Monday, January 16, 2012

Our lives are the curriculum

Here’s a shot of Sarah on her new bed, a hand-me-down from one of my professors. I tell you, hand-me-down Christmas gifts are the best way to go when you’re in seminary! The wall hanging was a gift from Sarah's grandparents and Aunt Suzy. They've added a felt line that details our road trip from Seattle to Washington, D.C., including markers for all the places we spent the night.

At Virginia Theological Seminary, January term moves at a very different pace from the regular semester. Each week we have an opportunity to take one single class and really dig into it. Some classes are more than one week long. I have chosen to take two consecutive one-week classes that build on each other. The first is “Curriculum: Practices of a People.” The second is “Curriculum Development and Technique.”

Now, if you don’t hold a teaching certificate, these class titles may seem a little dull. But the entire point is that we can expand the definition of curriculum to talk about … well, nearly everything in life. We are always learning, and it’s the role of the teacher not only to provide facts and theories on paper, but also to help students connect the material with their everyday lives. Our lives themselves are the curriculum.

Spring semester will begin at the end of January, at which point I will resume Church History, Old Testament and Hebrew. I’ll also add a semester-long course called Constructions of Youth and Youth Ministry.

I have had two big realizations lately. The first is that I wish I could have had all these classes before I spent seven years as an Associate for Christian Formation! There are plenty of things I would have handled more methodically … and perhaps there are many more that I would have handled less methodically and with more creativity.

The second is a simple but very deep sense of gratitude. I am so happy to be here. It hasn’t been easy for my family, but they’re doing fine. Many mornings, I wake up energized because I’m excited to be in seminary. It doesn’t get much better than this. Again, friends, thank you all for everything you’ve done and continue to do to support us.

1 comment:

  1. Josh, I too have discovered great information which could have been useful earlier in my life. What I realize is that I am learning these morsels better because I have stumbled through life sans that morsel. So, as Paul said, "All things work for good in him who loves the Lord". I really appreciate the attitude of joy in your calling that you demonstrate. God's continued blessings on your path.