I spent a hot July week teaching a doctor of ministry course at Bethel Theological Seminary. Since I was both educated in the classrooms and married in the chapel of Bethel, it was a nostalgic week. It was also pedagogically satisfying. I came away with a couple of impressions.
For one, I was impressed with the process of continuing education for pastors. Some gainsay the four-day seminar approach, questioning whether twenty hours of concentrated class time allows in-depth examination of a topic broad enough to be considered a class. From my summer's experience, though, I disagree. The concentrated time allows some things to happen that the more traditional format of three fifty-minute classes per week doesn't allow. The problem of lack of carryover and continuity from one class to another is avoided. Interpersonal dynamics are heightened; one can see the we're-all-in-this-together attitude, normally associated with crisis, develop from almost the first three-hour class session.
Of course, ...1