Theological seminaries--Curriculum


Linus Aniekan Umoren C.M. D.Min.
Before the Second Vatican Council, it was commonplace to think that the new churches in Africa, Asia, and Latin America were pastoral communities. However, following the missiological breakthrough of the Second Vatican Council, the Church of Christ, which is by nature missionary, is fully present in all legitimate local assemblies united with their pastors. Today, Africa, Asia, and Latin America have the largest Christian communities and produce an increasing number of missionaries. Nevertheless, the contemporary global migration and the resulting multicultural societies challenge the priestly formation of these new missionaries.
To confront this contemporary challenge, the Congregation of the mission (The Vincentians), Province of Nigeria realizes the need to develop a formation curriculum that emphasizes the overall human development of the candidates for the priesthood and ensuring that preaching and mission in multicultural settings is a priority.
Therefore, this study undertakes an examination of the current formation curriculum concerning how it promotes the self-awareness of the missionaries and their ability to understand cultural differences. It examines postcolonial theories regarding the self-awareness of priests. Furthermore, it studies narrative preaching to the extent that it benefits multicultural preaching.
Moreover, the research establishes that adequate preparation for multicultural preaching needs a reframing of the Vincentian formation. This process will ultimately link the human formation of the priests to the missiological purpose of preaching in multicultural settings.
Consequently, this study recommends rethinking the formation program and the formation faculty. It provides a framework and practical suggestions for an extended and improved curriculum in forming the Nigerian Vincentian priests.

Factores Que Contribuyen a la Integración Entre el Conocimiento Teológico y la Madurez Espiritual en la Vida de la Facultad de Instituciones Teológicas

Elena Vazquez González D.Min.
Los docentes de las instituciones teológicas son personas que poseen el conocimiento teológico y necesitan continuar creciendo en su madurez espiritual.

La tesis central de este proyecto fue investigar cuáles son los factores que contribuyen a la integración entre el conocimiento teológico y la madurez espiritual en la vida de la facultad de instituciones teológicas. Las instituciones teológicas necesitan estar conscientes de la tendencia a la dicotomía entre el conocimiento teológico y la madurez espiritual en las facultades, y ante esta realidad deben buscar cómo implementar los factores que contribuyen a la integración entre ambos.

Este proyecto doctoral, al reconocer la existencia de la dicotomía entre el conocimiento teológico y la madurez espiritual en las instituciones teológicas, planteó la siguiente pregunta de investigación: ¿Qué factores pudieran contribuir a la integración entre el conocimiento teológico y la madurez espiritual en la vida de la facultad de instituciones teológicas? Para responder, se propusieron tres hipótesis acerca de los factores que contribuyen a la integración: (1) el primer factor es que las instituciones teológicas tengan como uno de sus valores institucionales la integración entre el conocimiento teológico y la madurez spiritual dentro de su facultad (2) el segundo factor es que las instituciones teológicas establezcan normas de que sus docentes sean modelo de vida íntegra al Señor (3) y el tercer factor es que las instituciones promuevan que los docentes tengan un mentor espiritual a quien le rindan cuentas

El resultado final de la investigación, el cual se obtuvo por medio de entrevistas fue el adecuado para comprobar la validez de las tres hipótesis.

Dare to change : adaptive leadership internship experiences by seminary interns in field education

Dorothee Edith Tripodi
"By engaging in congregational analysis using Heifetz and Linsky's leadership characteristics, UPSem (Richmond) M.Div. seminary interns of the summer 2019 intensive and fall 2019 part-time academic year sessions defined internship experiences as either technical, technical-adaptive, or adaptive. The instructor, using ethnographic methodology combined with Heifetz's reflection process of observation, interpretation, and intervention, explored the interns' narrative findings concerning their ability to identify leadership challenges. The conventional wisdom that students would be limited in their ability to use Heifetz and Linsky's leadership characteristic due to lack of ministerial experience proofed unfounded. The outcome of this ethnographic reflection invites further exploration concerning a pastoral intern's leadership abilities in light of on-going vocational discernment, vocational identity, and authority in complex systems subject to denominational and cultural change." -- Leaf [2].

Developing a biblical discipleship course that transforms seminary students to fulfill the Great Commission

Mark M Cancel D.Min.
The focus of this study is the development and evaluation of a Biblical Discipleship Course at a seminary designed equip students to make disciples in obedience to the Great Commission. In developing the Biblical Discipleship Course, the theological framework and doctrinal implications of the Great Commission Matthew 28:18–20 were identified and discussed. This course was designed to be objective based, transformative and motivational driven with several schools of thought on this subject were used in its development. The assertions of two hypotheses of this study were satisfied and upheld, by collected research and analysis. A Seminary Level Biblical Discipleship Course can transform students into makers of disciples in fulfillment of the Great Commission. Change in spiritual attitudes and commitment affects making disciples.


Joseph Nehemiah D.Min.
With the growth of the church in North Africa comes the need to train pastors and leaders. This project defines a biblically-rooted, contextually- and culturally-appropriate framework for training believers from Muslim background (BMB) leaders in an Arab context. The framework uses adult education (andragogy) principles from Bloom, Knowles, and Kolb that contribute to deep learning. Principles are evaluated using Hofstede's Arabic cluster cultural dimensions (Power Distance Index, Uncertainty Avoidance Index, Collectivism) and GLOBE leadership traits. This project defines cultural and contextual educational principles that put the design and implementation of developing and training leaders into the hands of BMB leaders.

