Doing theological education in a poverty

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Doing theological education in a poverty

Partial but important conclusions appear in this short article. The first section of this article speaks about the present situation of theological education in the Philippines as perceived by theological educators. The second section speaks about the necessary recommendation to amend the present conditions.

Present Perceived Conditions of Theological Education in the Philippines The perceived purpose of theological education to be contextually relevant does not match up with the disciplines in which their graduates excel. Theological educators believe that theological education exists to serve their churches and their denominations through equipping future church leaders for contextually relevant church ministries.

Doing theological education in a poverty

However, a majority of these theological educators also believed that their graduates excel primarily in the area of Biblical scholarship. Biblical scholarship, according to the understanding of these theological educators, refers to competency in Biblical languages, translation from the original language to English, Biblical exegesis, and systematic theology.

Scholarship is perceived as simply engagement of the Biblical texts, theological literature and reformulation of theological confessions that adhere to denominational confessions.

Consequently, Biblical studies ignore the social realities of the church with which the Bible is supposed to engage. Ministry to the poor and oppressed was rarely perceived as a discipline where their graduates excel. Theological educators pointed to colonialism, among other factors, as the major rationale for the relative lack of attention to poverty and oppression.

Theological educators identified colonialism as the major reason for the relative lack of attention from theological education in the Philippine towards poverty and oppression. Other factors exist but many of them could be attributed to the aftermath of colonialism, such as the dualistic orientation to theology, the lack of models for theological education, and a Western curriculum that tends to favor middle-class Americans.

Protestant missions contributed to the cultural and educational expansion which America espoused as its colonial policy in the Philippines. Theological education wore colonial clothing from the very beginning. Such education miseducated the early Filipino Christians because it modeled theological education from the West which was designed for middle-class white America, dualistic in viewing reality and therefore alien to the contextual reality of the country.

Consequently, theological education disconnected itself from the real life issues of the Filipino people. The presence of colonialism continues to be seen though the power of money coming from the West according to a former dean of a seminary.

Doing theological education in a poverty

Despite the commendable efforts of theological educators to raise social consciousness and to equip students to minister to the poor the relative lack of attention to poverty and oppression continues. Despite the efforts exerted by theological educators to raise social consciousness and to equip students to minister to the poor, they could not help but witness the perpetuation of the relative lack of attention to poverty and oppression.

They pointed several reasons. First, the inertia of the colonial mentality contributed largely to such perpetuation according to one professor of a seminary. Colonialism deeply affected the value system of the Filipinos. Their colonial mentality considers all things American to be far superior, and this feeling extends to American theological education.

Second, theological education did not strive to find a model that best educates future Christian workers according to the context of the country. Third, powerful voices in the church opposed addressing poverty and oppression.

And lastly, many professors were unwilling to integrate courses about social issues which may jeopardize their disciplines, and there was a lack of training for seminary professors in this area.

Despite the acknowledgement that colonialism and all its aftermaths derailed theological education from addressing poverty and oppression, there was no evidence that theological schools have attempted to change the basic educational system.

Immersion of students in rural or urban poor areas for a brief time and other educational efforts do not add much to their awareness. It is not surprising that ministry to the poor was mentioned insignificantly as a discipline in which their students excel because Biblical scholarship from the Western model receives a greater educational value than what the contextual reality of the churches requires.

For a short period of time, students are immersed in rural or urban poverty but for most of their educational experience, they immerse themselves in Western theological education. If the present perceived conditions will continue to prevail in theological education in the Philippines, the following implications will ensue: Recommendations Considering deeply the above-mentioned conclusions and implications, the author recommends the following:Poverty is life threatening and should not be ignored.

According to the World Bank report, Nigeria is one of the poorest nations in the world. Six out every ten Nigerians are jobless. The average income per person for a month is N 2 The above, however, is not to say that poverty is inherent in the nature of man or of the poor.

Theology and poverty Our collection of essays looks at the issues surrounding child poverty The Heart of the Kingdom: Christian theology and children who live in poverty examines poverty from a variety of different perspectives and through a number of different lenses.

DOING THEOLOGICAL EDUCATION IN A POVERTY AND OPPRESSED CONTEXT: A PHILIPPINE SCENARIO In February , the author interviewed 27 theological educators from three different Protestant-Evangelical seminaries in the Philippines regarding the role of theological education in addressing the problem of poverty and oppression - Doing Theological Education in a Poverty and .

The challenge of poverty and theological education A. The Compassionate mission of the Church The first great challenge for education and theological education in particular is to transform the educational institutions of the .

DOING THEOLOGICAL EDUCATION IN A POVERTY AND OPPRESSED CONTEXT: A PHILIPPINE SCENARIO In February , the author interviewed 27 theological educators from three different Protestant-Evangelical seminaries in the Philippines regarding the role of theological education in addressing the problem of poverty and .

‘Challenge to Theological Education in the Context of the Poor and Development’, in Gnana Robinson, Henry Wilson, and Christopher Duraisingh (eds.) Theological Education and Development (Bangalore: The Association of Theological Teachers in India, ), pp.

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