Teachers Service Team Report

Monday, 20 September 2010 15:26

disciplesuniversity.jpgThe Teachers Service Team reports on plans for a unified curriculum for ministry training and development of the Disciples Bible Academy.

Nashville – August 15-17, 2010

Sunday Evening – August 15

  • Those present:
    • Steve Staten
    • Arturo Elizarraras
    • Douglas Jacoby
    • Steve Kinnard
    • Gordon Ferguson
    • Reese Neyland
    • Tom Jones
    • Steve Brown
    • Ed Anton
  • Fred Faller was the only member of the team not present, due to personal reasons.
  • Valdur Koha joined us for the Monday and Tuesday sessions, and along with several others, was invited to become an official member of the Teacher Team. 
  • All additional invitees were selected for reasons of representation (such as non-US members) and for their expertise.
    • Rolan Monje – a teacher in Manila and Gordon’s assistant in the Asia-Pacific Leadership Academy. 
    • Joey Harris – a teacher who assists Doug Jacoby in the AIM program, and besides his excellent teaching gifts, brings expertise in the technological field.
  • Glenn Giles – an elder in Denver who has developed the Rocky Mountain School of Ministry and Theology in conjunction with Lincoln Christian University’s Hargrove School.
  • As current chairman, Gordon led the meetings.
    • However, due to some unusual scheduling and financial issues, Gordon has requested that he be replaced as chairman, but will remain on the Teacher Team.
    • T he group feeling that Steve Kinnard would be an ideal replacement  The group will make that recommendation to the Delegate’s Meeting next month.

Philosophical Discussions Regarding Teaching and Teachers

  • Ministry Training and a Unified Curriculum.
    • Valdur shared about the BMF (Beem Missionary Foundation) that has decided to invest money in leadership training .
    • Gordon shared that in his talks with Doug Arthur, who leads the sub-committee for ministry training, it was clear that this committee is very focused on the need to have a unified basic curriculum for all of our ministry people all over the world.
  • Unity of Teachers with Evangelist and Elders.
    • Gordon also talked about how unity in ministry training was an important component of unity in general. It was stated that “Today unity is forged instead of forced, and it’s not easy.”  The forging of unity is, and will always be, a continual work in process.
    • The group discussed the ways in which each of these leadership roles can feel tension with those in other roles and how these tensions can be avoided or resolved – elders toward evangelists and teachers; evangelists toward elders and teachers; and teachers toward evangelists and elders.
    • This discussion was very candid and helpful, and demonstrated that since most of the teacher group had also worn the other leadership “hats,” they were neither out of touch with the real issues or biased in their views.
  • The Basic Concerns of Ministry Training (Gordon’s presentation with others weighing in afterwards)
  • We are in the main training those who are or will serve as evangelists. We need to develop some teacher training approaches, but the bulk of our work is training evangelists and we have to gear our teaching and teaching approaches to them.
  • Therefore, the training should be very biblically focused in a practical manner, taught with a purpose of inspiring men and women to love God, love the Bible and have a zeal to save the world.  We are trying to pass on knowledge, but we are also trying to pass on our deep convictions about the Bible and what it is supposed to do for us and for our churches (1 Thessalonians 1:5).
  • Our goal is to train evangelists, plant churches, and convert the world.
    • KISS is more important than we may think – it is easy to overestimate the knowledge levels of those whom we teach and to go over their heads. The small percentage of “teacher types” who love the academic details are not our target audience in training. As teachers, we have to remain excited about going over the same basics year after year.
    • We can’t be arrogant about our knowledge.  We shouldn’t want people to leave our class being impressed with our knowledge.  Our character and not our knowledge should impress them.  We should be vulnerable about our own lives.  This will help keep us humble.

The Curriculum Discussions

  • Our most fundamental purpose for this particular meeting was to come up with a recommended ministry training curriculum, and the means by which it could be offered on a wide scale.
    • Most of those on the Teacher Team already have established programs that they have developed and implemented.
    • However, we determined not to “lobby” for our own programs but to seek a unified approach that could meet the needs of most trainees in the largest number off ways.
  • After much discussion, we settled upon the following recommended curriculum, consisting of six core classes and two electives:
    • Core Classes:
      • OT Survey
      • NT Survey
      • Hermeneutics
      • Homiletics
      • Apologetics
      • Church History
    • Electives:
      • Jesus and Spiritual Formation
      • World Views/Religion
      • Emotionally Healthy church
      • Biblical Theology
      • Biblical Counseling
      • Holy Spirit
  • This curriculum would give us a total of eight basic courses, each having 12 hour hours of instruction, plus additional assignments done out of class (each “hour” would be 50 minutes to allow for regular breaks).
  • The suggestion was made that we have a uniform curriculum, offered by designated and approved teachers, and taught through any existing approved program plus additional approved programs we develop.
  • Continuing Education Courses – recommend two (2) twelve-hour courses per year after the basic curriculum has been satisfactorily completed.  We should present to the evangelists, elders, and delegates the need for ongoing education.  As teachers, we feel that everyone should continue taking courses.  When, where, and how are questions that we need to figure out. 
    • Year One:
      • Advanced hermeneutics
      • Deuteronomy
    • Year Two:
      • Advanced homiletics
      • Hebrews
    • Year Three possibilities:
      • Conflict resolution
      • Another book of the Bible
  • The following teachers were assigned the responsibility of developing the course descriptions for the basic and elective courses which they believe are their specialties (although others may be added to do the actual teaching):
    • Required:
      • OT Survey—Steve Kinnard, Steve Brown
      • NT Survey—Tom Jones, Steve Brown 
      • Hermeneutics—Ed Anton, Douglas Jacoby
      • Homiletics—Gordon Ferguson, Ed Anton
      • Church History—Steve Staten
      • Apologetics—Douglas Jacoby, John Oakes
    • Electives (pick two):
      • Jesus and Spiritual Formation—Steve Kinnard, Tom Jones
      • World Views/Religion—Douglas Jacoby, John Oakes
      • Emotionally Healthy church—Steve Staten
      • Biblical Theology—Tom Jones
      • Biblical Counseling—Gordon Ferguson
      • Holy Spirit—Ed Anton

Steve Kinnard subsequently asked that for each course the leader submit, by August 27: (1) course description, (2) plan for the twelve hours of teaching and (3) competency to be achieved by the student.

Means of Offering the Training

  • Existing programs – now with uniform curriculum (as a minimum)
  • Development of Learning Centers. 
    • We would set up satellite centers across the United States and across the world that could be offered in a one-week, twice-a-year setting or perhaps a two-week once-a-year format.  
    • There would be a board of directors that would oversee the centers and ultimately give diplomas. 
  • Technology Approach – The Virtual University. 
    • What to think about – online counseling, online registration, online degree, recent publications, online exams, digital library excess.
    • Mexico Model explained:
      • Synchronous Component:  WebEx Training Center
      • Asynchronous Component:  Learning Management System (LMS)

Final Assorted Details

  • Committees (understanding the need for dual serving and overlap in some cases):
    • Ministry Training:
      • Steve Staten
      • Gordon Ferguson
      • Reese Neyland
      • Steve Brown
    • Congregation Training:
      • Tom Jones
      • Fred Faller
      • Steve Brown
    • Technology
      • Valdur Koha
      • Joey Harris
      • Arturo Elizarraras
      • Steve Kinnard
    • Accreditation Plan Development:
      • Steve Kinnard
      • Steve Staten
      • Glenn Giles
  • Mission Statement:  “Equipping the saints for the work of ministry” (Ephesians 4:12)
  • Title of School:  Disciples Bible Academy
  • Logo suggestion:



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