAA did not develop its criteria for granting accreditation – it is not a state-recognised accreditation - on its own. It is the youngest regional member of the “International Council for Evangelical Theological Education” (ICETE). Founded with the support of the World Evangelical Association in 1980, the ICETE’s seven regional divisions now cover the globe.

The work of the E-AAA is funded by its 55 members. Regular dues are paid; an additional fee is charged for every student enrolled in an accredited programme. Expenses for the visits of E-AAA-delegations to its member schools are also paid by the host. Sannikov points out that the E-AAA does not restrict itself to issues of accreditation. Its research wing, headed by Taras Dyatlik (Rivne/West Ukraine), publishes a paper journal and books as CDs, gathers historical documents and promotes manuals on leadership. It holds conferences and training seminars for teachers; the results of which are often published. One recent project focused on the effectiveness of theological training in Euro-Asia. This research centre is not funded by the member schools – it receives grants from interested foreign agencies and foundations.

Beginnings in Odessa
Dr. Sergey Sannikov has a long history of involvement in Russian and Ukrainian theological education. When the Soviet-era “All-Union Council of Evangelical Christians-Baptists” opened its first seminary for on-location study in January 1991, Sannikov was its rector. But quarters in Moscow’s historic “First Baptist Church” were extremely cramped and a library was virtually non-existent. As a result, the decision was made after one session to transfer to Odessa, where a regional Bible school founded in 1989 had sufficient room. In two years, after the logistic issues were solved, the seminary was to return to Moscow.

Yet the liquidation of the Soviet Union in December 1991 and the splitting up of the “All-Union Council” shortly thereafter created a completely new setting. Initially Odessa remained the seminary of the new Ukrainian Union; a second seminary was opened in Moscow in 1993. The focal centre of Ukrainian seminary training is now located at Irpen just west of Kiev.

For political reasons, Sannikov believes it wise that the old Baptist Union was divided. It was not politically expedient to answer to Union headquarters located in a foreign country. “We do not need organisational unity to express the unity we feel in Christ,” he explained. “I do not suffer because of our separation.” But he admitted that spiritual costs are involved: “There is a certain nationalist movement in our congregations, and it has a negative influence on the life of the church and our relations with one another. One group stresses the Russian, another, the Ukrainian. I cannot say that one side is guiltier than the other, but every congregation has people who place too much stress on issues of nationality.”

But the E-AAA-Director believes Ukraine will remain a bridge between East and West for the foreseeable future. “Ukraine will not be pressing as hard as Georgia to enter the European Union. We are not Russian – we have a different mentality. We played a role in the middle between the 16th and 18th centuries. Perhaps we will always be in the middle – neither Europe nor Asia. But that is really quite OK!”

The address of the E-AAA’s Russian-language website

William Yoder, Ph.D.
Department for External Church Relations, RUECB
Moscow, 22 August 2009
baptistrelations@yandex.ru
www.baptistrelations.org” and “www.baptist.org.ru
Tel/fax: 007-495-954-9231

A release of the Department for External Church Relations of the Russian Union of Evangelical Christians-Baptists. It is informational in character and does not express a sole, official position of RUECB-leadership.

Image: Moscow Theological Seminary

Friday, August 21, 2009

Hermeneutics or Synoptics Teacher Requested by Sri Lanka

Teacher Required
A seminary in Sri Lanka has had a cancellation by a teacher of a course promised to students and is urgently needing a replacement for its MA programme in November 2009.

Subjects
If you could teach a course in Hermeneutics at a Masters level that would be terrific.

Another possibility for them could be to delay the offering of the hermeneutics course and offer a Synoptic Gospel course if anyone is free to assist.

Timing
The course is scheduled to be taught over 10 days.

Preferred dates are 13-21 November 2009. There is some flexibility. A week earlier could be a goer but not a week later.

Next Step
Please let me know if you are qualified and interested in undertaking this Sri Lankan assignment and I will put you in touch with the Academic Dean.

If you are not qualified or qualified but unable to go, would you please assist by forwarding the link to this post to colleagues who may be able to teach.

For First Time Readers of TWB or a Refresher
A general introduction to Theologians Without Borders is offered in several languages at these links:
Theologians Without Borders
Teólogos Sin Fronteras
Théologiens Sans Frontières
Theologen Ohne Grenzen
Ahli Teologi Tanpa Sempadan
Ang mga Dalubhasa sa Salita ng Diyos na Walang Hangganan
Teólogos Sem Fronteiras
Teologi Senza Frontiere

If you can translate this statement into your language I would be keen to add it to this list.

