Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Stakeholder perspectives of contextual engagement of PhD programs at select evangelical seminaries in the Majority World
by Hunter, Evan R., Ph.D., Trinity International University, 2014, 233; 3685509
Abstract (Summary)

This research utilized qualitative methods to explore how students and faculty perceive the contextual engagement of the PhD program at three select theological institutions in the Majority World. This research has value, as such engagement is both an explicit and implicit value of doctoral programs located in the Majority World. Over the last decade, the number of PhD programs established to serve the church in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe and the Middle East and the number of students in them has risen rapidly. The research is descriptive in nature and not an attempt to evaluate the level of success or merit of such programs. Rather, it assumed that each program engages its context and sought to identify common themes as well as areas of convergence and divergence as indicated by faculty and student stakeholders.

The study consisted of thirty-six interviews. Sets of six faulty members and six doctoral students at each of three seminaries located in the Majority World were asked to share from their experiences in the doctoral program. The participating schools were Africa International University in Nairobi, Kenya; South Asian Institute for Advanced Christian Studies in Bangalore, India and Seminario Teológico Centroamericano, Guatemala City, Guatemala. The study asked participants to describe how the PhD program engages the context including classroom teaching and learning tasks, course outputs, including dissertations, and other non-formal aspects of the doctoral experience.

The findings revealed three primary categories of contextual engagement described by the faculty and students across the three contexts. The participants first described how the intentional design of the programs including explicit and implicit components of the curriculum engage the context. Secondly, students and faculty addressed issues of worldview and cultural values. Contextual insiders provide a depth of understanding not available outside of the context. Intracultural critique ensures contextually engaged aspects are improved through peer interactions. Finally, student and faculty participants found adult learning practices very helpful to overcome conditioned dependency on traditional education models. Participants perceived these practices as particularly helpful for engaging the local context.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Elmer, Duane H.
Commitee: Guthrie, Donald C., Kassis, Riad
School: Trinity International University
Department: Educational Studies
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-A 76/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Theology, Religious education
Keywords: Doctoral programs, Evangelical schools, Majority World, Theological schools
Publication Number: 3685509
ISBN: 9781321616835
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