Praxis: Reflection, Practice, Transformation

Praxis: Reflection, Practice, Transformation

Praxis is one of those buzzwords that frequently appears in conversations about theological education. It also is a cornerstone for adult learning theory.

Dictionary.com defines praxis, a noun, as 1. practice, distinguished from theory; application or use, as of knowledge or skills. 2. convention, habit, or custom. 3.a set of examples for practice. Adult learners tend to gravitate to learning opportunities that build upon or enhance previous learning and skill development. So, it’s no surprise that courses offered by the Center for Lifelong Learning incorporate opportunities for participants to reflect and practice skills that may be transformative.

We invite you to take a moment or two to ponder what subject areas or skills you yearn to explore or refresh. Make a resolution to start the new year by jump-starting your continuing education plan for 2018. You might find yourself in the midst of something transformative.

First up, consider these online distance learning opportunities.

Jan. 8 – Feb. 2, 2018 Spring Hidden in Plain Sight: Storytelling for Learning and Transformation Want to know more about how to use storytelling in educational ministry to help others use story to explore, interpret, inform and reshape their personal and spiritual views of the world around them? This class will explore how to incorporate the practice of storytelling in educational ministry and communities of care such as prison ministry, campus ministry, Boys and Girls club, youth ministry and similar communities of care.

Feb. 5- Mar. 2, 2018 Resetting the Table: Including People with Disabilities in Congregational Leadership Are you already grappling with how to include persons with disabilities into positions of leadership, or just beginning to consider how to welcome people of all ages and abilities more fully into congregational life? Leaders Bethany Fox and Mark Crenshaw will discuss disability from social and theological perspectives, and explore the biblical foundations for the creation of a shared understanding of leadership. including why it is important, socially and theologically, to include persons with disabilities into positions of leadership.

February 5- March 9, 2018 CSF Prayer: Deepening Your Experience of God How is YOUR prayer life? Could it use some new inspiration or refreshment? This class will explore and practice different forms of prayer including the prayer of examen, lectio divina, and contemplative prayer. Each week will include communal prayer and individual prayer practices as we engage one another in dialogue regarding the weekly readings and our prayer experiences.

Feb 5 to March 16, 2018 Making Love with Scripture: Engaging the Bible for Spiritual Growth and Social Activism Looking for a different way of approaching the biblical text for spiritual nourishment and sociopolitical activism? Pushing against modern ways of interpreting the Bible, this course will encourage participants to learn to “make love with scripture,” that is, to make love happen in and through biblical engagement for the good of the world God loves.

May 1 – June 1, 2018 In Life and in Death: Helping in End-of-Life Issues and Challenges Has it been a while since your intro to pastoral care class? In a position where walking with people -week facing the hard choices and issues related to critical illness and end-of-life situations? This five-week course invites participants to deepen their understanding of the challenges faced during health crises and find ways to minister and help those facing critical health or end-of-life issues, and their families.

We also have several new on-campus courses that will provide plenty of opportunity for participants to build upon past experience and education, to reflect how to incorporate their reflections into practice, and continue the process of being a lifelong learner:

February 15-16 Fostering Personal Change Are you feeling like your life is a playlist on repeat? It could be you have an “Immunity to Change,” a term used to describe a well-organized autonomous immune system trying to keep us safe. This workshop provides a robust tool for overcoming our own immunity to change, for clergy and other church leaders alike.

April 19-20, 2018 Christian Education Think Tank Practitioner-educators rarely have the luxury of engaging in the act of reflection they provide for others in their contexts. This “think tank” will gather innovative congregational Christian educators from various faith traditions to explore current challenges, ideals, and hopes for the work and ministry of faith education in congregations. Participants will present their thinking and experiences in the practice of Christian education in their context as a way to raise generative questions for discussion and contribute to the think tank experience by sharing their thinking and perspectives on the practice of Christian education in their congregations: its challenges and hopes, and the changing role of the Christian educator in today’s congregations.

April 24-27 Thompson Scholars Jazz as a Metaphor for Ministry: The Power of Improvisation Want to move your ministry from “we’ve always done it this way” to “Let’s try this?” Apply now to participate in this innovative seminar for pastors and other church leaders who are committed to leading and developing agile ministries. The art of improvisation, which is central to jazz, will be highlighted as a tool to inform the practice of ministry in this time of intense and rapid change.

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