Interested in Serving With TWB?
A good place to start (without making a commitment) is to adapt this Expression of Interest and send your information with a digital photo to me.

Dr Geoff Pound

Coordinator, Theologians Without Borders

Contact me on email at geoffpound[@]gmail.com or on Facebook or Twitter.

Image: “If you could teach a course in Hermeneutics…”

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Trainer in Community Development and Mission

A local mission organisation in Indonesia, involved in community development projects such as goat husbandry, organic farms and education, is asking for help.

Some projects they are conducting include a village clinic, a Musi floating clinic, a clean water project, compost making, an integrated organic farm, goat breeding and vocational training.

Trainer Requested
They are keen to conduct a special outreach with a people group (10,000) in a remote area and they are asking for the help of a trainer.

Training Subjects
There is flexibility with regard to the timing as this project is still in the developmental phase.

The organizer would like someone to come who has had some experience in community empowerment schemes and a person who can talk with local church people about community development as a gift in itself and as an expression of the gospel and the mission of the church.

Broadcasting
Please pass this message to people who could be involved in fulfilling this request. I can share more details and connect you with a representative from this Indonesian organization.

For First Time Readers or a Refresher
A general introduction to Theologians Without Borders is offered in several languages at these links:
Theologians Without Borders
Teólogos Sin Fronteras
Théologiens Sans Frontières
Theologen Ohne Grenzen
Ahli Teologi Tanpa Sempadan
Ang mga Dalubhasa sa Salita ng Diyos na Walang Hangganan
Teólogos Sem Fronteiras
Teologi Senza Frontiere

If you can translate this statement into your language I would be keen to add it to this list.

Interested in Serving With TWB?
A good place to start (without making a commitment) is to adapt this Expression of Interest and send your information with a digital photo to me.

Dr Geoff Pound
Coordinator, Theologians Without Borders

Contact me on email at geoffpound[@]gmail.com or on Facebook or Twitter.

Image: Goat breeding.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Standing in the Need of Prayer

I have received a letter from the President of a Seminary in Myanmar where his family and the student community are standing in the need of prayer.

He says:
“I'm sure that you have heard about the serious health problems in Myanmar, especially the 'Swine flu'. In my town the situation is rather serious.”

Family
“Our family is also facing the same problem and my younger son has been down with diarrhea and vomiting and had to be admitted to hospital. The medical expenses cost us about US $200 which we had to borrow. Please pray for us so that I may be able to repay the borrowed amounts.”

Student Community
“We have about 51 students this year in our seminary and about 10 of them have been ill in turns. As they can't afford the proper medical treatment and so can't I, we have to do with simple cheap treatments since the financial situation of the students is very poor and we ourselves can't afford to help them. The students are very down hearted. We earnestly pray for a ‘students’ security fund’ of about US$500, from which the students can loan and repay back when facing medical difficulties due to ill health. This fund will be for the long run. Please pray that we may succeed in obtaining this fund for the students.”

“Please continue to pray for our students so that they may recover soon and join the classes.”

For First Time Readers of TWB or a Refresher
A general introduction to Theologians Without Borders is offered in several languages at these links:
Theologians Without Borders
Teólogos Sin Fronteras
Théologiens Sans Frontières
Theologen Ohne Grenzen
Ahli Teologi Tanpa Sempadan
Ang mga Dalubhasa sa Salita ng Diyos na Walang Hangganan
Teólogos Sem Fronteiras
Teologi Senza Frontiere

If you can translate this statement into your language I would be keen to add it to this list.

Interested in Serving With TWB?
A good place to start (without making a commitment) is to adapt this Expression of Interest and send your information with a digital photo to me.

Dr Geoff Pound
Coordinator, Theologians Without Borders
Contact me on email at geoffpound[@]gmail.com or on Facebook or Twitter.

Image: “Please continue to pray for our students…”

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Are You Trained to Enthuse People About Empowerment?

Papua Possibility
Here’s something different.

Harry is from Jakarta, involved with Indonesian Baptists, trained in Management Information and employed by Media Investment in Papua. He writes on a web site called Invest Papua.

