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Construction Tools

E. A CURRICULUM SCHEDULE: . . . . . . 54
F. 3 YEAR TRAINING PLAN ( Indian example) . . . . . 55
G. A BEGINNER’S SCHOOL (Starting from Core TEXT BOOKS) . . 56
The “PROGRAMME” . . . . . . . 57
H. THE READING LIST: A Core Self-Study Programme . . . 58

Constructing a Course (Examples)


J. CONSTRUCTING A COURSE from the MENU: Discipleship example . 62

More on Learning Domains

K. RANGES OF LEARNING outlined (4 Domains) . . . . 65
Categories of DOINGs, KNOWINGs & UNDERSTANDINGs. . . 66
LEARNING DOMAINS Summary Chart of Theory and Practice .. . 69
L. LEARNING DOMAINS: As Personal Growth. . . . . . 70
In Proverbs . . . . . 71

M. PASTORAL OBJECTIVES Bible Study . . . . . 72
N. WESTERN MODELS Critique . . . . . . . 73
O. Essay on MODELLING – Neil Foster . . . . . . 74
Q. TAIL- PIECE - A Fable . . . . . . . . 79

(Pakistan Context)
(taken from A Progressive Classification)
Dept. of Dept. of Dept. of Dept. of

Biblical Studies, Philosophy, Historical Theology Practical & Pastoral

Hermeneutics Communication & & Theology
& Contemporary Church History &
Systematic Theology Studies Christian Education




(The primary SOURCE (The philosophical HISTORY THEOLOGY
of our Faith) BASIS of our Faith) (How the Faith SREAD and (The APPLICATION
was effective) of our Faith)
THEOLOGY 601 THE EARLY CHURCH (Following Jesus in the Way)
115 The Canon of The Text
The Transmission of the Text 360 APOLOGETICS 607 THE WEST (Finding the implications
(Describing the extent of the text (Commending & defending of Faith for conduct)
& how it was handed down) The Middle Ages
the Faith as truth & wisdom)
The Renaissance 730 EDUCATION
(Clarifying what the Text says, 615 THE MODERN ERA
& what the Text means) STUDIES The Enlightenment 770 CHRISTIAN
(The contemporary The Evangelical EDUCATION
159 INTER-TESTAMENTAL 435 COMPARATIVE Near East & Central Asia 788 Languages
490 CONTEXTUAL Missionary Agents
Spheres of Mission of our Faith)
(The CONTENT of our Faith) 500 COMMUNICATION 640 S. E. ASIA of the Individual
203 NATURAL THEOLOGY of our Faith) 650 AFRICA
(What may be discovered about
God apart from revelation) 520 HOMILETICS 656 AMERICA OVERSIGHT
(Preaching the Faith to-day) 840 LOCAL CHURCH
(Surveying all that the texts say 545 EVANGELISM 690 HISTORICAL
on all the subjects with which THEOLOGY 850 ORGANISATION
they deal) 550 MISSIOLOGY (How the Faith was 870 DENOMINATIONAL
205 SYSTEMATIC (Defining the Christian task STATED in the past) ETHOS
THEOLOGY in the world)
(Formulating the Faith today) 900 GENERAL
Curriculum Manual Appendix G

