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News from the Hill May 18, 2012 | back to index

Andover Newton, Hebrew College Receive Grant for Havruta Learning

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Newton Centre's two theological schools will explore the havruta peer learning model as a tool for inter-religious education through a project funded by a grant from the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion. Andover Newton Theological School and Hebrew College join six other seminaries from across the country in exploring tools for ministerial formation outside the traditional classroom setting.

The Hebrew College/Andover Newton project, titled “Religious Leadership Formation in an Inter-Religious Context,”h will be directed by Rabbi Or Rose of Hebrew College and Associate Professor Jennifer Peace of Andover Newton. The project description reads:

“Over the last several years, Andover Newton Theological School (ANTS) and Hebrew College (HC) -- immediate neighbors -- have developed a variety of innovative inter-religious programs for our school communities and for the public. One key pedagogic practice guiding our efforts at co-formation has been havruta (from the Aramaic word for “tie together”). This traditional form of Jewish peer learning involves partners meeting over a sacred text, and reading and interpreting together. This dialogical model encourages holistic engagement in which participants help each other in their intellectual and spiritual growth. This grant project would provide ANTS and HC the opportunity to reflect on the role havruta learning has played and can play in the formation of our students, faculty, and institutions. The grant would support analysis of the use of havruta in our inter-religious work to date, and the refinement and expansion of this educational model -- both its theory and practice -- through faculty development.”

Project directors in the “Expanding Ministry Formation into New Pedagogical Contexts” grant cohort met May 15-17 to discuss their projects and go “through a process to refine the design, implementation, and assessment of their grant projects,” a Wabash Center press release states.

The seven projects in the grant cohort seek “to address pedagogical strategies enabled by these non-classroom contexts with each school's understanding of ministry formation and the well-formed minister,” the press release notes. The leadership for the cohort includes Sarah Drummond, academic dean at Andover Newton; Nadine Pence, director of the Wabash Center; Paul Myhre, associate director of the Wabash Center; and Thomas Pearson, associate director of the Wabash Center.

Other participating schools and their presentation topics include:

  • Aquinas Institute of Theology, St. Louis, MO: “Lay Ministry Formation for Hybrid Pedagogy: Building a Quality Formation Opportunity for Students at a Distance”
  • Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, VA: “A Leap of Faith: Transforming Seminary Cultural Immersion Programs to New Heights of Pedagogy”
  • Bethany Theological Seminary, Richmond, IN: “Exploring Incarnational Ministry Formation Through Contextual Pedagogy”
  • Iliff School of Theology, Denver, CO: “Born Digital: Negotiating Formation in the Hybrid/Online Classroom”
  • Jewish Theological Seminary of America, New York, NY: “Ministry Formation in Jewishly-Grounded, Seminary-Based Clinical Pastoral Education”
  • Wake Forest University School of Divinity, Winston-Salem, NC: “Partners in Ministerial Formation: Shifting the Pedagogical Center”

Visit the Wabash Center for more details on the grant cohort and other schools' programs.

The Wabash Center is located at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, IN, and is fully funded by the Lilly Endowment Inc.