Editor: Mark E. Simpson, 4050 Lee Vance View, Colorado Springs, CO 80918
Living and Teaching in a Pluralistic World (Part II)
Wanted: Current Research Presentations
Research Grants Available
Annual Conference Update
NAPCE Board Nominations
Youth Ministry Educators Forum
Living and Teaching in a Pluralistic WorldNAPCE 1998 Annual Conference Schedule
Why is the North American Professors of Christian Education conference in Nashville the highlight of the seminars I attend? Why should you plan to attend? I propose four reasons.
Participating in the conference will give you new ideas. The core of evangelical belief and the growing diversity among us will present ways of thinking that you will seldom find so accessible elsewhere. Consider our theme: Living and Teaching in a Pluralistic World. "Nothing in our past prepared us for the present. We live in a time unlike any other time that any living person has known. Change itself has changed, thereby changing the rules by which we live." (Easum, William. 1995. Sacred Cows Make Gourmet Hamburgers, Abingdon.)
D. A. Carson, Research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, will sharpen our focus on postmodern thinking. In the Gagging of God, Carson states, "For any number of reasons, many Christians similarly feel that they can participate in this little corner or that, but that in the face of the extraordinary complexities cast up by the new pluralisms they find it difficult to articulate a more comprehensive vision" (pg. 405). Need a fresh vision for Christian education? I believe you will find Carson's lectures and the educational responses to his, "Deck Chairs on the Titanic: Living in a Pluralistic World," and "And the Band Played On: How Should We Then Teach?" clarifying, practical, prioritizing, and thought-provoking.
Carolyn Tennant, Vice President of Academic Affairs at North Central Bible College, is an insightful and innovative leader in the area of multi-cultural Christian education. She will use the historical backdrop of Celtic culture to provide an analysis of the weaknesses and lacks of our present system ofChristian education. Robert Pazmiņo will lead our response to her first lecture, "Viewing Christian Education Through the Eyes of a Different Culture." "A Paradigm of Accomplishing Mission in a Culture of Diversity" will address practical ideas on how to address those weaknesses. Successfully addressing those trends in a Bible College, Carolyn is sure to stimulate crisp thinking for our own ministries.
It only took the first attendance at a NAPCE Conference in 1983 and I was hooked. The friendships made over the years have acted like a gyroscope on my professional development. (The free-time basketball games and late night debates were not bad either!) NAPCE folks are the kind of people you want to spend time with!
Nashville is a fantastic place for relaxing and/or having fun. World famous "Music Row," scrumptious dining, Southern hospitality, and everything from Opryland Hotel to Hermitage Museum await you. Plenty of time has been built into the conference to relax and converse, explore and enjoy. The Clubhouse Inn is a pleasant and convenient downtown location right across the street from the host of our convention, LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention (formerly known as the Sunday School Board).
When you think of Nashville, you have to think of prominent publishers! Along with the regular supporters of NAPCE, local area publishers have been invited to participate with us. Optional tours of the LifeWay facilities also have been scheduled. If you have been at a NAPCE conference before, you already know that valuable publications and resources are provided for us from the numerous publishers, companies, and resource groups sponsoring booths at the meeting. (Be sure to leave room in your suitcase!)
But that is not all the resources you will take home! The Current Research Sessions, coordinated by Kevin Lawson, will highlight the best and most recent discoveries from our academy.
Nowhere else will you find specific helps for the Christian education professor so geared to personal vocational maturation as in the Professional Development Workshops. J. E. Harvey Martin organizes the presenters and topics for these key parts of our conference. You will have a hard time choosing from workshops on "Writing for Publication," "Multi-Cultural Religious Education," "Youth Ministry Trends and Ideas," "Teaching Effectively," "Computer Presentations for the Classroom," and "Web site Development for the Classroom." The networking and learning that goes on in these workshops alone makes the conference worth the money and effort.
The Season of Life Workshops being put together by Denise Muir Kjesbo will focus on the aspects of development in our profession such as, "Student Perspective," "Beginning Professor," "Middle Professional," and "Finishing Well." We will even hold caucus for "Faculty Gone Administration!" These "mentor modes" may well be the highlight of the conference for you.
Well, there you have it. Now, how do you prepare for a seminar that will challenge you, refresh you, and sharpen you?
1. Pray. Let God mold your thinking and heart. Ask Him for an alert mind, a ready spirit, a hungry heart. Will you pray at least once a week for the conference?
2. Read. Get acquainted with Carson's and Tennant's work. Read in the area of pluralism and multi-cultural understandings. Come ready to ask questions.
3. Register. The conference will not profit you if you do not attend! Do one thing today to get yourself to Nashville. Write the budget request. If costs in attending the conference are prohibitive for you, call Dennis Williams to ask about the David C. Cook Church Ministries Professional Growth and Development Grant. Fill out the registration form and send it in. Call the Club House Inn and make reservations. Book your flight.
4. Call or Email. If you have any questions about the conference, feel free to contact any member of the NAPCE Board. What I really am thinking about, however, is for you to call or email a friend and invite them to come. The last several years, I have tried to bring at least one new member of the academy to this conference. We will be the richer for it! You will be appreciated for it!
See you in Nashville!
Wanted: Current Research Presentations
Kevin Lawson, Talbot School of Theology
We are still looking for faculty and students interested in sharing their research at the upcoming NAPCE annual conference. The research can be empirical in nature, or fit more of an historical, philosophical, or theological model. A high quality of research workmanship is expected. Research presentations are set for Friday, October 16, during the conference in Nashville.
If you are interested in making a presentation, send a one-to-two page abstract of your research to:
Kevin E. Lawson
Talbot School of Theology
13800 Biola Avenue
La Mirada, CA 90639
Phone: (562) 903-6000
The deadline for submissions is September 1. However, if space is limited, those who apply early and are accepted will be given preference. This is a great opportunity to share what you have been working on, receive feedback from others, and stimulate others to extend your work into new arenas. Join us for a great conference, and share your work with us!
Mark Lamport, Huntington College
Each issue of the NAPCE Newsletter features two book reviews by our membership. These new reviews, in addition to reviews from previous newsletters, are available online at the NAPCE web site.
Bass, Dorothy C., ed. 1997. Practicing our faith: A way of life for a searching people. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers. 232 pages. ISBN: 0780787903367. Reviewed by Gary Parrett, Assistant Professor of Youth Ministries, Gordon College.
Dorothy Bass edited volume, Practicing Our Faith, offers a needed reminder that the Christian life is not a merely cerebral exercise: a faith not only to be believed, but to be obeyed, lived and shared. Ten Christian practices (described as "things Christian people do together over time in response to and in the light of Gods active presence for the life of the world") are discussed by the various authors. Topics include "Honoring the Body," "Hospitality," "Household Economics," "Keeping Sabbath" and "Dying Well."
As important as its message is, however, the book is not as helpful as one might hope. Like many edited works, this collection suffers from uneven treatments of the various topics. Some chapters are well-grounded biblically and theologically, yet in others such grounding seems peripheral at best. There is an unevenness in the choice of the "practices" themselves. Not al