100 BIBLICAL Systematic
 Theology 600 CHURCH
Introduction to the Bible The World
 Early
 & Patristic Era
OT-NT relationship Revelation
 The Western Church
Geography of Bible Jesus Christ
 4th-10th C
Lands The  End Times Middle Ages
Biblical Archaeology Humanity
The Reformation
Transmission & Canon Redemption
Counter-Ref. & Puritans
 Higher Criticism The Holy Spirit
E. Europe & Russia
Translation The Church
Eastern Churches
Hermeneutics Other:
Modern Era: The West
Bible Study Methods 300 PHILOSOPHY Evangelical Awakening
Other: Areas of Philos. Enquiry Contemporary Times
120 OLD TESTAMENT Philosophical Theology Asia (incl. Persia,
Survey of the OT Apologetics C.Asia)
Eirenics Indian Sub-continent
Historical Outline of OT
Polemics 1st-10th C
Themes of OT
Hist. of West.Rel. 16th-21st C
The Law
Thought Pakistan (regions)
Genesis – Exodus
Other: Other Countries
The Prophets 400 CONTEMPORARY
 “Early” (Historical) STUDIES
 “Later” Modern Beliefs
Isaiah Contemporary Issues 690 HISTORICAL
 “12” (Minor) Contemporary Theology THEOLOGY
The Writings Cults & Sects H.
 of Hermeneutics
 Wisdom Literature Pluralism & Other Faiths H. of Spirituality
5 Rolls (Festivals / Fasts) Comparative Religion H. of Sexuality
Daniel (Apocalyptic ISLAM Patristic
Ezra / Nehemiah (Hist.) Culture & Local Values Medieval
Other: Contextual Theology Reformation
160 NEW TESTAMENT Basic Xian Communities Enlightenment
Other: Modernity
Survey of the NT
OT fulfilment in the NT 500 COMMUNICATION
Formularies & Creeds
Themes of NT Principles of Communic.
The Gospels Preaching (Proclamation)
Doctrinal Development
Jesus’ Life & Death Expository Preaching
Jesus’ Teaching Other kinds of Preaching
Synoptic Gospels Homiletics (Craft of Pr.) 700 PRACTICAL
John’s Gospel Other Ways of Commun. THEOLOGY
Acts Faith Sharing Personal Discipleship
Paul’s Theology Evangelism Conversion
Romans Other: Obedience
Epistles (Cor-Thes)
550 MISSIOLOGY Guidance
Pastoral Epistles
Theology of Mission Spiritual Warfare
Culture in Mission Self-control & Discipline
LINGUISTICS The Cost of Discipleship
Approach to Other Faiths Imitating Christ
200 DOCTRINE Strategy of Mission Growth Fruit of the Spirit
 to Theology Call to Mission Holiness
 of Theology Leadership in Mission Communion with God
Types of Theology History of Mission The Means of Grace
Fundamental Doctrines Other:
 Feeding on God’s Word
Curriculum Manual Appendix G

 life Other:
 How Cultural locally?
 with others  The Psychological elem:
 Fellowship How adapted to
 Service Personal Temperament?
Theological FrameworkK
Using Gifts of the Spirit Essential ingredients
Theological Reflection U
Local Ch. Involvement Word and Sacrament
Godly Character B
Service to Community Occasional Services
Ministerial Skills D
Work Liturgy(prescribed
Use of Time & Money forms)
Giving & Tithing 800 PASTORAL Other:
Psychology of Self THEOLOGY
Other: Pastor: gifts & character
His Office & Church
720 CHRISTIAN ETHICS Equipping for service
Disciplining disobedient
Principles Manager
Dealing with conflict
Moral Theology Missionary Strategist
Christian Virtues Preacher
Values Liturgist (Lead pub Wor) 840 LOCAL CHURCH
Setting Priorites Spiritual Director LEADERSHIP
Conscience & Conflicts Counsellor Jesus as Leader
Sexual Morality Psychology of Past. Care Modelling: Personal
Lying and Truth Jesus as Counsellor Example
Money Attitudes Care of the Individual Vision
Vices Shepherding the Team Work
Environmental Theol. wayward Managing Change
Ecological Issues Encouraging the faint Congregational Strategy
Use of Resources Counselling the troubled Missionary Outreach
Use of Technology Rescuing the weak Stewardship
Social Theology Problems of Families Other
Personal Attitudes Comforting the grieving 850 ORGANISATION
Social Issues Ministering to the sick Administration (Congr.)
Global Issues Visiting the parish Finances & Fund Raising
 Development Seeking the lost Property & Maintenance
 up the faithful Legalities
730 EDUCATION Other
 Church Courts (Higher)
Principles Boards of Institutions
Logic Parish Councils, etc
Study Methods Other:
Personal Renewal
Thinking Skills
Hist. & Theol. of Revival 870 DENOMINATIONS
Reading Skills
Leading House Groups Own Denom. Ethos
Charismatic Renewal Other Denominations
Note Taking
Tongues & Spirit Denom. History
Evaluating & Organising
Writing Essays
Baptism Denom. Doctrines
Spiritual Discernment Denom. Worship
Computer Skills
Vital Churches Denom. Government
Conducting Retreats Denom. Official posts
770 CHRISTIAN Other: Denom. Geog. Divisions
Religious Educ.(Schools) Public Worship aspects:
Teaching Catechists The Historical element:
Sunday School How Traditional?
Youth Work  The Universal element:
Marriage Preparation How World-wide?
Parish Training  The Social element:
Curriculum Manual 63

