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Pedagogical Possibilities: New Paradigms in Teaching for Ministry

We are pleased to announce an exciting conference to be held at Vanderbilt University: Pedagogical Possibilities: New Paradigms in Teaching for Ministry (June 3-5, 2015). We seek your assistance in empowering your colleagues who have a proven record of innovative, stimulating and creative classrooms to submit a proposal for the conference. It is our hope that you will also join us and mark this date on your calendar.

Pedagogical Possibilities: New Paradigms in Teaching for Ministry is a conferencecelebrating groundbreaking teaching and learning in seminaries and divinity schools while fostering conversations about and bettering the craft of teaching for ministry. The Program in Theology and Practice at Vanderbilt University will host the conference. The Program, funded by a grant from the Lilly Endowment Inc., seeks to form a generation of theological educators who are outstanding teachers of people preparing for ministry and groundbreaking scholars who do practical theology in every discipline. Invited faculty will offer presentations followed by roundtable conversations. Faculty may want to focus their presentation on the following topics: how their classroom evolved into its current form; the teaching philosophy informing their classroom; goals and objectives of their course; dimensions of interdisciplinarity, multiple intelligences and/or heterogeneity; how the classroom addresses changing student profiles and religious and societal contexts; practices informing the classroom; tensions and dilemmas; student evaluations and feedback from ministry settings. All presentations will be 40 minutes followed by 30 minutes of round table discussions. Presenters will also lead one 60-minute workshop that offers glimpses of approaches, techniques and practices informing the classroom.

We anticipate that academic officers and faculty interested in transformative and creative teaching and learning or those who are seeking ways to renew their curricula and classrooms will attend the conference.

The Conference Steering Committee is interested in proposals from areas across the theological curriculum, especially where foci include teaching for thriving Christian communities, forming pastoral leadership, empowering ecumenical and interfaith dialogue, reading Scripture with exegetical and theological wisdom, engaging in public theology or social and restorative justice, and deepening Christian practices. Professors teaching for ministry through music and/or the visual arts, or by engaging religious pluralism and cultural diversity, chaplaincy training and the digital humanities are encouraged to submit a proposal.

 We anticipate inviting 8-10 presenters. As an invited presenter, the Program in Theology and Practice will cover all expenses relating to travel and room and board.

Interested faculty is asked to submit a proposal no later than Wednesday, October 1, 2014. Proposals are to be sent to and should include the following (2-page maximum):

 Professor’s name, contact information and teaching experience

  1. A description of the classroom’s context (nature of institution; residential or online or hybrid classrooms; place within the school’s M.Div. Curriculum; etc.)
  2. A description of professor’s classroom and how knowledge is delivered (objectives and goals; collaborative learning; multiple intelligences; different technologies; method; embodied learning; service learning; forms of evaluation; how many years offered, etc.)
  3. Brief statement on why the class is taught in this specific manner, including why this class matters and how it informs ministry

 We envision a stimulating, collaborative and hospitable conference, offering the best Vanderbilt University and Nashville can offer.

Thank you for forwarding this invitation to your faculty colleagues and assisting us in creating a conference aiming to stimulate and inform classrooms reaching into faith communities. We welcome any questions.

Please mark June 3-5, 2015 on your calendar. We hope you will join us.


Sincerely yours,

Jaco Hamman