Monday, December 07, 2009

Some Thoughts on Theological Education in Asia


Asia is in a constant flux of rapid socio-economic changes. The church is growing rapidly and there is a need for competent, confident and spiritually matured pastors and leaders. The curriculum for theological education in Asian seminaries is often based on the traditional classic fourfold content of biblical studies, systematic theology, church history, and practical theology. There is a tendency for these institutions to focus strongly on content in their curriculums. Their approach to teaching is usually instructional schooling which is the proven pedagogy for content transmission. Unfortunately instructional schooling has been proven not effective in producing graduates capable of complex decision making, creative thinking, reflective in actions, and life long learning. These are essential qualities for spiritual leadership in the information age. Problem based learning (PBL) with its track record in medical education offers the pedagogy to develop these qualities. Seminaries in Asia should seriously consider a radical paradigm shift in curriculum redesign following the Problem based Learning (PBL) pedagogy.

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This is an article I wrote about a challenge to theological education in Asia. I have earlier blogged about some thoughts I have while researching for this article.

Are learning ancient languages useful for pastors?
Are our pastors adequately prepared for ministry?
Do theological education forms or deforms spiritual formation?

Here are some interesting comments on theological education made on blogs recently by an Asian student and a seminary lecturer.

Sze Zeng
Local theological study, church and the end of the first semester
Kar Yong
What my students think of us

Please read my article and let me know what you think.


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