Published Findings from the Project
"'Holy Cow! This Stuff is Real!' From Imagining Ministry to Pastoral Imagination." Teaching Theology and Religion 14, no. 4 (October 2011): 323-342
Abstract: How do seminarians move from imagining ministry to embodying pastoral imagination? Stories gathered from seminarians in their final year of study show the complexity of shifting from classroom work, which foregrounds theory and intellectual imagination, to more embodied, relational, and emotionally intense engagements of ministry. Stories about learning ministry articulate a process we call the birth of pastoral imagination. New ministers test their use of knowledge acquired in classroom and books within the limits of actual ministry situations. They become overwhelmed by multiple variables in situations where they must make choices and act. These moments of action are fraught with risk and responsibility for the outcomes. Articulation and theological reflection are formative for students learning the practice of ministry. Implications for theological education include making greater “use of knowledge” in ministry practice and “use of practice” in classrooms. Points of crisis in the student stories raise additional questions about how some complications and interruptions to the “birth process” may present tragic consequences.
"The Unfolding Pastoral Imagination: Prudence As Key to Learning Ministry." Reflective Practice 32 (2012): 101-117
Book and film Reviews
From Midterms to Ministry: Practical Theologians on Pastoral Beginnings. Edited by Allan Hugh Cole, Jr. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2008. (Peer reviewed version available online from Wiley Online Library.)
Reviewed by: Eileen Campbell-Reed
Educating Clergy: Teaching Practices and Pastoral Imagination. Charles R. Foster, Lisa E. Dahill, Lawrence A. Golemon, and Barbara Wang Tolentino. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2006.
Reviewed by: Chris Scharen
Resurrecting Excellence: Shaping Faithful Christian Ministry, by L. Gregory Jones and Kevin R. Armstrong. Grand Rapids: W. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2006. Reviewed together with: God's Potters: Pastoral Leadership and the Shaping of Congregations, by Jackson W. Carroll. Grand Rapids: W. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2006.
Reviewed by: Chris Scharen
The Calling (documentary film directed and produced by Daniel Alport). Associated Baptist Press website, December 2010, reviewed by Eileen Campbell-Reed.
Educating Nurses: A Call for Radical Transformation, by Patricia Benner, et.al. Reviewed by Eileen Campbell-Reed.
Here are some books that help us frame the conversation about learning and ministry that we are trying to lead:
Aleshire, Daniel O. Earthen Vessels: Hopeful Reflections on the Work and Future of Theological Schools. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2008.
Barker, Lance R. and B. Edmon Martin. Multiple Paths to Ministry: New Models for Theological Education. Cleveland: Pilgrim Press, 2004.
Bass, Dorothy C. and Craig R. Dykstra. For Life Abundant: Practical Theology, Theological Education, and Christian Ministry. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2008.
Benner, Patricia E. Educating Nurses: A Call for Radical Transformation. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2010.
Browning, Don S. A Fundamental Practical Theology: Descriptive and Strategic Proposals. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1991.
Carroll, Jackson W. and Becky R. McMillan. God's Potters: Pastoral Leadership and the Shaping of Congregations. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2006.
Cole, Allan H. From Midterms to Ministry: Practical Theologians on Pastoral Beginnings. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2008.
Cooke, Molly, et al. Educating Physicians: A Call for Reform of Medical School and Residency. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2010.
Farley, Edward. Theologia: The Fragmentation and Unity of Theological Education. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1983.
Farley, Edward. Practicing Gospel: Unconventional Thoughts on the Church's Ministry. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2003.
Foster, Charles R. Educating Clergy: Teaching Practices and the Pastoral Imagination. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2006.
Gilpin, W. Clark. A Preface to Theology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996.
Hess, Mary E. and Stephen Brookfield. Teaching Reflectively in Theological Contexts: Promises and Contradictions. Malabar, FL: Krieger Publishing Company, 2008.
Jones, L. Gregory and Stephanie Paulsell. The Scope of Our Art: The Vocation of the Theological Teacher. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2001.
Kelsey, David H. To Understand God Truly: What's Theological about a Theological School. Louisville: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1992.
Koppel, Michael S. Open Hearted Ministry: Play as key to pastoral leadership. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2008.
Miller, Glenn T. Piety and Profession: American Protestant Theological Education, 1870-1970. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2007.
Neuger, Christie C. The Arts of Ministry: Feminist-Womanist Approaches. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1996.
Palmer, Parker J. Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2000.
Palmer, Parker J. A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey toward an Undivided Life: Welcoming the Soul and Weaving Community in a Wounded World. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2004.
Peterson, Eugene H. Under the Unpredictable Plant: An Exploration in Vocational Holiness. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1992.
Sullivan, William M. Work and Integrity: The Crisis and Promise of Professionalism in America. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2004.
Tribble, Jeffery L. Transformative Pastoral Leadership in the Black Church. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005.
Walker, George E. and Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The Formation of Scholars: Rethinking Doctoral Education for the Twenty-first Century. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2008.
Walsh, James. Grace under Pressure: What Gives Life to American Priests: A Study of Effective Priests Ordained Ten to Thirty Years. Washington, DC: National Catholic Educational Association, 1995.
Zikmund, Barbara B., Adair T. Lummis, and Patricia M. Y. Chang. Clergy Women: An Uphill Calling. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1998.
Links We Like
Christian Scharen, "Learning Ministry over Time: Embodying Practical Wisdom,” final draft published pp. 265-288 in Craig Dykstra and Dorothy Bass, eds., For Life Abundant: Practical Theology, Theological Education, and Christian Ministry. Eerdmans (2008).
"Wisdom at the Crossroads" in This is What a Preacher Looks Like: Sermons by Baptist Women in Ministry. Pamela R. Durso, ed. Macon, GA: Smyth & Helwys, 2010.