28 & 29 March • Centre for Theology & Ministry, Parkville
Theological education is an increasingly contested topic, not least in those churches which traditionally have had strong commitments to it. It is also true that in those churches the nexus between theological education and ministerial formation has been so tight and so easily assumed that critical discussion of how they relate to each other has proved difficult. Praxis-oriented models of ministerial training tend to relegate theological education as merely academic. Indeed, in such debates ‘theology’ is often a synonym for ‘academic’. At the same time, the academic traditions of Christian theology have not always developed strong accounts of the role of theology in the church, and thus left themselves exposed to that relegation. Debates around these issues tend to become sharply polarised in churches experiencing cultural marginalisation, doctrinal diversity and depletion of resources.
In such a context it is opportune for interested parties within the church and academy to reflect critically on the role of theology in the church’s mission. A conference designed to provide such an opportunity could address such presenting questions as:
- What is the role of theology in the life and witness of the contemporary church?
- What can be learnt in answering the above question from the classic texts of Christian theology?
- What are the differences and connections between theological education and theological formation?
- What is the role of theological formation in ministerial formation?
- What can be learnt from current models of theological formation in institutions of ministerial formation?