Sunday, October 29, 2006

Continuous Reformation: Imagine A Seminary Course Catalog

Do you believe the church should always be in reform? Imagine a seminary with graduation requirements and coursework that looked like this:

Semester 1
  • The Fear of the LORD
  • Humility and self-control
  • Torah studies
  • Proverbs and Psalms (musicians encouraged to bring instruments on Fridays)
  • Stewardship

Semester 2
  • The Prophets
  • Knowing God: images of God, presence and promises of God
  • Gifts of the Spirit 1. A seven-part course on wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge, fear of the LORD, and joy in his presence.
  • Prayer and contemplation
  • The great laws: love of God and neighbor. Required term project: participation in a Matthew 25-originated hands-on ministry.

Summer Practicum: hospitality

Semester 3
  • New Testament: Gospels. Focus on knowing God through Christ.
  • Gifts of the Spirit 2. A three-part course on Faith, Hope, and Love.
  • Repentance and Forgiveness
  • Leadership 1. Spurring others on to good work. Building fellowship.
  • The Grace of the Lord

Semester 4
  • New Testament: Acts through Revelation. Focus on showing God to the world through following Christ.
  • Leadership 2. Delivering rebukes with gentleness and respect. Delivering encouragement. Forming Christ in your listeners by means of the Word. Feeding your sheep.
  • Work of the Holy Spirit 3. Main emphasis on knowing God, on love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. A basic overview of other gifts and manifestations of the Holy Spirit.
  • Perseverance and persecution
  • Proclaiming Christ as evangelism

Final Practicum: Shepherding with wisdom and compassion.


Anonymous said...

Where do I sign up? ;)

(I've often though the "Masters of Divinity" degree was lacking in the humility department...)

Oreja said...

I think you are on to something here. I would like to add
- learn how to hear God speak (it's sort of in the spiritual gifts, but it could be more emphasized)
- learn and experience how to heal people who are sick, as well as cast out demons (with minimum of shouting, just authority)
- spiritual discipline
- LifeShapes is a great tool for making disciples, check out the book. Maybe you know about it already?

I believe we need to see more experience in the learning process. I myself is very very tired of sitting on the church bench listening to teachings.

Weekend Fisher said...

What you said made me think, maybe more on prayer especially. Such a major thing not to have gotten its own course!

I looked over the LifeShapes site (hadn't seen it before). Have you read that? If so what's it's strong point? There were some things on the website that seemed interesting, others that raised red flags for me, but everywhere you go you have to use your discretion.

Oreja said...

I've been dabbling with LifeShapes for a couple of years and it's one of the best things I've ever come across. I've also been to St Thomas in Sheffield, England, to visit the church where Mike Breen sort of developed the ideas, and it's really something.

I don't know what flags it did raise for you, but you might still want to give it a try. You are very good at explaining things, and I'm sure you would do a much better job than me, but I'll give it a try.

The basic idea is that Jesus came to set the captive free, but also to teach us how to become like him. We might think he spent a lot of time telling people what to do, but he also showed them how, and he actually did many things with distinct purpose and a fascinating strategy.

The way he trained his disciples follows the same pattern any good training today would follow. Actually it is the same way you and I once learned to ride a bike: Enthusiam > Catastrophy & disillusion > Hope > Success. The leader needs to adapt his/her style of leadership to the phase the disciple is in.

It's fascinating. All in all the writers walk the reader through 8 observations of patterns in the life of Jesus. The patterns have a different amount of parts or nodes, 1-8 and therefore they use 8 shapes (circle to octagon) to help the user remember them.

You've just have to read it. If you're disapointed I'll give you the money back!

Weekend Fisher said...

Y'know, your explanation of it sounded really good (I don't know where you get the idea that you don't explain things well). The thing that had bothered me about the web site is it looked so ... commercial ... not particularly Christian. But what you said about it makes it sound more Christian, less commercial.

I've read some of the lives of the mystics (hope that's not too weird for your tastes) and they go through basically the same phases.

Clay said...

Great degree plan!

I stumbled onto your site after discovering "Rebel God" and reading some of your interchange with Derek. (I met him in the infamous church history class referred to in your post.)

I haven't had much time to check out your blog, but I really appreciate both your content and the spirit with which you write. Your interests, your passions, and your focus on loving God with all you've got are inspiring. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

May the words of your mouth & the meditations of your heart be pleasing...not in my sight...but in His.