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Capacity for Ministerial and Public Leadership

1. Goals or Outcomes

A.3.1.4.2: "The program shall ensure a constructive relationship among courses dealing primarily with the practice of ministry and courses dealing primarily with other subjects."

2. Quantitative or qualitative information

Direct measures

  • Audit and review of course syllabi objectives by dean/faculty committee to discern links, patterns of integration between the various disciplines as well as alignment of individual course objectives with degree program goals
  • Focused group report from a gathering of denominational leaders regarding the integration of theological learning by seminary graduates
  • Report of conversation with field education supervisors regarding integration
  • Aggregate analysis of capstone course final papers

Indirect measures

  • Alumni focused group suggestions from continuing education events
  • GSQ and AQ results

3. Assessment of performance

Examples of stregnth

  • Eighty percent of the students in the capstone course successfully demonstrated the ability to apply biblical, theological, historical, and ethical course work to the "critical pastoral event" case study in the capstone examination.
  • Seventy-five percent of student sermons/homilies demonstrated integration (a required item on the scoring report of homilies by faculty evaluators).
  • Annual meeting of denominational sponsors indicated that 90 percent of the sponsors judged that graduates were effectively demonstrating solid preaching, leadership, and counseling skills in the denominational churches where they serve.
  • Ten recent graduates assumed additional leadership responsibilities on denominational committees.

Examples of weaknesses

  • Faculty conversation resulting from the audit/review committee of course syllabi reveals uniform agreement that there are "silos" among faculty and departments and that course objectives are developed with minimal alignment with degree program goals.
  • Faculty syllabi developed along disciplinary lines with little attention to interdisciplinary, team-teaching opportunities to assure better student achievement of degree program outcomes.
  • Capstone course analysis indicates that 20 percent of students have demonstrable weaknesses in the area of "theological reflection," even though the GSQ indicated that student satisfaction with the "ability to think theologically" was rated 4.6 on a 5-point scale.
  • Field education supervisors are dissatisfied with the lack of opportunity for interaction/conversation with classroom instructors concerning student learning in the field education placements.
  • GSQ results indicated a score of 2.9 out of 5 on satisfaction with "ability to administer a parish."

4. Revised goals or activities

Faculty agree that the degree program goal for integration is well-stated and does not require any change to published materials or other catalog information.

Examples of revised activities

  • Faculty will convene to design a template for integrating individual course syllabi with the degree program goals and will assign primary responsibilities for achievement of degree program goals in designated courses or groups of courses.
  • Hold a focused group discussion during the next continuing education event with alumni to gather ideas of how to improve integration of the curriculum.
  • Increase field education requirements from a single, two-hour course to three courses throughout the student's tenure involving interdisciplinary conversation with classroom instructors.
  • Require students on internship to meet together to reflect "theologically" on their placement experiences with students assigned to prepare a case study with questions for theological reflection.
  • Hold a faculty retreat regarding team-teaching opportunities and thematic treatment of pastorally related issues in courses.
  • Given student dissatisfaction with "ability to administer a parish," faculty will work with denominational leaders to provide more intensive, postgraduation opportunities for graduates on campus rather than crowd the already busy curriculum with more course.

The famous loop . . . you know the drill by now!