Using the Classification for Course Construction

The following Course was constructed mainly from the Progressive Classification “menu”.
Educational Objectives were added for each subject.


Part 1: Following Christ

1.  The Evilness of Sin, Repentance, Conversion and the Life of Faith

To understand what is involved in conversion and to be assured of
eternal life.
2.  Commitment and the Lordship of Christ; Freedom and Obedience;
Living out the Ten Commandments Today; Self-denial
To learn what is involved in obeying God’s commands, in commitment to
Jesus as Lord, in denying the desire of self-pleasing, and in experiencing the
freedom of Christ’s Spirit within.
3.  Guidance and a Sense of Purpose
To learn how God guides the Christian disciple and shows us what he
wants him/her to do now.
4.  Spiritual Warfare & Empowerment
To be able to fight victoriously against the world, the flesh and the
5.  Persevering against Temptation, Hindrances, Backsliding and
Spiritual Decline
To be able to withstand temptation and avoid backsliding.
6.  Self-control & Self-discipline: The Quiet Time, Fasting, Silence
To learn self-control and practice various spiritual disciplines.
7.  The Cost of Discipleship & Sacrificial Living
To evaluate and accept the cost of being a disciple of Christ.
8.  Imitating Christ
To learn how to abide in Christ and become more like Him.
9.  Character development & Growth in the Fruit of the Spirit
To learn how the believer’s life can bear spiritual fruit.
10.  Spiritual Pruning of Bad Habits and Obstacles to Growth
To learn how to check one’s spiritual life and allow the Holy Spirit to
remove all hindrances to growth.
11.  Integrity, Reliability and Simplicity
To learn how to live simply and with complete reliability & integrity in
every dealing with others.
12.  Holiness and the Question of Perfection in This Life
To become closer to God and learn how to please Him better.
13.  Growth through Suffering & Inner Healing.
To understand the place of suffering in the Christian life and develop a
scriptural understanding of healing of body, mind and spirit.
Curriculum Manual 63

Part 2: Walking with God & The Means of Grace

1.  The Means of Grace

To understand, and learn how to use, the means of grace.
2.  Studying God’s Word & Hindrances to Hearing God’s Word
To learn to feed on God’s Word regularly.
3.  Biblical Meditation
To learn how to meditate on God’s Word.
4.  Prayer Life
To learn how to talk with God and develop a personal prayer life.
5.  Worship
To learn how to worship God in truth and in spirit.
6.  Rest & the Sabbath
To learn how to keep Sunday as God’s day of rest and recreation.
7.  Fellowship with God’s People
To learn how to maintain fellowship with other Christians at all times.

Part 3: Christian Service

1.  Involvement in the Life of the Local Church, Using & Developing

the Gifts of the Spirit
To be able to distinguish the fruit of the Spirit from the gifts of the
Spirit and develop one’s own gifts for the up-building of the Church.
2.  Witness
To learn how to share a personal faith with others.
3.  Service to Society & the Community
To learn to recognise and fulfil our responsibilities as Christians to meet
human need and serve others.
4. Work
To learn how to work purposefully, productively and conscientiously.
5. The Use of Time
To learn how to make the best use of time.
6. A Giving and Tithing
To learn how to make best use of personal resources for the extension of
God’s kingdom.

