Thanks, Jon, for setting up this blog for our group. I hope it will be a rich resource for discussion and resources for our group and for others.
Today provided an intersection about two issues that have come up in readings and conversations in the past several months. The first issue is one we tossed around in our last GRACE group meeting, and that is about Christian education staff in congregations. Specifically, the apparent shrinking number of staff persons in congregations whose primary responsibility is that of “resident educator.” We mentioned some possible reasons for that, including the practice of congregations in “growing their own” program leaders from within the congregation.
I’m not sure whether or not there actually is a shrinking number of congregational educators in the professional field of “Christian education,” or if there indeed is a trend here. Does anyone have a source of data for this?
The second intersecting issue is about conversations related to the viability of the “classic M.Div. degree” as a significant factor for the professional preparation of congregational clergy, pastors, and staff. This issue impacts not only the kinds of staff congregations will have, but also may hold some implications for the viability of classical theological education.
Any thoughts on either or both of these issues from the group members?