Academic Programs 
      

The Two Horizons: Being a Pastor-Scholar for Today (AM-730)
Summer 2006

Many ministers today often struggle to relate the formation that they first received at seminary with the day-to-day experience of being a full-time pastor.  In this module, we will be exploring a range of resources that are both profound and rich – ideas, theories, strategies and modes of reflection – that will help to further and develop ‘a deep habit of wisdom’ for theological formation within ministry.  We will look at some of the greater pastor-scholars from history – their lives and examples – to see what we can learn from them.  The module will also especially concentrate on writing and presentational skills, and is specifically designed for pastors who want to deepen their theological reflection on the practice of ministry, and for others who want to expand their ministry through writing, research and other forms of critical reflection.

 

Meeting Day, Time and Dates: 
Monday, June 19 – Friday, June 23 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.



The Rev. Dr. Canon Martyn Percy
Adjunct Professor of Theology and Principal of Ripon College Cuddesdon, Oxford, United Kingdom

Contact Information:
phone: 
(860) 509-9500
email:

 

Course Syllabus



Course content will include:

  • Developing a pattern of critically-reflective practice that is focussed on ministry.
  • What do the great Pastor-Scholars still teach us today?
  • Participating in practical sessions on how to write for different kinds of publications: mass media, academic journals, develop book proposals, etc.
  • Workshops on deepening our understandings of Christianity and contemporary culture, homiletics and teaching in the parish, including reflection on shaping rhetoric, and using humour in communication.

Course Leader:

The Course Leader will be the Revd. Canon Professor Martyn Percy, who has served as Adjunct Professor of Theology and Ministry at Hartford Seminary since 2002.  He is Principal of Ripon College Cuddesdon (Oxford, England), one of the oldest and most established Anglican seminaries in the world.  He is also Canon Theologian of Sheffield.  A frequent writer and broadcaster in the secular media, he has also written a range of academic and popular theological books, most recently Salt of the Earth: Religious Resilience in a Secular Age (T&T Clark International, 2002) and Engaging with Contemporary Culture: Theology Christianity and the Concrete Church (Ashgate, 2005).

Many ministers today often struggle to relate the formation that they first received at seminary with the day-to-day experience of being a full-time Pastor.  Theories learnt at college seem to operate at a distance from ordinary church life, leaving many ministers searching for simple, practical and applied ideas that often need to address pressing and complex situations.  Although the solutions and outcome can sometimes be effective, ministers are often left with an inchoate sense that there were deeper issues at work, which have been largely been left un-addressed.  They long for a deeper understanding, and for richer resources that can be brought to bear upon the contexts in which they are immersed.

In this module, we will be exploring a range of resources that are both profound and rich – ideas, theories, strategies and modes of reflection – that will help to further and develop ‘a deep habit of wisdom’ for theological formation within ministry.  We will look at some of the Greater Pastor-Scholars from history – their lives and examples – to see what we can learn from them.  The module will make especially concentrate on writing and presentational skills, and is specifically designed for Pastors who want to deepen their theological reflection on the practice of ministry, and for others who want to expand their ministry through writing, research and other forms of critical reflection.  Course content will include:

  • Developing a pattern of critically-reflective practice that is focussed on ministry.
  • How to move from a pattern of adhesion in ministry to one of cohesion.
  • What do great Pastor-Scholars still teach us today?
  • Participating in practical sessions on how to write for different kinds of publications: mass media, academic journals, develop book proposals, etc.
  • Engaging with research methods that deepen understandings of Christianity and contemporary culture.
  • Workshops on homiletics and teaching in the parish, including reflection on shaping rhetoric, and using humour in communication.
  • ‘Hands on’ workshops: writing reviews, writing for newspapers, book proposals, journal articles, conference papers, etc
  • Reflecting on the practical theological rationales for leadership, strategy and development in ministry.
  • Reflect on what clergy read, and why.
  • Examining theological relationships between theory and practice.
  • Practical sessions that reflect on the role, context and personhood of the minister.
  • Exploring the evolution of ministry as a form of ‘natural history’.
  • Teasing out the differences between explicit and implicit theologies, and the ways in which they shape congregations and the context of ministry.
  • Looking at the difference writing and reflection can make to ministry: becoming a reflective practitioner.