The author believes it is important to hear from local leaders. The coalescence of cultural educational principles with the practical experience of local leaders allows for a practical educational framework. North African leaders were interviewed to discover how God developed them as leaders. The results reveal the importance of character, teaching, practical experience, and community with a mentor playing a significant role. The author suggests cultural and contextual principles and models to deliver training in non-traditional and non-formal ways.


Titus Eapen D.Min.
The principal purpose of this project is to observe if discipleship training at the Bible school level will impact the lives of the participants for increased involvement in discipleship activities at the ministry level in the context of churches in India. This project anticipates that proper discipleship training for future pastors and church planters in Bible schools will significantly influence discipleship activity in the church. This study seeks to understand the nature of Biblical discipleship and develop a workbook coursepack to teach final year Bible college students.

In order to understand the effectiveness of the discipleship course during the final year of Bible college studies on discipleship activities in the initial year of church ministry, a one-week intensive discipleship course was taught to a total of forty-five final year students from two different Bible colleges. A pre-test evaluation was conducted prior to the discipleship course, and post-test evaluation was conducted six months after graduation.

This study brought into focus several truths. Comparison of the pre-test and post-test responses revealed that a discipleship course during the final year of Bible College education would positively influence students in discipleship activities in ministry level. Confidence level in getting involved in discipleship activities also exponentially increased because of the training. Overall understanding and awareness of the topic also greatly increased. Therefore, theological institutions need to make it a priority to ensure that their graduates are properly equipped and trained in the field of discipleship prior to graduation.


Bruce Burkholder D.Min.
Although independent Baptist pastoral training institutions have served the
Spanish-speaking church in Latin America for decades, most have become stagnated in academic development and institutional advancement. The purpose of this study was to develop a strategic plan that will encourage these institutions to pursue an accreditation model. This study identified five impediments to this pursuit.

1. Insufficient academic preparation of professors

2. Excessive government restrictions

3. Poor economic situation in country

4. Lack of interest/Lack of knowledge of benefits

5. Low academic level of students

This quantitative data was obtained through a Delphi survey of twenty-two individuals from three distinct subgroups: (1) Independent Baptist missionaries actively involved in pastoral training in Spanish-speaking Latin America, (2) Independent Baptist Hispanic pastors or professors who were trained in Latin America and who retain involvement in this ministry, and (3) Independent Baptist theological educators who have experience with the accreditation process. Through the Delphi survey the participants suggested the above-mentioned impediments to the pursuit of an accreditation model. The Delphi expert panel also provided qualitative data by sharing additional insight into the nature of the impediments through comments made within the survey and personal conversations with the author.

Once the five impediments had been identified a Delphi support team worked with the author to develop a strategic plan to address each impediment. Specific goals were set, and action steps were identified. Most importantly, the strategic plan encourages independent Baptist pastoral training institutions in Spanish-speaking Latin America to promptly initiate and to passionately pursue the core concepts of the accreditation model, specifically, the standardization of curriculum, external peer review and internal quality assessment.

The project concludes with recommendations to independent Baptist churches, ministries, and pastoral training institutions in both the United States and Spanish-speaking Latin America.

Andragogy and the Most Effective Means of Forming Permanent Deacons in the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church in the Twenty-First Century in the United States

Victor E Puscas Jr. M.A.
This thesis-project explores the most effective means of forming men for the permanent diaconate in the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States for the twenty-first century. It specifically addresses adult learning paradigms known as “andragogy” as opposed to the more familiar pediatric learning paradigms known as “pedagogy.” The principles of andragogy are then applied to permanent diaconate formation models in an effort to develop the most effective means. Factored in to the development of these means are the qualitative and quantitative data collected from deacons around the country and in particular, the deacons and their wives from the Diocese of Joliet (Illinois).

Positioning an international partner Lutheran church seminary for accreditation : a critical analysis of a proposed procedure for the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ghana Lutheran Seminary, Ghana, West Africa

Steven R. Schumacher
There is both a need and interest in attaining accreditation for theological education programs by Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod partner church seminaries in Africa. By means of a critical analysis a proposed procedure for The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ghana (ELCG) Lutheran Seminary was prepared by the author. He assessed the current student population and ELCG ordained pastors through means of tracking GPAs, personal interviews, surveys and questionnaires to discover academic and cultural needs in preparing for the pastoral ministry. Through his discoveries, the author presents a theological basis for the rationale to acquire accreditation through an African independent Christian association.

A description of students' development in conceptual interpretation of leadership theory and theology in the pastoral ministry course: Leadership theory and theology

Jay A Held
The thesis addressed the problem of students' cognitive integration of leadership theory and theology. This holistic case study included students in the fall 2014 Theory and Theology of Leadership class at Multnomah Bible College. It used a process that provided students with leadership theory, theology, practice, modeling, evaluation and feedback. A process of triangulation was engaged with five different sets of data. The research resulted in four implications for the instructor to better help develop students' capacity for cognitive integration of leadership theory and theology and two implications surfaced for future research.
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