Request
Harry asks for the assistance of a person or small team that might help in teaching, training, encouraging people in empowerment, fostering their enthusiasm to establish agricultural and craft projects that might give people dignity, help them to become self-sufficient and assist others.

If you have time and the gifts, there would also be opportunities for leadership training and classes in the seminary.

Itinerary
This depends on your time available and having the money to travel but it could involve time in the capital city (Jayapura) and then in one or two remote areas (highland, island or beach).

Suggested Time
The first suggested time is somewhere after Eid al Fitr (Muslim holiday) 21 September until December 2009. But if you need greater time to plan and arrange for your visit that’s fine.

Do let me know if you would like more information.

Other Opportunities through TWB
Do keep a close watch on this site for requests for help and let other suitable qualified people know of the opportunities of service.

For First Time Readers of TWB or a Refresher
A general introduction to Theologians Without Borders is offered in several languages at these links:
Theologians Without Borders
Teólogos Sin Fronteras
Théologiens Sans Frontières
Theologen Ohne Grenzen
Ahli Teologi Tanpa Sempadan
Ang mga Dalubhasa sa Salita ng Diyos na Walang Hangganan
Teólogos Sem Fronteiras
Teologi Senza Frontiere

If you can translate this statement into your language I would be keen to add it to this list.

Interested in Serving With TWB?
A good place to start (without making a commitment) is to adapt this Expression of Interest and send your information with a digital photo to me.

Dr Geoff Pound
Coordinator, Theologians Without Borders

Contact me on email at geoffpound[@]gmail.com or on Facebook or Twitter.

Image: Glimpses of Papua (province of Indonesia), formerly Dutch New Guinea, West Irian and Irian Jaya.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Teacher of Christian Education Offering Expertise

An American-based educator in Christian Education is offering to teach for a week or so in an overseas seminary.

This teacher is currently teaching in an American seminary and with international experience, is used to tailoring topics to fit the local context.

Some of the subjects could be drawn from these courses:

1. Introduction To Christian Education
2. Technology In Christian Education
3. The Teacher as a Facilitator of Learning
4. Philosophy of Christian Education
5. Church Administration

Do let me know if you would like more information or there is a possibility of you wanting to host this person in your seminary.

Other Opportunities
Do keep a close watch on this site for requests for help and let other suitable qualified people know of the opportunities of service.

For First Time Readers of TWB or a Refresher
A general introduction to Theologians Without Borders is offered in several languages at these links:
Theologians Without Borders
Teólogos Sin Fronteras
Théologiens Sans Frontières
Theologen Ohne Grenzen
Ahli Teologi Tanpa Sempadan
Ang mga Dalubhasa sa Salita ng Diyos na Walang Hangganan
Teólogos Sem Fronteiras
Teologi Senza Frontiere

If you can translate this statement into your language I would be keen to add it to this list.

Interested in Serving With TWB?
A good place to start (without making a commitment) is to adapt this Expression of Interest and send your information with a digital photo to me.

Dr Geoff Pound
Coordinator, Theologians Without Borders
Contact me on email at geoffpound[@]gmail.com or on Facebook or Twitter.

Image: “The Teacher as a Facilitator of Learning.”

Church Leadership Training in Orissa, India


View Larger Map
A request has come for someone to offer training to church leaders in the Indian state of Orissa.

Topics
Specifically the training requested is in these areas:
* Mission-Understanding and doing the mission of God
* Establishing new churches
* Understanding and enhancing Christian Worship
* Pastoral Care

Timing
There is great flexibility but a suggested window is sometime between 15 November -20 December 2009 (during which time the weather is cooler than usual).

The idea suggested is for an intensive time of training over five days.

If the teacher can stay longer there could be other opportunities arranged in churches prior to or after the training intensive.

Location
This is a training opportunity for a number of people drawn from several churches rather than being seminary based.

It will take place in a residential guest house which has good facilities including AC.

Do let me know if you would like more information or there is a possibility of you being able to serve in this way.

If you cannot serve at this time please pass on this request to others who might be able to serve.

For First Time Readers of TWB or a Refresher
A general introduction to Theologians Without Borders is offered in several languages at these links:
Theologians Without Borders
Teólogos Sin Fronteras
Théologiens Sans Frontières
Theologen Ohne Grenzen
Ahli Teologi Tanpa Sempadan
Ang mga Dalubhasa sa Salita ng Diyos na Walang Hangganan
Teólogos Sem Fronteiras
Teologi Senza Frontiere

If you can translate this statement into your language I would be keen to add it to this list.