It will be delivered over 5 days [19-23 June 2006].  The mode of assessment will be through negotiated assignments and class participation.

The Course Leader will be the Revd. Canon Professor Martyn Percy, who has served as Adjunct Professor of Theology and Ministry at Hartford Seminary since 2002.  He is Principal of Ripon College Cuddesdon (Oxford, England), one of the oldest and most established Anglican seminaries in the world.  He is also Canon Theologian of Sheffield.  A frequent writer and broadcaster in the secular media, he has also written a range of academic and popular theological books, most recently Salt of the Earth: Religious Resilience in a Secular Age (T&T Clark International, 2002) and Engagin with Contemporary Culture: Essays on Christianity and Contemporary Culture (Ashgate, 2005).

Recommended Reading:

Astley, J., Ordinary Theology, London, Ashgate, 2002
Bender, C., Heaven’s Kitchen, Chicago University Press, 2003
Booth, W., (et al), The Craft of Research, Chicago UP, 1995
Duffy, C., The World’s Wife, 1999
Dunleavy, P., Authoring a PhD, Palgrave, 2003
Farley, E., Practising Gospel, WJK Press, 2003
Geertz, C., The Interpretation of Cultures, Basic Books, 1973
Giles, T., My Life in Orange, Granta, 2004
Graham, E., (et al) Theological Reflection, SCM, 2006
Hopewell, J., Congregation, Fortress Press, 1987
Keillor, G., Lake Wobegon Days, Faber, 1985
Killen, P./de Beer, J., The Art of Theological Reflection, Crossroad, 1994
Kinast, R., Let Ministry Teach: A Guide to Theological Reflection, Liturgical, 1996
Kinast, R., What are they Saying About Theological Reflection?, Paulist Press, 2000
Kingsolver, The Poisonwood Bible, Faber & Faber, 1999
Lamott, A., Travelling Mercies, Anchor Books, 1999
Murray, P., A Journey with Jonah, Columba, 2002
Percy, M., (et al), Darkness Yielding, Cairns, 2001
Percy, M., Engaging With Contemporary Culture, Ashgate, 2005
Petersen, E., Under the Unpredictable Plant, Eerdmans, 1992
Schon, D., The Reflective Practitioner, Ashgate, 1991
Taylor, D., The Healing Power of Stories, Gill & Macmillan, 1996
Van der Ven, J. Theological Education, Peeters, 1998
Visser, M., The Geometry of Love, Penguin, 2001
Volf, M., The Best Christian Writing 2004, Jossey Bass, 2004
Williams, R., The Poetry of Rowan Williams, Perpetua Press, 2003
Zaleski, P., The Best American Spiritual Writing 2004, Houghton Mifflin 2004

Exercises:

  1. Be prepared to come and discuss your own ‘Desert Island Books’ (see below).
  2. We will be developing critical reviews of recently published theological books with a view to publication in a major journal.
  3. Preparation of a 700 word article on American religion in politics for a secular (British) newspaper.
  4. Planning and writing a book proposal and preparing and submitting journal articles for peer-review.
  5. Writing for the parish and the congregation.

 

Daily Schedule

9am            1st Lecture
10am          Coffee
10.15am     2nd Lecture 
11.15am     short break
11.30am     Seminar
12.30pm     Lunch
1.30pm       3rd Lecture:
2.30pm       short break
2.45pm       4th Lecture
3.45pm       Concluding Plenary: Pastor-Scholars
4.00pm       End

Monday:     Spiritual Reading and Writing
[Seminar: Desert Island Books]

Tuesday:     Academic Research and Writing
[Seminar: Critical Reviews]

Wednesday:        Imagination and Originality
[Seminar: Thought-Provoking]

Thursday:   Practical Theological Reflection
[Seminar: Pastor-Scholars]

Friday:*      The Two Horizons
[Plenary Seminar]
* The programme on Friday afternoon will be slightly different to allow for participant presentations.


