More potential profs than I thought.
Do you wanna teach college ministry?
In the courses I attended, some of the teachers were true “academic experts.” But others included wise long-term college ministers, ministers from non-collegiate areas, and even one guy who took a big road trip. They didn’t all have the academic qualifications needed for full professorship, but they could still offer their valuable insights.
What I didn’t recognize fully before the trip was that graduate school courses may only need a “professor of record” to facilitate the course. While that person may need a doctorate and/or a lifetime of experience, he or she can make use of practitioners to teach portions – or even the entirety – of a class.
(So, for example, seminaries could add a college ministry course fairly easily by allowing a present Youth Ministry professor to oversee other, collegiate-focused lecturers. Just an idea.)
Very different class options.
I’ve mentioned this before, but the four courses I attended had three distinct styles. At Beeson, I heard an academic approach that allowed for plenty of other collaborative and practical discussion. At Asbury, I got to see a “special topic” weekend seminar. And at Midwestern, we were privy to the wisdom of “lifers” who offered practical insights and stories to answer a wide variety of planned (and student-generated) questions.
In other words, there is a variety of approaches seminary education in Collegiate Ministry can take.
The role seminaries can play.
Through observations and conversations in the last two weeks, I am now all the more convinced that seminaries and professors devoted to Collegiate Ministry can help shape the future of our field. Of course, having classes in college ministry is a great start. But beyond that, these people could produce books, blogs, think tanks, forums, networks, articles, academic journals, and more.
And from what I can tell, some of these things may come sooner rather than later!