Interested in Serving With TWB?
A good place to start (without making a commitment) is to adapt this Expression of Interest and send your information with a digital photo to me.

Dr Geoff Pound
Coordinator, Theologians Without Borders

Contact me on email at geoffpound[@]gmail.com or on Facebook or Twitter.

Image: Google Map of Orissa, India.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Short Assignment in PNG for TEE Trained Person

A Bible School in Papua New Guinea is looking for someone to write a Theological Education by Extension (TEE) course on “Wisdom Writing” which comprises Jobs, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs. This is the third part of Old Testament surveys. Here are some of the details I have received:

The person will be required between September 28th- October 19th. However there are often delays when it comes to issuing visas so if the visa is late, the person can still be around before November 15th.

The type of person they need is someone who is a good teacher, can write courses quickly, be focused on what they do and is familiar with editing, illustrations and publications.

Whoever is willing to come must be someone who has experience in TEE course writing or Distance Education materials production.

If there is some time this Bible teacher could also help us with training the staff on the basics of formatting, writing up some Tutor guides and helping the staff with data base or basics of computing.

If there is no course writer, they might need an artist to draw pictures for some of the courses.

If there is no course writer and artist we can get someone who can write TEE assignments and put in reflection sections for a course on the New Testament which is already in the computer.

If you have an interest in exploring this possibility do write to me for more details or to make a connection with the contact person.

For First Time Readers of TWB or as a Refresher
A general introduction to Theologians Without Borders is offered in several languages at these links:
Theologians Without Borders
Teólogos Sin Fronteras
Théologiens Sans Frontières
Theologen Ohne Grenzen
Ahli Teologi Tanpa Sempadan
Ang mga Dalubhasa sa Salita ng Diyos na Walang Hangganan
Teólogos Sem Fronteiras
Teologi Senza Frontiere

If you can translate this statement into your language I would be keen to add it to this list.

Interested in Serving With TWB?
A good place to start (without making a commitment) is to adapt this Expression of Interest and send your information with a digital photo to me.

Dr Geoff Pound
Coordinator, Theologians Without Borders
Contact me on email at geoffpound[@]gmail.com or on Facebook or Twitter.

Image: PNG.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Teaching in Thailand

A request has come up for teachers to help in a seminary in Thailand.

The opportunity is to do a week or more teaching in the second semester of this year (2009).

If you are interested for sometime later do sing out!

Do remember that such a venture is never one way. Teachers who have come to this place have never been the same again. It will overhaul your faith. It will be the best sabbatical experience of your life. It is certainly a way to upgrade your life and teaching.

There is great flexibility in terms of theme and subject as the local coordinators work their teachers around their visitors. They like to hear visitors come with something they think will be culturally relevant and about which they are passionate.

I can offer many more details.

Dr Geoff Pound

Coordinator, Theologians Without Borders.

Image: Upgrade your life.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Teaching Opportunity in Myanmar

While many teachers in the northern hemisphere are enjoying long summer holidays, most seminaries are finalizing teachers and courses for the second (Fall) semester of this year.

I have received a request for a lecturer who might visit a seminary in Myanmar later this year.

The optimum time for this institution is for a couple of weeks in November 2009.

There is some flexibility with regard to dates, especially if someone is available to visit between November 2009 and April 2010 (which is the best time weather wise).

Some teaching themes have been suggested but this too is wide open.

The school is isolated and keen to have someone come from outside the country to teach and offer encouragement.

Do let me know if you have an interest in pursuing this possibility and/or would like more details.

For First Time Readers of TWB or a Refresher
A general introduction to Theologians Without Borders is offered in several languages at these links:
Theologians Without Borders
Teólogos Sin Fronteras
Théologiens Sans Frontières
Theologen Ohne Grenzen
Ahli Teologi Tanpa Sempadan
Ang mga Dalubhasa sa Salita ng Diyos na Walang Hangganan
Teólogos Sem Fronteiras
Teologi Senza Frontiere

If you can translate this statement into your language I would be keen to add it to this list.

Interested in Serving With TWB?
A good place to start (without making a commitment) is to adapt this Expression of Interest and send your information with a digital photo to me.

