I think most of our first two cohorts are enjoying the “pioneer” nature of this first praxis course, Missional Church. By pioneer I mean to say that we are experimenting, seeing what works, what everyone can handle, what is most beneficial. It brings a certain freshness to what we’re doing.
Being able to promote under a name and a permanent head has already helped recruiting. Apparently the phone was ringing this week! We continue to wrestle with finding the balance of not requiring too much work for individuals we have not just allowed but required to be involved in extensive ministry. Needless to say, it’s been demanding for those who are full time pastors to fit in 7 credit hours worth of classes each week!
One of the iconic assignments I’ve mentioned here before is the “Integration Paper.” On Friday students turned in biblical research toward a particular pastoral issue they identified back in Week 3. I spent quite a bit of time developing a sample to go along with the process as it currently stands:
1. Week 4 they identify passages relevant to the pastoral issue.
2. Week 5 they brainstorm the meaning of each passage primarily taking into account the immediate and broader literary context of the passages.
3. Week 6 they look at commentaries and find relevant background information.
4. Week 7 they draw conclusions on the original meanings of the passages and turn all this research in.
The process will now move into phase two–theological and historical research.