InSights Journal Vol. 1 No. 1
The Purpose of the Journal: For Such a Time as This
“For such a time as this.” When asked why we would start a new journal at this time, the answer may be found in Mordecai’s words to Esther: we hope that the Journal may, in fact, be just the right resource “for such a time as this.”
Research-Based Curriculum Review: Learning from the Africa Leadership Study
Africa International University (Nairobi, Kenya)
Leadership development is a buzzword found in the vision and mission statements of many evangelical theological institutions in Africa. The irony, however, is that the more theological institutions claim to be developing transformational leaders for the African church, the more leadership crises the church continues to encounter. Elliston (1988) used graphic words like over-functioning, non-functioning, undertrained, over-trained, inappropriately trained, dropout, overextended, and springboard to describe the perilous state of leadership in Africa. The phenomenal growth of the church in Africa further aggravates the situation.
On the Economics of Theological Education
Leaders rightly focus considerable energy upon the financial stability of their institutions. According to a 2013 survey conducted by The Chronicle of Higher Education and Maguire Associates, fundraising and balancing budgets occupy the greatest amount of time in the daily schedules of University Presidents in North America. For many leaders of theological schools, keeping their institutions financially afloat requires significant effort as well.
Olive Oil, Theological Education, and Economics
Larry A. Smith
ScholarLeaders International (Cortona, Italy)
Our town in Italy is famous for the flavor and quality of its olive oil. A neighbor has 3,000 mature trees, well-spaced and perfectly pruned, located on a hillside with ample sun exposure. He is experienced and competent, and his family has been producing oil for generations. Yet he loses an average of €8 per tree every year. There are just not enough customers willing and able to pay premium prices for premium oil, and the cost of harvesting a hillside orchard is high. The more he produces, the more he loses.
Theological Education: A Delicate Enterprise
Marcos Orison Almeida
South American Theological Seminary (Londrina, Brazil)
Economics are always a problem for theological schools in the Majority World due to various historical, cultural, and structural issues. In addition, factors such as lack of resources, little financial support from churches, and enrollment of mostly poor students make the management of a theological school particularly challenging.
Third Stream Income: The Case of the Ethiopian Graduate School of Theology
Ethiopian Graduate School of Theology (AddisAbaba, Ethiopia)
When the Ethiopian Graduate School of Theology (EGST) was established in 1997 as the first and only graduate theological institution in the Horn of Africa, the founders did not plan for it to have its own campus, faculty, and full-time staff. The plan was for all teaching activities to take place at the two undergraduate theological institutions, the Mekane Yesus Seminary (MYS) and the Evangelical Theological College (ETC). In a way, EGST was established as the graduate programme of ETC and MYS.
Book Review: González, Justo L. The History of Theological Education, Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2015. Pp. xi + 147.
J. Daniel Salinas
United World Mission (Bogotá, Columbia)
If we imagine the great Church Fathers and ancient theologians graduating summa cum laude from the most prestigious seminaries of the ancient world, then Justo González has a surprise for us. Seminaries are actually a recent development, established less than 500 years ago to prepare those called to ministry. How in the world did the church survive over one and a half millennia without our darling theological schools?
Book Review: Shaw, Perry. Transforming Theological Education: A Practical Handbook for Integrative Learning. Cumbria, UK: Langham Global Library, 2014. Pp. vii + 310.
Senac University (São Paulo, Brazil)
In Transforming Theological Education: A Practical Handbook for Integrative Learning, Perry Shaw, Professor of Christian Education at Arab Baptist Theological Seminary (ABTS) in Beirut, Lebanon, addresses problems familiar to theological educators around the world. These challenges include providing alternatives to the classic tripartite curriculum (i.e., biblical, dogmatic, and practical theology), overcoming an almost exclusive reliance on lecturing by professors, and integrating theory and praxis in the educational experience.