Twenty–two Christian Educators attend Teachers’ Academy

Twenty-two (22) Christian Educators participated in the 2017 Teachers’ Academy on September  17-20,  2017 at Bangkok Christian Guest House, Bangkok, Thailand. The Academy was set to keep the participants informed on contemporary issues and trends in the area of Christian Education, and on teaching tools and methodologies. Furthermore, it provided a venue for the participants to discuss some strategies for demonstrating classroom assessment and student learning.

The invited guest lecturers were:

Dr. Kung Lap Yan, Associate Professor, Divinity School, Chung Chi College, The Chinese University of Hong Kong. He discussed on “Life Education” wherein he challenged the educators on the need to educate the church members into a “flourishing life” where there is consistency in praxis and orthodoxy.

Dr. James Moore, Associate Professor of Educational Ministries at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, Illinois, USA. He facilitated a lecture-workshop on 1) “Christian Education is Neither”; 2) “Assessing Effectiveness in a Global World”; 3) “Challenges in the West” and 4) “Toward a Bright Future.”

Participants realized that the East and West face the same challenges in Christian Education in terms of the global inter-generation and inter-faith issues that the church needs to address. He also emphasized on the need for a paradigm shift in teaching style from content-centered to learner-centered.

The panel discussion centered on “Opportunities and Challenges of Teaching Christian Education Courses in Asia.” These panelists shared their respective experiences on this regard:

  • Dr. Tabita Christiani, Lecturer on Christian Education, Spirituality and Theology on Disability at Duta Wacana Christian University
  • Dr. Judy Berinai, Dean of Studies at Sabah Theological Seminary
  • Dr. Jessica Raposa, Lecturer on Christian Education at Philippine Baptist Theological Seminary

 

The participants agreed that being a Christian Educator is a calling to be a witness, and an agent of transformation through the curriculum, teaching materials and training of church workers. In this age of globalization, the church is faced with challenges with the advancement in technology, the shift in demographics, and the rise of the Generation Z. With this, the Christian Educator (in both East and West) is urged to review his/her curriculum, materials and teaching strategies to be contextually relevant and provide Christians the guidance towards the real meaning of life.

The group had the following recommendations to address the said demands of the times:

  • To have a regular forum or venue for Christian Educators to collaborate, and exchange ideas and resources for the enrichment and strengthening of one another.
  • To have exchange programs for students and teachers among the member schools
  • To enrich resources by encouraging more Christian Educators to write and publish their works which are appropriate to a pluralistic context
  • To be involved in interfaith dialogues.