The course, as laid out above, represents a two term period of 13 weeks per term. However,
some topics may well require longer treatment than others. Also some topics may not be
considered as essential as others. It is recommended that for each topic listed above a further sub-
outline of main points be developed – with key Bible texts where possible – and then priorities
established for inclusion in a final syllabus. Reference to the NIV Thematic Study Bible (Hodder
& Stoughton, 1996) is highly recommended for this exercise.
Curriculum Manual 66


Examples of the different uses of “UNDERSTAND” and “KNOW”
in considering Educational Objectives.
RANGES of LEARNING: Terms Defined
(The Four “Learning Domains” or Areas of Learning Development)
When we learn something, it is not always the same kind of activity or result that is involved. We
can learn a fact (e.g. the place where Jesus was born); we can learn to understand something (why
God allowed Jesus to die); we can learn to do something (present the Gospel of Jesus Christ to
children); and we can learn to become something (more Christ-like in our attitudes and behaviour).
These are all things we can “learn” (and to a greater or lesser extent be “taught”), but, in each case,
the “learning” involved is of a different kind: it occurs in a different “domain” or area of our personality.
(The word “domain” suggests the scope or extent of a type of learning. Though the different kinds of
learning relate to each other, they have a distinguishable boundary. A different kind of process is
taking place within each domain.)
The first area we can call the Sapiential Domain, because in this range of learning we are
gaining insight. This kind of learning often comes through reflecting upon our own experience.
Thus: “we learn by experience”. Proverbs 2 provides an extended celebration of this type of learning.
(“Insightful” might be another term for this domain, or “prudential”, which points to the element of
wisdom gained through learning any new understanding. Some educational theorists like to subsume
this domain under the next domain: “cognitive”. This is because both emphasize the process of
thinking. But apart from conceptual understanding, insight generally includes some degree of
spiritual understanding that transcends purely any mental process.)
The second area is known as the Cognitive Domain, because the learning involves
thinking. The term comes from the Latin: cognitio, which means study, or knowledge. This is the
most easily accessible form of knowledge and lends itself especially to “rote-learning”, which,
paradoxically, is marked by its lack of thinking!
(Cognition, in psychology, includes perception, memory, reasoning, judgement, problem-solving,
language, symbolism and conceptual thought, in fact any mental activity that enables a person to
experience and learn about his or her environment. But, educationally, we suggest it be restricted to
its original Latin connotation of knowledge and the study of that knowledge. Robert Ferris divides
the cognitive domain into theory and information, recognizing differences in the ways these areas
are taught and tested. However, it is also possible to contrast theory with practice. Then theory
would cover both information and the understanding of that information, while practice concerns
the next two domains: the affective and the functional.)
The third kind of learning is called Affective. This relates to how we are influenced or
affected by what we learn and so become changed, or at least developed, as a result. It is the sphere
of learning where the Holy Spirit can touch our personality at its deepest level.
(Some Christian educationalists object to the use of the term “affective” because it was used in the
scheme of the naturalist behaviourist B.S. Bloom, “affective” to refer to feelings, whereas
“character qualities” are much more substantial than emotions. However, “affective” can also be
thought of as affecting character.)
The last kind of learning is very practical, so we may call it the Functional Domain. This sort of
learning enables us to do things that we could not do before, or, if we could, to do them better. Demonstration
followed by practice is often the method of training that is most effective in this domain.
(Bloom uses the term “psycho-motor domain” which Ferris rightly finds too technical and substitutes “skills”,
which fairly describes this domain, as does the adjective “functional” which is preferred here.)
Roger Lewis, who is Professor of Learning Development at Humberside University, UK,
points out that all four domains are important in learning, as in any common human activity
(where learning is put into practice). This is so whether in order to write a school essay or to
service a bicycle in the workshop. For the latter, he notes,
“I need to know where to apply oil and which components to check; have manual skills [doing], e.g.
in adjusting brakes; want to do it, or at least accept the importance of maintaining the bicycle [which is to do
with attitude and so the formation of one’s being]; understand why I am carrying out the various tasks [to do
with the purpose, design, and how the various parts of the whole fit together.”
Curriculum Manual Appendix O 74



