We introduce a new instrument, called the Practicing Faith Survey (PFS), to assess faith formation among students in K-12 Christian schools. We begin by describing the conceptual and theological background of the PFS, underscoring the ways it differs from existing instruments of faith formation because of its particular focus on Christian practice within the context of learning and the vocation of the student. We then describe the procedures behind developing the PFS and its five domains: Intellectual, Relational, Introspective, Beneficent, and Formational Practices. We then provide evidence of validity and reliability based on a pilot study that involved 1,200 US and Australian Christian school students in fifth through 12th grades. We conclude with recommendations about how Christian school educators, students, and parents can use the PFS in practice.
After completing their Supervised Pastoral Education units provided by the Canadian Association for Spiritual Care, two soon-to-be-certified Spiritual Care Practitioners applied to the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario. Both were rejected because their Supervised Pastoral Education program was not deemed to be “substantially equivalent” to a recognized psychotherapy program. This came as a surprise since similarly qualified Canadian Association for Spiritual Care Practitioners in Ontario are also members of the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario through a process called “grandparenting.” Using the 10 characteristics of a College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario recognized program, this paper examines Canadian Association for Spiritual Care's SPE program in detail, showing how closely it aligns with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario's description of an equivalent psychotherapy program. I conclude by suggesting the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario should embrace Supervised Pastoral Education as an equivalent program and grant memberships, not just to those grand parented in, but to future Canadian Association for Spiritual Care Practitioners.
There is a growing recognition of the presence and prevalence of mental health issues in Christian communities, and their impacts on affected individuals, families, and congregations. This has encouraged collaborations and partnerships between mental health professionals and faith communities, including mental health education for faith communities by mental health professionals. In this chapter, Christian clergy and psychiatrists have outlined rationales, guiding principles, and practical examples of mental health education in diverse settings. Psychiatrists can educate the public by repurposing their current clinical skills and expertise. Office skills establishing the therapeutic relationship and educating patients to deeper levels of understanding can be translated for use within a psychiatric education event. Educational and sociological concepts of epistemic “levelism” and “contextualization” can be understood within the clinical model and can be reinterpreted toward teaching. The psychoanalytic, theological, and sociological concepts of intersubjectivity and “third” process can help translate psychotherapeutic concepts for Christian audiences. Examples of promoting spiritual integration while educating the Christian public are discussed. Useful resources (especially those available free of charge) for such mental health educational endeavors are highlighted. The issues of cultural sensitivity and competency, training programs, as well as ethical considerations in conducting such endeavors are also discussed. The ultimate goal of the authors is to empower readers to embark on their own mental health educational endeavors.
Christian psychiatric care dates from Christ’s historical ministry on earth, including healings of both physical and mental illnesses. His healing actions were personalized, creative, intimately relational, and ultimately spiritual, producing life-changing restoration of health.
In 1 Cor 11:19, Paul talks about hoi dokimoi faneroi (“the distinctively approved ones”) among the Christ group in Corinth. Paul mentions these people in a context in which he criticises factions and divisions in the group. The verse itself is not enough to understand what the group practiced in advance to have such approved members, nor are we aware of how the group proceeded with the practice and what the prerequisites were. This article attempts to answer these crucial questions by examining association data from ancient Greece regarding election procedures to understand 1 Cor 11:19 within its particular social context, and the Christ group in Corinth in general.
This essay proposes that efforts at assessing the contribution of faith-based schools to faith formation be grounded in an account of student vocation framed by Christian practices. We identify gaps in research on assessment of school effectiveness and suggest that a focus on the present vocation of students may fruitfully connect faith and school-based learning practices. On this basis, we describe a framework for viewing assessment through a practices lens by identifying Christian practices that orient learning practices. We also briefly introduce the Practicing Faith Survey, a new tool based on this approach.
Changes in the demographic profile of students attending Christian universities combine with shifts in the culture at large to present new challenges to Christian higher educators who have the character formation of students as an aim. The pandemic will bring other challenges. In uncertain times, Christian universities aiming at character formation must, first, clarify and focus on their mission and must, second, work intentionally to create a campus climate supportive of character development. A Christian university wanting a climate that fosters character makes these seven efforts (among others): to build relationships and community, to build trust, to welcome dialogue on difficult issues, to consider the built environment, to go slow, to recognize the diversity of learners, to attend to its language. Uncertain times and their concomitant challenges present new opportunities for Christian universities to reimagine character formation.
The Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor describes our present secular society as inhabiting time differently. Our age is no longer embedded in what he describes as ‘higher time’ with a divine foundation and the idea that the society was constituted in something that transcended contemporary common action, or the ‘present tense'. Institutions like the church and university are creatures of an older time, so how do we practice Christian Education in secular time? This chapter posits three conceptual distinctions that might serve Christian institutions of higher education well as we reimagine our vocation: Imagination rather than worldview, pedagogy rather than curriculum and distinctively rather than uniquely Christian. (Pearl Jam fans should note that the ‘Present Tense’ reference is intentional).
Research in Christian education is in its infancy and there is limited published work of a good standard to consult. In order for Christian education research to mature, educators need examples of conceptual, empirical and practice-based research modelled from different disciplinary standpoints and within formal and informal educational settings. This need is addressed by the peer-reviewed edited volume Innovating Christian Education Research: Multidisciplinary Perspectives. Unusually, if not uniquely, the book’s coherence is not to be found in a single educational setting (e.g. K-12 or higher education) but rather in the carefully curated research chapters that have been meticulously collated in the hope that they may inspire new passionate research pursuits that may collectively combine to building the field of Christian education research. The book editors argue that this strategy is urgently needed for research in the field to mature. This introductory chapter to the book initially presents both project background and overview (Sect. 1.1), then introduces the book structure and chapter contents (Sect. 1.2) and finally details the work’s focus and intended contribution to field building (Sect. 1.3). The chapter also elaborates the volume’s guiding framework, which divides the book into three constituent parts that comprise conceptual perspectives (Part I), empirical research (Part II) and practice-informed research (Part III).
This book reformulates Christian education as an interdisciplinary and interdenominational vocation for professionals and practitioners. It speaks directly to a range of contemporary contexts with the aim of encouraging conceptual, empirical and practice-informed innovation to build the field of Christian education research. The book invites readers to probe questions concerning epistemologies, ethics, pedagogies and curricula, using multidisciplinary research approaches. By helping thinkers to believe and believers to think, the book seeks to stimulate constructive dialogue about what it means to innovate Christian education research today. Chapters are organised into three main sections. Following an introduction to the volume's guiding framework and intended contribution (Chapter 1), Part 1 features conceptual perspectives and comprises research that develops theological, philosophical and theoretical discussion of Christian education (Chapters 2-13). Part 2 encompasses empirical research that examines data to test theory, answer big questions and develop our understanding of Christian education (Chapters 14-18). Finally, Part 3 reflects on contemporary practice contexts and showcases examples of emerging research agendas in Christian education (Chapters 19-24).
Anglican (Episcopal) churches around the world are facing a serious problem in discipleship and has called for a season of “intentional discipleship and disciple-making.” The Anglican Church of Canada renewed its emphasis on discipleship, providing some helpful resources, but there are no studies of how discipleship may be experienced at a congregational level. This study focuses on an Anglican church, identified as a leader in discipleship ministry. Through in-depth interviews and observations of formative events, I sought to discover how this congregation understood discipleship, engaged its Anglican tradition, lived and nurtured its reality in their context.
Kalasha (ISO 639-3: kls), also known as Kalashamon, is a Northwestern Indo-Aryan language spoken in Chitral District of Khyber Pakhtunkwa Province in northern Pakistan, primarily in the valleys of Bumburet, Rumbur, Urtsun, and Birir, as shown in Figure 1. The number of speakers is estimated between 3000 and 5000. The Ethnologue classifies the language status as ‘vigorous’ (Eberhard, Simons & Fennig 2019) but some researchers consider it ‘threatened’ (Rahman 2006, Khan & Mela-Athanasopoulou 2011). Kalasha has been in close contact with Nuristani and other Northwestern Indo-Aryan languages. Among the latter, the influence of Khowar has been particularly strong because it functions as a lingua franca of Chitral District (Liljegren & Khan 2017). The Kalasha lexicon includes many loanwords from Khowar, as well as from Persian, Arabic, and Urdu (Trail & Cooper 1999). Early efforts to put the language in writing employed Arabic script but a Latin-based script was adopted in 2000 (Cooper 2005, Kalash & Heegård 2016).
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