A New Pathway for Theological Education
A New Pathway for Theological Education
By David Williams, President
Taylor has made an exciting step toward the future into which God is calling us! Upon the recommendation of the seminary’s Vision Task Force and approval of the faculty, Taylor Seminary is now part of the Kairos Project. I couldn’t be more excited.
My enthusiasm stems from the fact that this bold step forward creates a new pathway for theological educational that is affordable, accessible, relevant, and faithful. The life-changing journey of discipleship we call theological education is now available to students who once thought it was unreachable.
The Kairos Project does this by restructuring the educational process around the student’s ministry context, life situation, and learning preferences. It also brings around them a team of mentors to walk alongside them through their journey of discipleship. Let me introduce you to a few students enrolled in the Kairos Project:
I first met Jeremiah six years ago while he was an intern at the Mustard Seed. Jeremiah was finishing his undergrad program at a local Christian university and had a passion for serving those on the margins of society. With a desire to be fully engaged in ministry while continuing his education, Jeremiah attempted to enroll at Taylor. Although he was very bright and strongly motivated, it became clear that his passion for serving Jesus and the pattern of his vocation never seemed to align with a traditional course schedule. Soon his pastoral gifts were recognized by his community of faith and he began to serve on the pastoral staff in a new church plant. Continuing his education seemed to move further and further out of reach: until now! Because of the integrated and contextual nature of the Kairos Project, Jeremiah’s life and ministry context have become the catalyst for his education rather than an obstacle.
Matty came to faith as a teenager in Australia through the ministry of Fusion Australia. His passion for working with young people led him to complete Fusion’s competency-based discipleship and certificate programs. This educational approach fit well with Matty’s natural learning style and it soon became evident that he was a gifted and spirit-led young leader. After joining the pastoral staff at The Father’s House in Bon Accord, Alberta, Matty recognized the need to continue his education. He had a thirst to learn more about his faith and how to best minister to the people he was called to shepherd. However, being in pastoral ministry and living in Bon Accord made attending classes very difficult. On-line classes seemed disconnected from ministry and didn’t fit with his competency-based approach to learning. The Kairos Project created a means by which Taylor could walk alongside Matty rather than requiring him to uproot his life. Its competency-based approach to education is very familiar to Matty. Because of the way learning is situated in his ministry context, Matty can pursue an education he once thought was out of reach!
Janene is a young entrepreneur who, along with her husband, started an electrical business eight years ago, 2 years before becoming a Christian. Her flexible work hours and financial resources provided her what she needed to begin a degree, where she quickly showed herself to be an outstanding student, deeply inquisitive, with a hunger for learning more about her young faith. As her program progressed, however, her interests diverged from the traditional course-based degree model to the Kairos Project where she could fold in the practical work of developing an arts-based ministry for young girls. Kairos allows Janene to continue taking courses while also utilizing her practical work in the field! She has a team of mentors that walk with her providing the structure and feedback necessary to successfully navigate her new path. The Kairos project is perfect for Janene. Designed to give her the freedom and flexibility to follow her interests in the directions that she wants, she was one of our first Taylor students to say YES to Kairos.
Thank you for your participation in the work God is doing in and through Taylor. God is creating exciting opportunities for students to flourish in ways unimaginable even a few years ago. I hope this encourages and inspires you as much as it does us. We covet your continued partnership as we walk the journey God has set before us. I invite you to join us on this journey. These are exciting times at Taylor as God continues to use us to “develop Christ-minded leaders who make a difference in the world.”
About Taylor Seminary and the E P Wahl Centre
Taylor has been serving students from a wide range of evangelical traditions since 1940. Come and learn with us!
Taylor Seminary invites you to join us as a student!
Prospective students, start here for an overview on studying with us. If you'd like someone to be in touch via email, click here to request information. Be sure to ask about our online learning opportunities, which allow students to take courses from anywhere in the world.
Taylor also offers a growing list of continuing education learning opportunities through the E P Wahl Centre, and you can read about some of those here. The Healthy Pastors Initiative, Healthy Churches, the Church Administrative Professionals Symposium (CAPS), White Cross Canada, the Conservatory of Music, and theParish Nursing Institute are all part of the E P Wahl Centre at Taylor.
A Partnership with Sioux Falls Seminary
A partnership agreement between Sioux Falls Seminary and Taylor Seminary, signed in June 2015, is uniting these institutions and creating groundbreaking new opportunities in theological education.
This partnership began with a focus on online education, faculty development and global theological education. Over the past two years, the partnership has deepened significantly and has resulted in the integration of some systems, operational functions and academic programming. For example, the seminaries have merged the curricular competencies and outcomes for respective Master of Divinity (MDiv) programs; the two schools share a registrar, and each school now also recognizes their campuses as educational sites of the other.
Devotional Book has been Published
A year-long devotional book written by Taylor alumni, faculty and staff is about to be published. Strength for Today, which began as a 75th Anniversary project in 2015, was compiled over several years, and has been released. Order Now!
More than 100 contributors participated, including well-known figures from Taylor’s history:
* former faculty such as Dr. Werner Waitkus, Dr. Richard Paetzel, Dr. Willy Muller, and more;
* current faculty, including Dr. Joyce Bellous, Dr. Randal Rauser, Dr. Allan Effa, Dr. Jerry Shepherd, and more;
* former students, including Dr. Tim Schroeder, Dr. Lyle Buyer, Sheryl Grunwald, Dr. Stef Piva, Dr. Jeff Kilmartin, and more;
* former administrators, trustees, friends and donors – all of whom have generously shared from their life experiences.
Strength for Today will be offered as a hardcover book. Copies are available at the Taylor General Office, as well as through the Taylor website and via Amazon.com.
We are so grateful for each contributor, and we pray God’s blessing on each reader in the years ahead.