Neil Foster
1. Introduction
One of the topics which is justifiably high on the agenda of everyone interested in
theological education is that of “spiritual formation”, or, in terms perhaps closer to New Testament
terminology, training our students to grow in godliness. No matter how much information about
the Bible and the Christian faith that our students have, it will be of no use unless they know the
Lord personally and grow in maturity.
It struck me very forcibly, when reviewing New Testament material on “teaching”
generally, how strong the emphasis is on the teacher providing a model of godly living for the
student. We must teach, not only in the classroom, but through our lives! I knew, of course, one or
two verses which mentioned this; but it surprised me when I looked a bit more closely how much
material on this topic there is in the new Testament. Not only the apostle Paul, but the Lord Jesus,
the apostle Peter, and the author of the letter to the Hebrews stress that we who are teachers, must
be careful to live what we teach!
Of course there is a general principle in the Christian life that we as believers are to imitate
Christ (e.g. Rom 15:1-3, 2 Cor 8:9, Phil 2:5-11, 1 Pet 2:21, 4:1) and even God (Eph 5:1, 1 Pet
1:15-16)! These verses alone would give us good grounds for teaching by example, for this is just
what the Lord Jesus did (e.g. Mk 10:45). Yet beyond these general principles of Christian life,
there is a solemn charge laid upon those of us who are teachers of God’s people, that our lives
must be worthy of imitation.
2. The Lord Jesus’ teaching
We start with a saying of the Lord Jesus in Lk 6:39-40:
“Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit?
A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his
A frightening thought, but true! If a blind man leads another blind man, they will both be
ruined. And if a teacher is not following the Lord Jesus himself, how can we expect the student to
be any better?
We praise God, of course, that in his mercy he does sometimes rescue students from poor
teachers. But as teachers we must take this warning very seriously. If we read in Lk 6 we see the
dangers that we can fall into: hypocrisy, trying to correct minor problems in our students when we
have major areas of sin in our lives; ungodly talk, which reveals the true state of our hearts; lack of
firm foundations in the Lord ourselves. May the Lord teach us these things clearly so that we do no
prove to be a danger to others!

3. The Apostle Paul

When we turn to Paul’s writings we find again and again that he learned this lesson from
the Lord Jesus very well: that his way of life was a pattern, an example, for others to follow.

(a) Paul himself set an example for those he taught.

Let’s look first at 1 Thessalonians, probably one of Paul’s earliest letters. This is the way
he describes his ministry in Thessalonica in 1 Thess 1:5-7:
“Our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit,
and with deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. You became
initiators of us and of the Lord. And so you became a model to all the believers in
Macedonia and Achaea.”
Curriculum Manual 75

From this passage we see that

(i) Paul consciously chose to live his life in a certain way, for the benefit of the Thessalonians, for
their sake. His life and that of his companions was a model to the Thessalonians of the gospel
he was preaching. Indeed, when we look at 2 Thess 3:9 we see that Paul and his companions
always had in mind the fact that the Thessalonians would observe their behaviour and imitate
it. They had refused to accept financial help from the Thessalonians, and instead had worked
for their own living. He says:
“We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to make ourselves a model
for you to follow.”

For Paul was prepared, even if he had no rights as an apostle, to give them up in order to set an example to others.

(ii) Secondly, if we look at the context of this imitation, we find that it expressed itself partly in the
way that the believers endured severe suffering, while welcoming the gospel with the joy given
by the Holy Spirit.
(iii) And not only did they imitate Paul, but they in turn became a model for other believers. We
might call this the “golden chain” of imitation: Paul imitates the Lord, the Thessalonians
imitate Paul, others believers imitate the Thessalonians. Think of the “multiplication” factor:
from Paul, to the congregation in Thessalonia, to the congregations in Greece.
Think of the potential effect of our modelling on the church in our country! If we
present a godly model of life to our students, which (with God’s grace) they follow, and they
then present a godly model of life to the congregations they work in, then this can spread
through many churches. If we behave in a godly way when in the Seminary issues of status or
property are at stake, who can tell what good effects this might have in the future in the
church at large?
In 1 Thess 2:9-10 Paul refers to this again:

