May 20, 2019—Throwing out some old files and materials (New Year’s Resolution no. 7) I stumbled across an old final exam from a course I offered over two decades ago when I was teaching adjunctively. Reviewing the course material I was struck at how clunky the course was. Whoever let me loose on those poor graduate students during those years will be doing hard time in Purgatory. Being young and foolish is one thing; young, foolish, and passionate is a deadly combination. It seems I had yet a lot to learn about pedagogy and course design.
Looking over the material I see that I was operating under that poor habit of teaching the way I’d been taught. I’d not yet learned enough to not perpetuate poor practices, nor had I developed the discernment to realize that I was doing so.
The course wasn’t a total disaster, it had it’s redeeming points in terms of coverage (if not delivery, much of which I’ve forgotten, which I can only hope is true also of whatever poor souls sat through that semester). Several of the concepts in the final exam are ones I still stress today for students, albeit more focused in scope.
Here is the final exam, unaltered. See if you have an answer to these questions from your ministry context and practice:
1. Briefly describe your personal philosophy of Christian education. Be sure to address the following areas: purpose, the role of the teacher, the role of the student, and methodology.
2. Describe your educational“approach” to Christian education and identify at least three benefits and three limitations of this approach.
3. Describe the place, priority, and role of Christian education to the total ministry and purpose of the church.
4. List the ten classical principals of organization.
5. List the Sunday School Group-Grading plan as presented in class.
6. List Flake’s Formula for Sunday School program development and growth.
7. Compare and contrast the educational approaches of Andragogy and Pedagogy.
8. Suggest a process for the evaluation and selection of curriculum in your local church.
9. Draw an organizational chart for a comprehensive Christian education training program in your local church. Assume the ideal situation with no limitations as to resources.
10. Assume you have been given responsibility for the training of new converts in your church. Give the basic components of a Christian education training program. Include in your answer the following: goals and purpose, content areas, scheduling, program design, and methodologies.
Israel Galindo is Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning at the Columbia Theological Seminary. He is the author of the bestseller, The Hidden Lives of Congregations (Alban), Perspectives on Congregational Leadership (Educational Consultants), and A Family Genogram Workbook (Educational Consultants), with Elaine Boomer & Don Reagan, and Leadership in Ministry: Bowen Theory in the Congregational Context.
His books on Christian education include Mastering the Art of Instruction,The Craft of Christian Teaching (Judson), How to be the Best Christian Study Group Leader (Judson), Planning for Christian Education Formation (Chalice Press).
Galindo contributes to the Wabash Center’s blog for theological school deans.