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Designing and Implementing an Apprenticeship-Style (outside the walls) Model and Component in Selected Seminary Courses

Wendy J. Miller
2 scholarship practice hours

Summary of original project proposal and anticipated outcomes

Within the larger context of the Culture of Call, continued focus on the missional church, and in response to the voices of some seminary students who are inviting attention to the post-modern/emerging church ethos, I desired to facilitate the design and implementation of an apprenticed "outside the walls" learning experience which could become a component of learning in selected seminary courses I teach. I also desired to be in conversation with some persons in conference and pastoral leadership.

Anticipated outcomes:

a Two or three upper level students or recent graduates of the seminary would be trained to mentor seminary students enrolled in the course, Spiritual Formation for Congregational Discernment, especially as these students participate in apprenticed-style learning beyond the seminary in a congregation of their choice. b Students in the above named course would experience learning in a location beyond the traditional classroom. The congregation and its context would become the classroom. c Students would learn how to choose persons to interview within the congregation of their choice, to conduct the interviews, to attend to listening to both the persons being interviewed and to the narrative they present in such a way as to discover the congregation's story, and its corporate spirit/identity. d In response to what they discover through this story-listening students would learn how to discern and how to implement appropriate spiritually formative practices into the life and practice of the congregation which would serve the formation and transformation of persons within the congregation, with the intent of assisting them to live more fully in faithful response to the gospel in all of life.

Status of project with degree of completion

The project as envisioned and was implemented in one seminary course: Spiritual Formation for Congregational Discernment, during the spring semester of 2007. Hence, the first phase of this approach is complete.

Summary of what was accomplished and outcomes achieved.

I have shared this project informally with seminary faculty. This report is available by request. I will also consult with Laura Amstutz about making it available on my EMU web page.

This SP projects falls into the category of Teaching Practice.