Desert Island Theological Books

Naming a dozen or so religious or theological books that are your ‘favourites’ feels almost cruel - what about the one’s that don’t make the cut?  (They were my friends as well).  I find it hard to imagine that desert island, and ponder what might get washed up on the beach.  I found it difficult to put the books in orders of merit, so here are mine in alphabetical order.  I have to confess that I’ve cheated on numbers quite a bit.  (Well, I perhaps I got lucky in the shipwreck after all).

Augustine, On Christian Teaching (427), Penguin, 1997.
Bynum, Caroline W., Fragmentation and Redemption: Essays on Gender and
            the Body in Medieval Christianity, New York, Zone Books, 1992.
Countryman, W., The Truth About Love: Re-introducing the Good News,
            London, SPCK, 1993.
Hardy, D. & Ford, D., Jubilate: Theology in Praise, London, DLT, 1984.
Healy, N., Church, World and Christian Life: Practical-Prophetic Ecclesiology,
            Cambridge, CUP, 2000.
Holmes, U., The Future Shape of Ministry, New York, Seabury, 1971
Hooker, R., Of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity, [Books I-VIII, published in the
            16th and 17th centuries], London, Dent, 1907.
Hopewell, J., Congregation: Stories and Structures, Philadelphia, Fortress Press,
            1987.
Hughes, G., God of Surprises, London, DLT, 1985.
Jenkins, D., Still Living with Questions, London, SCM, 1969/90.
Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love, (1373), London, Hodder &
            Stoughton, 1987.
Martin, D., The Breaking of the Image: A Sociology of Christian Theory and
            Practice, Oxford, Blackwell, 1980.
McGuire, M., Ritual Healing in Suburban America, New Brunswick, Rutgers
            University Press, 1988.
Taylor, J., The Go-Between God, London, SCM, 1979.
Van der Ven, J. Theological Education, Leuven, Peeters, 1998
Wilkinson, A., The Church of England During World War One, London, SPCK,    1978.

Bynum’s beautiful book is chosen for its artful feminist theology that is achieved through exacting historical analysis.  For me, the book is a ‘model’ method.  Countryman’s little book is the best introduction to Christain faith I know - apologetics at their brightest.  Dan Hardy and David Ford’s Jubilate has still not been properly accounted for in the theological world.  It is more technical, though no less brilliant, than John Taylor’s classic.  I find the style, substance and arguments of both truly persuasive and inspiring.  The sermons and lectures from Jenkins are an excellent exposition of orthodox liberal and catholic thinking.  I also regard Johannes Van der Ven’s treatise on theological formation as a fine essay – one to be read by anyone teaching or beinbg taught theology, and perfect for reflecting on further education in the parish.

For inspiration, Augustine’s, On Christian Teaching, written over a thirty year period and finished in 427 is breathtaking.  Julian of Norwich is, for different reasons, also utterly inspiring; she is surely the greatest English mystic.  Gerard Hughes’ book inspires with its engagingly honest and focused personal and socio-political spirituality.  Urban Holmes’ empirically-based and historically aware practical theology is still something few can emulate: Holmes’ theological style, together with his work on Anglicanism, remains refreshingly clear and penetrating.  Wilkinson’s history of the church in a time of war is superbly written: sobering and refreshing.  David Martin’s sociology of religion is tenacious, angular and prophetic, re-casting Christianity as a resilient and relevant religion in contemporary life.  McGuire’s work on healing provides an illuminating account of urban society in therapeutic turmoil.  Hopewell’s ecclesiological work, based on Northrop Frye’s narrative genres, is still one of the most imaginative ‘introductory’ pieces of theological work I have ever seen.  It is a pity he did not live longer to develop his ideas.  Similarly, Healy’s work on the ‘concrete church’ is a marvellous and profound theological treatise.  And Hooker?  Well, if you want to understand the virtues of Anglicanism, start here.

