Regent Professors Think Outside the Box and Become Finalists in Yale Competition
July 2, 2007
The Yale Center for Faith and Culture issues four awards for courses teaching faith as a life-integrating and life-transforming reality. All 240 theological seminaries and divinity schools affiliated with the Association of Theological Schools in the U.S. and Canada were invited to participate. Dr. Peter Gräbe, professor of New Testament in Regent's School of Divinity, and Dr. William Cox, professor and director of Christian School Program in Regent's School of Education, were elected by the committee at Yale as one of the four winners.
Applicants were invited to think "outside the box" of traditional disciplinary boundaries and to design a course that teaches the Christian faith as a whole, and as lived in all spheres of life.
It was Gräbe who invited Cox to participate with him in the project. "We work very well together," Gräbe explains, adding that the end result of their collaboration was a well-integrated course that transcends the traditional boundaries between divinity and education.
The two developed a syllabus for teaching pastors and lay leaders how to get their congregations to make faith an integral way of life. "The purpose of this course is to help pastors and lay-leaders personally develop, model and impart to others a heart surrendered in full intimacy with God," Gräbe says.
This course takes students through a sequenced Beatitude-related path of emptying and then filling to release their hearts into full worshipful living for God. The instructional pathway includes activities related to practicing spiritual disciplines, engrafting the Word of God, and practicing his presence.
According to Gräbe, Dr. Christian Scharen, director of the Faith as a Way of Life Program, Yale Center for Faith & Culture and Lecturer in Practical Theology at Yale Divinity School, was very complimentary of the course. "He pointed out that our course is on the cutting edge of theological education, based on a very solid theological foundation," Gräbe says.
As winners, Gräbe and Cox will attend a collaborative workshop to be held in mid-September at Yale Divinity School. "We're looking forward to discussing our course with the other winners," Cox says, "as well as with the seasoned theological educators from Yale University who will also attend the workshop."