"The kind of person you are becoming is the evidence of what you truly know."
-Brady Bryce Assistant Professor and Director of Contextual Education
Preparation for ministry is the pursuit of a lifetime. We want to partner with you in this noble pursuit. If you are looking to prepare yourself as a minister or are a minister who wants to partner in preparing students for ministry, then we want to enter a partnership with you. The ACU Graduate School of Theology equips people in effective missional leadership for ministry in all its forms. We expect students to willingly embrace this pursuit of training and transformation of their hearts and minds.
This website offers a basic outline of Contextual Education and provides resources for this partnership of learning.
Definition of Contextual Education
What on earth is Contextual Education? Contextual Education is the heart of how students are formed for ministry in the GST.
Here is a working definition: Contextual Education is an active process where student ministers practice ministry in a context and reflect upon the practice of ministry in relationship to that context.
Contextual Education is an intentionally active process of formation for ministry that involves willing students, faculty, and ministers. This cannot be “classroom only” learning nor can it be merely unguided “on the job” training. This active process demands practice and reflection, information and action.
Student-ministers learn by practicing in a ministry setting and learn by reflecting on the practice of ministry. Contextual Education is part of the formative ministry degrees (MDiv, MACM, and MAGS) in the Graduate School of Theology (GST) at Abilene Christian University. Through the sequence of courses students are formed for ministry by practicing what they learn in specific ministry contexts.
This approach indicates that the way to learn the practice of ministry is through attentiveness, action and reflection in a specific setting. In other words, training for ministry means ministers become attentive to the context of a community, act wisely within community, and reflect on their practice of ministry.
Making Connections in Context: GST Contextual Education student-ministers experience class outside the classroom by connecting with church ministers across the country like Josh Ross and Brent Isbell.
World as Classroom: A local church plant provides the setting for student-ministers to video connect with non/profit vocational ministries like Hope with Fred Asare in Acra, Ghana and Liberty View Barron Jones in San Antonio, TX.