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Fall 1999 Newsletter

Editor: Mark E. Simpson, 4050 Lee Vance View, Colorado Springs, CO 80918

In This Issue

globe.gif (12227 bytes) Nurturing the Soul Through Christian Education Part II
globe.gif (12227 bytes) Reasons to Be a Part of NAPCE
globe.gif (12227 bytes) Wanted: Current Research
globe.gif (12227 bytes) NAPCE Online!
globe.gif (12227 bytes) NAPCE Membership
globe.gif (12227 bytes) News Briefs
globe.gif (12227 bytes) NAPCE 1999 Annual Conference
globe.gif (12227 bytes) Announcing the NAPCE 2000 Annual Conference
globe.gif (12227 bytes) Youth Ministry Educators Forum
globe.gif (12227 bytes) Book Reviews
globe.gif (12227 bytes) NAPCE 1999 Annual Conference Schedule

Nurturing the Soul Through Christian Education Part II

Judy TenElshof, Biola University

"Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God." Matthew 4:4

These words of Jesus, citing Deuteronomy 8:3, point to the reality that we as humans are designed to live in a personal fellowship with our Creator. Just as physical life requires the intake of food and water, so our personal spiritual life requires the constant presence of God. As physical life involves the constant inbreathing of the air about us, so our spiritual life requires the inbreathing of the Spirit of God. We are not created to have life in ourselves but to have life only in a constant relationship with our Creator who alone is "the fountain of life" (Psalm36:9). In Christian education, a priority both faculty and students share, is a vital involvement in this personal relationship which is to be growing ever more intimate.

Why is coming to the North American Professors of Christian Education conference in San Diego so important? You should attend because you will receive innovative and practical ideas as to how create anew a hunger for this personal intimate relationship with God in your students. Not only will our keynote speakers challenge you in the formation of the spiritual life, but also you will be given time to create and discuss ways to implement the important concepts of nurturing the spiritual life in the lives of your students. But much more lies in store for you on the southern coastline of the Pacific.

#1 Foundational "soul" concepts and Spiritual Formation Values
J.P. Moreland, Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology and author and co-author of over 35 books and numerous journal and magazine articles will be leading us in a deeper understanding of the soul. In his latest book "Love Your God With All Your Mind JP says, "The soul is a very complicated thing with an intricate internal structure that we need to understand if we are to appreciate spiritual transformation." His model of soul will have profound implications for integrating spiritual formation into the lives of our students. He will also do a workshop where more of you can interact with him on implementation of his concepts.

Rick Dunn, a member and friend of many at NAPCE (now pastor to Student and Family Ministries and Theological Educator-in-Residence at Fellowship Church in Knoxville, Tennessee) and author of several books and journal articles will offer an alternative model for learning. He will challenge us with six transforming values for Christian education and will encourage you to revisit your own values for Christian education ministries. Each of the six transforming values will be critiqued and discussed for practical implementation in your own schools. Since you can’t attend each praxis, papers of each will be distributed to the attendees and an overview of each discussion will be given.

#2 Professional Development
Each of us have areas of professional life we would love to develop but never seem able to find that needed time of enrichment. NAPCE ’99 gives you this opportunity. Time is set apart for you to choose one of several areas of professional development including distance education, developing an advisory board, a working model of spiritual formation, discipleship, and developing leadership through student-directed workshops. Several of our membership who are skilled in these areas will be stimulating your professional growth with what has worked for them.

There will also be time when you will be encouraged to interact, share programs, syllabi, and ideas that are being emphasized on your campus. So come prepared to share not only your success stories, but to seek answers to current problems you are facing in implementing your passions and programs.

Kevin Lawson will again be coordinating the sharing of current research by faculty and students. Our research shows where Christian education needs to go in the future. 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 areas.

#3 Refreshment
As faculty, we too do not "live on bread alone." We need to be refreshed through worship and fellowship with other believers who are co-laboring in training others to impact the Kingdom. The ’99 conference will provide times of worship and San Diego is a wonderful place to see God’s creation. Views of the harbor and Mission Bay from the bluff of Point Loma are breathtaking and awe inspiring. You truly will not want to miss Seaport Village with its quaint shops or the smell of tacos and the sights and sounds of Mexico in Old Town. NAPCE in San Diego will give you an opportunity to enjoy fellowship with colleagues and truly be refreshed.

I pray that God will direct your coming!

Reasons to Be a Part of NAPCE

Gregory C. Carlson, President

After you have answered the question, "Why do you get up in the morning?"1 What is next? Try this: "Why should I be a part of NAPCE?"

With the retirement of Ford, Gangel, Benson, and other Christian education heroes, I wondered about the momentum of NAPCE. And yet our academic community does seem to be doing well! We had one of our largest and most energetic conferences in Nashville last year, and plans for San Diego are exciting, but still . . .

The annual meetings of scholarly associations have been called the "Gong Shows of the academic world," replete with their own jargon, rules of engagement, and prizes. . . Now is the time to reassess these academic meetings. Not because of the ideological or methodological rigidity that one finds there, but because such conventions serve less and less effectively the purposes for which they were designed.2

So what about us?

#1 We need to gather for the promotion of discussion, research, and writing
Using e-mail, the NAPCE web site, and regional consortia, our annual conferences can be highlights, not expensive duties. Research grants await! Some of us need the stimulus to think, propose, and write. NAPCE is also about:

#2 We need to gather for relationships, "networking," encouragement, and fun
Virtual friendships are enhanced to vitality with face to face meetings and continual communication.

#3 We need to gather for new ideas and interdisciplinary integration
I’m surprised at the mileage I get from my conference attendance in the classroom, personal development, "cutting edge insight," and general help compared to some of my colleagues who trudge off to their meetings. No wonder they have a different attitude about annual conferences!

#4 We need to gather to appreciate differences
We need development and participation of more ethnic groups for multi-cultural insight and stronger partnerships. I am pleased that gender issues are discussed at NAPCE, and women succeed among us.

#5 The bottom line of why we need to gather is to be better educators
The service of connecting graduate students, available people, and places of ministry is great. But the most powerful reason is that I’m a better Christian educator because of NAPCE. I am exposed to essential seed-thoughts through the relationships, materials, and presentations. The publishers are there for us, and they provide for us a huge resource! Just the books and discs one receives would make the membership valuable. Teaching skills are enhanced as models, attitudes, workshops, and conversations occur. Professional standards are enhanced, and many of the ideas gained at the NAPCE conference impact the entire academic community. (My dean almost always asks for a tape, a summary, or a report relating to a current university issue.)

So spread the word! Make it a point to tell at least one other person about NAPCE. Check out our web page for info. Get a student or colleague to come with you to the conference. Who knows? It may help you get up in the morning!

1 Garber, Steven. 1996. Fabric of faithfulness: Weaving together belief and behavior during the university years