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Faith & Religion, Teaching/Education

Pondering the future of theological education

Ucpm248The other week I borrowed a friend’s copy of “a genuinely educated ministry”: Three Studies on Theological Education in the Uniting Church of Australia by Andrew Dutney, principal of Parkin-Wesley College in Adelaide.

It’s a collection of Dutney’s three research projects submitted for a course at Flinders University designed for educational administrators and managers. As such, each section reads like an academic report (which may not be your cup of tea), but I found it quite accessible, though each report draws upon common material so sometimes I skimmed ahead.

Each project is oriented around a different question or subject:

Part 1. An historical study of the place of theological education in the inherited traditions of the Uniting Church in Australia
Which looked at tensions that can arise from different views of theological education within Reformed and Methodist traditions
Part 2. Theological education in the Uniting Church in Australia: historical trajectories and the future
Which, in part, looked at how different parts of the church viewed their roles in the shaping and control of theological education, as well as the impact of para-church educators
Part 3. Where do our ministers come from now?
The issues arising from candidates for ministry coming for training later in life, often with prior theological education, and often already established in lay ministry.

That’s only a brief summary of some of the points in the book, but if you’re interested in theological education and some of the issues it faces in this part of the world then it’s well worth the read.

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  1. i still think that andrew is one of the best theological lecturers in australia, loved having him as a lecturer for a number of subjects when i did my bth.

    good times…

  2. Linz

    I think Dutney’s book gives some perceptive insights into some of the dynamics within the Uniting Church – especially tension around the issue of theological education.

    I also like his ideas about the future of theological education, though the book is not as clear or prescriptive as I have heard him be in talks recently.

  3. i met andrew in south australia this year when i was speaking at some Uniting church stuff there and was very impressed – very musical, warm, perceptive. a great gift.


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