There is of course, a problem with any list of religious and theological books.  Namely, what constitutes a ‘religious’ book?  Personally, I love the writings of Garrison Keillor, and would begrudge parting with his masterly chapter ‘Protestant’ in Lake Wobegon Days.  Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart would be a wonderful book for a desert island...just in case you met the natives.  Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale could remind you of what you might be missing.  Book lists can tell us a great deal about our spirituality and personality.  For example, I can think of very few biographies I have enjoyed (Hastings on Runcie was a notable exception).  Yet paradoxically, I love a good personal story, which is why Garrison Keillor is such a favourite, as is Dominique Lapierre’s The City of Joy.  Equally, I cannot commend Barbara Kingsolver’s The Poisonwood Bible highly enough – a tragic tale of misconceived missionary endeavour.

Anything by Dan Hardy is always time well spent, and I still consider Jubilate to be a seminal text.  But generally, I’m most content with a well-written theological analysis of narrative and context, so James Hopewell, Urban (Terry) Holmes or Nick Healy would probably be my first three choices, and the ones whom I would most seek to emulate in my own work.


Schedule for the Week

Monday: Spiritual Reading and Writing

  1. Reading/Writing Parables
  2. Reading/Writing Miracles
  3. Seminar: Desert Island Books
  4. Scriptural Reasoning and Sermons
  5. Discernment and Wisdom (Jonah, etc)
  6. Pastor-Scholars: Prophets (e.g., Martin Luther King jr, etc)

Tuesday: Academic Research and Writing

  1. The Craft of Research & Writing I
  2. The Craft of Research & Writing II
  3. Seminar: Critical Reviews – HS/BYO/IM?
  4. Research Methods: Introducing Types
  5. Research Methods: Introducing Knitting
  6. Pastor-Scholars: Protesters (Liberation Theologians)

Wednesday: Imagination and Originality

  1. Readings in Ecclesiology: Romantic Fiction
  2. Readings in Ecclesiology: Tragic Tropes
  3. Seminar: Thought-Provoking
  4. Readings in Ecclesiology: Irony and Comedy
  5. Readings in Ecclesiology: Evolution I
  6. Pastor-Scholars: Diplomats (Hooker)

Thursday: Practical Theological Reflection

  1. The Nature of Practical Theology
  2. Critical Incidents – Theory and Practice
  3. Seminar: Pastor Scholars
  4. Decoding Power-Relations
  5. The Nature of Ministry (and its Evolution II)
  6. Pastor-Scholars: Poets in the Anglican Tradition

Friday: The Two Horizons

  1. Implicit and Explicit Theology
  2. Time Shift
  3. Discussion
  4. Seminar: Plenary
  5. Pastor-Scholars: Travellers (Masai, etc)
  6. Presentations

NOTES:

Additional Exercises:

  1. Hopewell’s worldview test & House-hunting
  2. Cars/denominations/congregations
  3. Critical Incidents Decoded – person/role/task/XXXX
  4. Novels that speak – and why

Timetable:

9am-4pm daily.  Individual Consultation/Tutorials each day from 4pm-6pm

 

Nature of ministry talk – use mothering motif and bishops talk – salt, choice, etc

Daily Discussion:

  1. Biography – life in orange, lamott
  2. poetry – Williams and duffy
  3. novels – keillor and Kingsolver
  4. practical theology – Graham

Leadership:

  1. what/why – leader
  2. what/how – manager
  3. what/when/how/who – implementer
 

Hartford Seminary  77 Sherman Street  Hartford, CT  06105   860-509-9500  info@hartsem.edu