Dr Geoff Pound
Coordinator, Theologians Without Borders
Contact me on email at geoffpound(at)gmail.com on Facebook or Twitter.

Image: Répondez s'il vous plait—please respond.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Teach Overseas on a Regular Basis and You’ll Become More Creative

Give and Take
Most people have taught overseas through Theologians Without Borders because they want to serve and make a difference to the lives of others.

But is there anything that we get out of it when we go and share with people of another culture.

Yes, there is heaps that we receive and this is fine. Teaching and ministry is best done when there is ‘mutual encouragement.’

Gift of Creativity
Scientific American (14 June 2009) has a 60 second podcast that suggests a particular benefit: “Recent research shows that people who have lived in a foreign country are more creative when it comes to solving problems.”

Christie Nicholson says:
For the recently graduated or retired—or those who have some unexpected free time thanks to the recession—consider the benefits of an extended trip abroad.

A study published recently in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found evidence that living abroad enhances creative thinking

Researchers tested the creativity of business students. Students were given a candle, box of tacks and matches, and were told to construct a way to attach the candle to the wall, so that wax would not drip on the floor.

And it turns out that the length of time spent living abroad is a significant predictor of coming up with the most creative solution.

But, it was only living abroad that rewarded students with increased creativity. Two weeks of hostel hopping don’t count.

And it’s not that creative people are more likely to live abroad. Access to different culture and novel ideas increases both new ways of problem solving, as well as the willingness to actually apply novel solutions. Such as emptying the box of tacks, hot waxing the candle to the box and then tacking the box to the wall

So here’s to science for bolstering the argument for living in Costa Rica until the recession is over!

Want to Become Creative?
Here is another good reason to contribute through Theologians Without Borders. Regular visits might well develop your creative thinking.

For First Time Readers of TWB or a Refresher
A general introduction to Theologians Without Borders is offered in several languages at these links:

Theologians Without Borders
Teólogos Sin Fronteras
Théologiens Sans Frontières
Theologen Ohne Grenzen
Ahli Teologi Tanpa Sempadan
Ang mga Dalubhasa sa Salita ng Diyos na Walang Hangganan
Teólogos Sem Fronteiras
Teologi Senza Frontiere

If you can translate this statement into your language I would be keen to add it to this list.

Interested in Serving With TWB?
A good place to start (without making a commitment) is to adapt this Expression of Interest and send your information with a digital photo to me.

Dr Geoff Pound
Coordinator, Theologians Without Borders
Contact me on email at geoffpound[at]gmail.com or on Facebook.

Image: Regular visits might well develop your creative thinking.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Studying and Teaching the Bible through Google Maps

Google Maps are being used extensively by TV news but why not churches and seminaries in their education?

Biblemap.org, which hitches on this same technology, is an interactive map system for the Bible, which is being used in personal study and public addresses for visualising where certain biblical events have occurred.

Check it out and let us know what you think and ways this could be developed.

For First Time Readers of TWB or a Refresher
A general introduction to Theologians Without Borders is offered in several languages at these links:
Theologians Without Borders
Teólogos Sin Fronteras
Théologiens Sans Frontières
Theologen Ohne Grenzen
Ahli Teologi Tanpa Sempadan
Ang mga Dalubhasa sa Salita ng Diyos na Walang Hangganan
Teólogos Sem Fronteiras
Teologi Senza Frontiere

If you can translate this statement into your language I would be keen to add it to this list.

Interested in Serving With TWB?
A good place to start (without making a commitment) is to adapt this Expression of Interest and send your information with a digital photo to me.

Dr Geoff Pound
Coordinator, Theologians Without Borders
Contact me on email at geoffpound[@]gmail.com or on Facebook.

Image: Google map, Jerusalem.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Seth Godin Tells Teachers: Quit Textbooks and Publish Free Online

Marketing teacher, Seth Godin, calls assigning a textbook to a class, ‘academic malpractice.’

Read what he thinks about the limitations of textbooks.

Does his solution also apply to teachers of theology?

“Professors should be spending their time devising pages or chapterettes or even entire chapters on topics that matter to them, then publishing them for free online. (it's part of their job, remember?)”

