TEACHING BY THE CASE

Adapted with permission from Creative Teaching Methods, (c)1985 Marlene D. LeFever (Cook).

Case studies are used widely in legal, medical, and, increasingly, in theological education. What makes them valuable? And how can case studies be used most effectively in a local congregation?

First, Garth M. Rosell, vice-president, dean, and professor at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts, presents the case for cases.

The soil had started to crack under the hot summer sun. Thirsty animals huddled together in the shade. For weeks there had been no sign of rain. The rugged Ohio farmers, their crops and livestock now gravely endangered by the terrible drought, could think of little else as they gathered for worship that Sunday morning in 1853.

Into the pulpit came their pastor. Under his arm was an umbrella. Setting it down by the chair, he began to pray: "Lord, we do not presume to dictate to thee what is best for us. Yet thou dost invite us to come to thee as children ...

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