Re-setting: A Direction of Travel

The Drafting Committee for Final Statement, CWM Manila Consultation: Rogate Mshana, Kenneth Ross, Lizette Tapia, Deenabandhu Manchala

The re-set of theological education to which our recent Manila Consultation addressed itself is not something that can be accomplished overnight. Our hope, rather, is that we might look back on the days we shared in Manila as the start of something significant.

What we were able to do was to set an initial agenda, which was summarised in these five points:

  • Contextualization of theology, while a unifying commitment for the network, requires problematization, re-definition and re-imagination. 
  • A life-affirming theological education needs to expose, interrogate and challenge death-dealing economic and political systems that threaten the human community and all life on earth.
  • A preferential option for justice needs to shape pedagogy so that such methods as immersion, solidarity, participation and co-learning are valued and practised.
  • Fresh thinking is needed as regards what students are expected to know, to be and to do; and forms of assessment need to be shaped accordingly.
  • Without sacrificing academic integrity and accountability, theological education needs to adopt “movement-mode” – ready to meet the high cost of being prophetic, revolutionary and transformative.

Each of these suggests a far-reaching ambition. Taken together they could lead to the re-set of theological education that is widely felt to be needed. Will it be achieved? Time will tell! 

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