“Surely you remember, brothers, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be

a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you. You are witnesses, and so is God, of how

holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed. For you know that we dealt with each of

you as a father deals with his children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of


Paul says that he was like a father to them. What do we see in someone’s children? How
much they resemble and imitate their parents! It is no surprise, then, when Paul says to the
Thessalonians in 2 Thess 3:7
“For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example.”
Turning to other letters of Paul we find the same theme. In 1 Corinthians 4:14-17 we again
find the image of the father. Paul, he says, is their “father” in Christ because through him the gospel
first came to them.

“Therefore I urge you to imitate me. For this reason I am sending to you Timothy, my son whom I love,
who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I
teach everywhere in every church.”
Curriculum Manual 76

We may note in passing how deeply involved Paul is in imitating God, for, like God, he “sends” his
“beloved son”. The Greek word agapetos, used to describe Timothy here, is the word used of the Lord
Jesus at his baptism - see Mk 1:11 and parallels.
What is most significant for our purposes is this: that Paul can boldly claim that his teaching and
his life in Christ completely agree with each other. And this is why, I Cor 11:1, Paul can say:
“Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.”
Next in Paul’s career we come to a letter written from a Roman prison. He says in Philippians 3:17:
“Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern
we gave you.”

The context tells us two important things.

(i) First, that Paul here (and in other examples we’ve seen) is not being haughty or proud, as if to
say: “I’m perfect, look at me!” No! In the immediate context of Phil 3:12 he reminds his
readers that he is not perfect, that he has not reached complete godliness. But he reminds them
of the direction in which he is moving, the energy he is putting into reaching the goal, running
the race, with the call of Jesus Christ as his goal, the prize of heaven.
(ii) Again, there are other people involved as well as Paul. Not just Paul but also his companions have
given the pattern. There is one pattern, a life of serving God, but it is a pattern that they gave. We
should never forget the impact that can be made, not just by individual lives, but by an
example of godly community life set by a group of teachers!
Finally from Paul’s letters, we have one that was probably written at the end of his life, from
another prison. He says this in 2 Timothy 3:10:
“You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love,
His teaching and his chaal challan, his way of life, are again tied up together. And so in v.14
he goes on to make this the basis of Timothy’s behaviour:
“Continue in what you have learned…because you know from whom you learned it.”

(b) Paul taught that teachers ought to set an example of godliness

Having seen Paul’s example of godly behaviour, we ought also to listen to his teaching, as to
how we should teach. When he wrote to Timothy and Titus he gave them clear principles as to how
they should pastor the people in their care.
In 1 Timothy 4:11-12 Paul says:
“Command and teach these things. Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are
young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.”
The result of this we see in vv.15-16:

“Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch
your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your

For Paul both life and doctrine are essential! We need to understand the word of God correctly
and have right teaching. But that teaching will be powerless if it is not reflected in our living!
Paul gave the same advice to Titus, in Titus 2:7:
“In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity,
seriousness and soundness of speech.”
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The way we teach God’s word and the other subjects we present is also a big part of
modelling godly behaviour. Do we do so frivolously, without adequate preparation, in a lazy way?
This will model bad habits for our students.

3. Other New Testament writers.

We should briefly notice the teaching of two other New Testament authors.
(i) In Hebrews 13:7 the author writes to the congregation to urge them to follow the example of
their leaders:
“Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their
way of life and imitate their faith.”
(ii) The apostle Peter gives a stern warning to all those who teach the word of God to others, in
Peter 5:2-3:
“Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care…not lording it over those
entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.”

