Great ideas we picked up from our courses at Asbury.
Now that we’ve completed our coursework phase in the doctor of ministry program at Asbury Theological Seminary, we’ve picked up some great teaching ideas along the way. Here are several things we’d consider doing (assuming one week on campus) …
Many of our classes had meaningful worship times. One of the most memorable weeks was our class with Dr. Stephen Martyn. Each morning we gathered for worship in a small chapel on campus. Dr. Stephen Seamands also did a great job of integrating worship into the classroom experience. The most memorable part was watching a video about the Asbury Revival. After class that day, a few of us went to Hughes Auditorium, the site of the revival on the campus of Asbury College, for prayer and reflection. Worshiping together is an important part of the on campus experience, particularly when it comes to forming Christ-following leaders. We’d involve students in leading morning devotions. We might also spend the last hour together on Friday mornings praying and interceding for one another, as we did in class with Drs. Jim & Molly Scott.
This is a standard part of the Beeson Institute for Advanced Christian Leadership courses (which can be incorporated into the D.Min. program). Joleen took two Beeson courses and Randy took one. We enjoyed them, including the pre- and post-class online interaction, and would want to incorporate that into our teaching experience. We’d ask each student to post 1) a brief bio at the beginning of the course, 2) reflection(s) to the pre-class reading material, 3) reactions to each others’ comments, and 4) a post-class reflection.
In Dr. Russell West’s class, we played team-building games a couple times a day. We found them to be good group experiences and would consider incorporating them into our experience as well.
Jim & Molly Scott had a different student read a different article and present them in class each day. This was a good way to hear about different articles.
Dinner and a Movie
During one class, we led a group of fellow students to the movie theater to watch the End of the Spear, a true inspirational movie about missionaries to Ecuador. We enjoyed that and think it would be a good idea to watch a movie that inspires leaders to change the world. At the moment, we might watch Freedom Writers, which we wrote about here.
Modify the Schedule
A normal schedule for a D.Min. course at Asbury is Monday through Thursday, 8:30—4:30 and Friday, 8:30—12:00. Taking a cue from Russell West, we might work through a shared lunch on Wednesday then call it a day at 2:00 pm (the afternoon/evening break was great). And taking another cue from Jim & Molly Scott, we might add sessions on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Tuesday evening could be used for “dinner and a movie,” and Thursday evening could be an informal time of sharing and prayer.
Small Group Lunches
Jim & Molly Scott each scheduled lunch with small groups of four persons each, each day of the week. Everyone had the opportunity to have lunch with both of them one time during the week. Dr. George Hunter invited students (whom he called “colleagues”) to Subway in “beautiful downtown Wilmore” (you’d have to know Wilmore to know how funny that is). Those were good ways for interaction.
Appoint a Fellowship Coordinator
In all of our classes, students informally got together for lunch and/or dinner. During one course, one student took charge, saying at the end of each day, “Anyone who wants to go to dinner together, meet at the Beeson Manor at such-and-such a time.” That made it very easy for those who may have been less intentional/inclined to gather with the group. Having a point person for shared meals would be a good idea, we think.
Our time at Asbury has been a great experience. All of our professors, as well as the folks in the D.Min. office, are people we’re glad to have known, and have all been helpful to us in our journey (and some continue to be during the dissertation-writing phase). Our Asbury experience has been an important part of our ongoing spiritual and leadership formation. It has also given us some great ideas that we might be able to incorporate in various settings.