“When you have a class to teach, assemble 100 of the best pieces, put them in a pdf or on a kindle or a website (or even in a looseleaf notebook) and there, you're done. You just saved your intro marketing class about $15,000. Every semester. Any professor of intro marketing who is assigning a basic old-school textbook is guilty of theft or laziness.”

Read the entire article and email it around your teaching team for discussion. You may not agree with him entirely but it may alter how you resource your class:

Seth Godin, Textbook Rant, 14 June 2009. Seth has 44,000 subscribers to his blog. Be one of his subscribers.

Dr Geoff Pound

Image: Seth Godin.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Exploring a Partnership of Mutual Encouragement

Partnerships Emerging
It is good to see various partnerships emerging between seminaries and conventions across the seas. They are developing in many different ways as partners create a relationship that is unique and flavored by their situation.

It is exciting to see partnerships between different institutions as there is so much more that can be achieved beyond isolated individuals that go as theologians without borders.

Partnership Principles
Often I am asked to help potential partners explore what a relationship might look like.

Here are some of the things I often include in my correspondence:

Count the Cost
It is good to prayerfully explore the notion of a partnership so that each side counts the cost before launching forward. This can be done in separate and collective brainstorming sessions and by email.

Informality and Ongoing Openness
Partnership agreements don’t need to be written in triplicate, formalized, signed and sealed. That can stymie the dynamic nature of what it can become.

Much better to be informal and see it as an exploration in which both sides go into it like Abraham and Sarah, “not knowing where you are going,” rather than coming up at the outset with ‘Ten Prongs Pointing Out the Parameters of a Partnership Between X and Y.’

Mutuality
In thinking about your relationship, Romans 1:12 is pertinent—“that you may be mutually encouraged.” This approach dispels any fear of paternalism and unhealthy dependency.

I think most, if not all, who have served under the Theologians Without Borders umbrella would attest to receiving as much, if not more, than they gave, on their teaching assignments.

Open and Inclusive
The partnership should not be viewed as monogamous or exclusive. In their poverty, often church groups and Colleges reach out to whoever will help. This is understandable, even if it leads to a theological and educational hotchpotch.

Communication and Transparency
Enter a relationship whereby there is a regular communication about the needs and vision with openness and transparency as to the different people and institutions from where the assistance is being drawn.


Who Is Holding the Reins?
One seminary (the stronger partner) is currently in a relationship with an institution overseas whereby they are sending two professors each year over a five year period. Such a partnership is specific and has a long range so that both seminaries can plan and know their expectations.

Those in the sending institution therefore have some role in shaping the curriculum schedule just by the order in which they are able to release their teachers. This is done by mutual agreement.

It is always good to be aware of how a stronger institution can direct and be unconsciously pushy just by virtue of its wealth of resources. It is a good thing to keep thinking, ‘Who is holding the reins?” It is important that the weaker institution is always in reality maintaining control over its destiny and directions.

Partnership Representatives
Leaders of the seminary and the leaders of the Convention of churches may well need to communicate if the relationship straddles the seminaries (theological education) and Conventions (training of leaders in the churches). There may be other points of contact between respective representatives if the partnership involves things like Youth Leadership training.

It is a helpful thing if representatives are clarified and that these people are always copied in any communication about plans that are emerging and publicity to challenge teachers and trainers to be involved.

Caution and Confidence
Yes, be cautious in your exploration and don’t promise so much that you raise expectations unrealistically.

On the other hand, be confident about all that you have to share and receive.

Your Experience
Do let us know if you are in a partnership (like those that have been described) and tell us of your experience, what has been positive and suggestions for improvement.

For First Time Readers of TWB or Read as a Refresher
A general introduction to Theologians Without Borders is offered in several languages at these links:
Theologians Without Borders
Teólogos Sin Fronteras
Théologiens Sans Frontières
Theologen Ohne Grenzen
Ahli Teologi Tanpa Sempadan
Ang mga Dalubhasa sa Salita ng Diyos na Walang Hangganan
Teólogos Sem Fronteiras
Teologi Senza Frontiere

If you can translate this statement into your language I would be keen to add it to this list.

Interested in Serving With TWB?
A good place to start (without making a commitment) is to adapt this Expression of Interest and send your information with a digital photo to me.

Dr Geoff Pound
Coordinator, Theologians Without Borders

Contact me on email at geoffpound[@]gmail.com or on Facebook.

Image: A hands-on, international partnership of joy and mutuality.