Last week we kicked off a new series exploring the Kairos philosophy of education. The next few weeks, we will explain why “competency-based education” may not be the best phrase to describe what Kairos is doing. To start, we will look at outcome-based and competency-based education and how they differ from modern higher education.
For several weeks, David Williams, President of Taylor Seminary, led us through a conversation about a new way of learning. He invited us to consider everything from how we understand Paul’s words in Romans to the standards of excellence that are embedded in Kairos to how one’s context shapes their learning in profound ways.
While attending an on-campus Kairos Project gathering in Sioux Falls, SD, student Jesse Rider visited the Center of Hope. Little did he know at the time, this visit would inspire both his work as a campus pastor in Mansfield, OH, and his progress in the Master of Arts in Christian Leadership program. Rider found Center of Hope’s bike to work program.
Gatherings are a key part of the Kairos journey for students, and the highly-contextual model of learning in Kairos is intimately tied them. They provide students and mentors with the opportunity to gather for a week of learning, encouragement, and theological reflection. Gatherings are integral to building community and connections.
With the 2020-2021 academic year underway, one professor is beginning a new journey. Rev. Dr. Gary Strickland, who recently retired as Professor of Pastoral Care, taught students how to provide care and counseling to others, especially in some of life’s most challenging circumstances. He joined the faculty in July 2007.
We are excited to share a story about one of the newest Kairos partners, the Dinner Church Collective. Verlon and Melodee Fosner were serving in a prototypical small church in Seattle. They faced a problem that seemed all too common: their robust, storied 90-year-old church was dying a slow and quiet death.
We’ve spent several weeks talking about what it means to approach learning in a new way. This week, we look back at what we explored. We began our series with a few observations about standards of excellence. The first observation was about context. We observed that standards of excellence always assume a context.
We've been drilling down into the communal and contextual nature of the standards we use as we embrace a more integrated understanding of knowledge. When “knowledge” is equated with “content” and decisions about which “content” have to be made, we've suggested that the vocational context has to be consulted and given a privileged place.
In previous posts, we have called attention to the fact that there is simply too much content in any discipline for anyone to know everything. That being the case, someone has to make a determination as to what is most important to be learned. Historically, that decision has been made by the faculty. The Kairos Project has taken a different approach.
In the last couple of weeks, we have drawn attention to how theological education began to recognize and then address problems that we were experiencing in educating students. Treating the problems as if they were piece meal and solutions were “add-ons” assumed we only needed “technical changes” (in the language of Ronald Hiefiz).