Disruption and Hope
Religious Traditions and the Future of Theological Education
Imprint: Baylor University Press
176 Pages, 5.50 x 8.50 in
- Published: March 2019
During times of rapid social and religious change, leadership rooted in tradition and committed to the future is the foundation upon which theological schools stand. Theological education owes itself to countless predecessors who paved the way for a thriving academic culture that holds together faith and learning. Daniel O. Aleshire is one of these forerunners who devoted his career to educating future generations through institutional reforms. In honor of Aleshire’s decades of leadership over the Association of Theological Schools, the essays in this book propose methods for schools of various denominational backgrounds to restructure the form and content of their programs by resourcing their own distinctive Christian heritages.
Four essayists, former seminary presidents, explore the ideas, doctrines, and ways of life in their schools’ traditions to identify the essential characteristics that will carry their institutions into the future. Additionally, two academic leaders focus on the contributions and challenges for Christian schools presented by non-Christian traditions in a rapidly pluralizing landscape. Together, these six essays offer a pattern of authentic, innovative movement for theological institutions to take toward revitalization as they face new trials and possibilities with faithfulness and hope. This volume concludes with closing words by the honoree himself, offering ways to learn from and grow through Aleshire’s legacy.
Contributors: Barbara G. Wheeler, Richard J. Mouw, Martha J. Horne, Donald Senior, David L. Tiede, Judith A. Berling, Daniel O. Aleshire
The cumulative impact of this rich collection of essays succeeds in inspiring hope for the future of theological education in a world of declining seminary enrollments, changing demographic patterns of the global church, and an increasingly pluralistic cultural context. It also invites reflection on the treasury of resources we have in the various strands of the Christian tradition for constructively meeting tumultuous change within individual congregations and in our personal lives. Barbara Wheeler has not only offered a gift to Daniel O. Aleshire but to everyone who has the good fortune to encounter Disruption and Hope.~Shirley A. Mullen, President and Professor of History, Houghton College
Looking back and envisioning the future, long-time leaders of each ecclesial family reflect on the changes and challenges in theological education from their distinctive lenses. For almost three decades, Daniel Aleshire’s vision and direction guided the Association of Theological Schools as he attended carefully to the distinctiveness of each tradition while forging lasting bonds of respect and friendship among them. This volume is a most fitting tribute to him.~Barbara E. Reid, O.P., Professor of New Testament Studies, Catholic Theological Union
Disruption and Hope opens the door to a rich and longstanding conversation among seven of theological education’s most thoughtful and influential leaders. It is about the wisdom carried by and the uses to which theological traditions can be put in shaping and reshaping contemporary theological schools in all their diversity. Any theological school that wants to think freshly and deeply about its identity, vocation, mission, and practices should use this book as a guide.~Craig Dykstra, Senior Fellow, Duke Divinity School
…All six essays contain helpful theological and pastoral reflections, and all acknowledge that institutions of theological education face difficult challenges in the years ahead. This book is a helpful guide to thinking creatively about the resources such institutions possess to address these challenges and also in enriching our understanding of the issues by seeing how people from quite different perspectives address them.~Edwin R. Woodruff Tait, In Trust
This book honors both [Daniel] Aleshire and theological education that seeks to hold together tradition and hope in changing contexts. It will stimulate generative conversation among theological educators as historic identities and stabilities of theological schools are challenged amid the varied disruptions and sources of hope they encounter.~Kenneth J. McFayden, Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology
The volume as a whole encourages faculty, administrators, stakeholders, and institutions to discern their core identity and mission. This, in turn, should drive what doctrines/affirmations and practices of life are central to a school’s tradition. While not prescriptive in methodology, the essays provide a quick read for busy stakeholders that can foster reflective dialogue on mission, tradition, and vision.~Ryan N. Roberts, The Wabash Center Journal On Teaching