4. Conclusion
God’s word speaks clearly to us from all these passages, doesn’t it? Any one of them
deserves detailed study and reflection. Taken together, they provide a powerful argument for living
transparently godly and obedient lives, which can be modelled by our students.
We are rightly concerned when we catch students copying each others’ exam papers and
essays. This is difficult to stop! But we cannot stop another copying the way they will copy the lives
of their teachers. They will do this whether we like it or not; this is the way God made us, so that we
learn by modelling.
The only question left is that raised by the simple words of the apostle John in his third
letter (3 John 11):
“Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good!”
Will we set a good example, or a bad? The responsibility on our shoulders as teachers is
indeed a heavy one, but we rejoice that with God nothing is impossible! As we allow the Spirit of
God, through the Word of God, to shape our lives in godliness, we can look forward to the Lord
producing much fruit through our ministry, for his glory.
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Questions raised by Dr. Robert W. Ferris

in a Conference paper delivered to the South Pacific Association of Bible Colleges,

Australia, in 1993.
The following questions relate to attitudes that we all have towards any form of curriculum or
course development. They all need to be addressed if we are genuine in wanting an effective
curriculum that “scratches where it itches”.
Priorities in Education: What order of priority should be given in Christian education to:
a) attitudes? b) learning techniques? c) content? d) relationships?

Learner involvement: How can opportunity be given for the learner to contribute towards the
process of formulating goals? Is there room for re-formulating during the learning process?
Serendipity (happy chance discoveries): How can opportunity be given for alternative avenues
of enquiry, and for unplanned, fortuitous discoveries to be made?
Partnership in learning: If students and their sending churches were to be involved also in the
process of curriculum planning, what knowledge, experience and emphases would possibly
be brought to the task by: a) the student?
b) the sending church or congregation?
c) the ministry educator or curriculum designer?
Field-work: How can work in the Church / Community be adequately guided and monitored?

Critical Reflection: How can personal reflection and group analysis of what has been done in
the field be fostered?
Self-examination: How can students learn to examine their own previously held values, beliefs
and behaviours?

Self-direction: How can students be motivated to direct their own learning and become
independent of their teachers for continuing their learning?
Elective courses (optional, student-chosen): How feasible are opportunities for students to take
elective courses within the over-all curriculum? What constraints restrict offering elective


Subjectivism: will the curriculum be manipulated to meet the personal values or interests of the
curriculum designer?
Facilitation, not dictation: How can the curriculum designer ensure that (s)he is facilitating
student learning, not prescribing what the curriculum should be?
Tyler’s four basic questions:
Objectives: What are our educational goals?
Methods: What learning experiences are needed to achieve these goals?
Curriculum: How can these experiences be organised effectively?
Evaluation: How can we evaluate how far we are achieving our goals?
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An Arabian Folk Tale


Once there was a man who discovered how

to make fire.
The man, named Nour, traveled from one
community to another teaching his discovery.
Some received the knowledge gladly; others,
before they could learn how valuable fire could
be, drove him away thinking he must be
dangerous; finally a tribe became so panic-
stricken by the fire that they killed him, fearing
that he was a demon.
Centuries passed, and a wise man and his
disciples passing through the lands discovered
that one tribe reserved the secret of fire for
their priests, who were warm and wealthy while
the people froze; another tribe had forgotten the
art but worshipped its instruments and some
ashes that survived; a third worshipped the
image of Nour, who once made fire, but they
themselves had forgotten the secret; a fourth
retained the story and the method in their
legends but no one believed or tried it; a fifth
used the fire to cook, to give warmth, and to
manufacture all kinds of useful goods, even
bronze and iron.
The disciples were amazed at the variety of
rituals and said, “But all these procedures are in
fact related to the making of fire, nothing else.
We should reform these people.” The teacher
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said, “Very well, then. We shall retrace our

journey. By the end of it, those who survive will
know the real problems in teaching people and
in how to suggest change.”
So the teacher and his disciples attempted
to teach as Nour had taught. They too were
scorned, abused, driven away. At the end of
their journey, the master said, “One must learn
how to teach, for no one wants to be taught.
First you must teach people that there is still
something to be learned. Then you must teach
them how to learn. Then you must wait until
they are ready to learn. Then you will find that
they learn what they imagine is to be learned,
not what they really must learn. When you have
learned all this, then you can devise a way to

(Adapted from DavidW. Augsburger: Pastoral

Counseling across Cultures, 1986)