The education offered by Winebrenner Seminary has always played a role in the Christian discipleship process. However, over the past few years we’ve made an intentional shift to approach theological education as discipleship. As a learning organization we are committed to growing in our understanding of our own commitments.
Over the past few weeks we’ve been exploring various aspects of viewing theological education as discipleship. Here is a summary of what we’ve shared (you can click on the bold text below to go to the full post):
- Discipleship always includes some form of content and is not just about the process of the relationship.
- However, in a Christian discipleship relationship information is never just for the sake of information and must be directed toward personal and spiritual transformation. The contexts for these relationships must be established and could be in a classroom or local ministry setting.
- While we often associate addiction with chemical dependence we can also be addicted to unhealthy personal or organizational patterns. Tom Bandy’s book Kicking Habits: Welcome Relief for Addicted Churches speaks to some of the steps to break free from previous beliefs that may be holding us back from making a kingdom difference.
- While walking with someone on a discipleship journey some concerns may surface that require professional counseling, support, and intervention. As a Christian or pastor, it’s okay if professional assistance is needed to help someone take a step toward spiritual maturity.
There’s so much more that is yet to be written about prioritizing discipleship in theological education. One of the challenges is that most seminaries view themselves as “schools” and structure and prioritize functions that make them better schools. As I noted in the first post in this series, Winebrenner’s commitment is to serve as a catalyst for discipleship and as we fulfill this purpose we continue to translate our practices into language that permits us to maintain accreditation.
InDepth is designed to be a space where we can reimagine theological education. We’ll continue to explore ways in which we can be faithful to God’s call and fulfill our mission of equipping leaders for service in God’s kingdom.