Carey Baptist College in Auckland, New Zealand has introduced a ‘thematic integrative seminar’ which is a compulsory capstone course in their BAppTheol. (Laurie Guy).

Myk Habets elaborates:
“The most creative thing we do is the Thematic Integrative Seminar. The brainchild of Paul Windsor, it is now in its 5th year. Final year students of the Bachelor of Applied Theology have to do this.”

“It starts with a two day seminar and ends with a two day seminar. In the first seminar, four of us on staff teach the method then model it. We take a theme (song lyric, advertising, contemporary slavery, etc – a feature of our contemporary society) and we go From – through – To. From a contextual engagement with the ‘text’ (sociology or anthropology or psychology or philosophy or…) then Through a biblical and theological engagement with it (Biblical: creation-fall-redemption-renewal or a dramatic five act play approach, Theological: taking one of the –ologies and interrogating the text for meaning), then To: looking for missional implications.”

“In the second two day seminar at the end of the course students present for ten minutes a creative approach to their missional outcomes. The closest thing we can find to what we are doing is Vanhoozer’s book, Everyday Theology. But we find this book (our new text for the course) is weak on the missional ‘To’ but strong on the contextual ‘From’.”

“This Integrative Seminar is taught and marked by four faculty (biblical, theological and applied) and models the qualities of research and discipleship we try to inculcate in our students. I think it is quite unique, innovative, and works really well!”

“Students are required to read Vanhoozer’s book, read two essays from students of previous years, submit a 6000 word research essay (From – through – To), give a ten minute presentation to class and finally interact with the work of others in an appreciatively critical way. All essays are double marked by two of the four faculty involved.”

Dr. Geoff Pound

Image: “The closest thing we can find to what we are doing is Vanhoozer’s book.”