October 2019

Education as Transformation: A Look into Nazarene Theological Education

The Church of the Nazarene has always been known for its commitment to higher theological education. It believes in the purposeful and active preparation of men and women for ministry in the Church and for faithful engagement in the world. The Church invests time and resources in helping people to learn and appreciate their biblical and theological roots and to provide space for people to grow spiritually.

Higher Education: Impediment or Empowerment?

I remember Joe. He was zealous for Christ and had a passion for the lost. We talked just a few weeks before I left for my freshman year at Eastern Nazarene College. I was excited to start a Bachelor’s degree in religion in response to the call to preach I had accepted a couple years prior. Joe was less excited: “Why would I go and spend four years studying when there are people who are dying and need Jesus right now?”

An Ongoing Story

The Wesleyan-Holiness Digital Library (WHDL) was created to be a system for delivering vital content around the world for the preparation and support of ministers in the Church of the Nazarene. As the system developed, some exciting things began to happen. Through cutting edge technology, it was determined that the library could be stretched to include much more, without losing its core purpose of serving as a resource to pastors. That broader reach includes providing institutional repositories for Nazarene colleges, universities, and seminaries.

A Legacy to Uphold

According to Peter Senge, “We often spend so much time with the problems along our path that we forget why we are on the path in the first place. The result is that we all have a dimmer, even inaccurate view of what’s really important to us.”1 Indeed, such are the problems in higher education today.

Numbers that Tell a Story: Trends in Global Nazarene Higher Education

Nazarene institutions of higher education conferred the largest number of degrees in the history of the denomination in 2018. Our 51 Nazarene schools reported an enrollment of 51,839 students and presented a total of 11,740 degrees in 2018. When accounting for the extension efforts of these 51 schools, the Church of the Nazarene operates higher education locations in over 120 world areas.

 

Reflections from a Long-Lost Diner

I ate at Denny’s recently. That might not seem like a big deal, particularly in light of how many such establishments exist (approximately 1,600 worldwide). However, that particular Denny’s on that particular day became the setting of a wonderful time of reflection and thanksgiving. It was lunchtime during the first day of our recent denominational conference, M19, in downtown Kansas City, Missouri. I walked through three blocks of busy traffic to that out of the way Denny’s on Broadway Boulevard—a restaurant I had been to many times before—and found it nearly empty.

Missions and Dispositions

Recently, representatives of various Nazarene constituencies joined their global leaders in a move to reframe the language of Nazarene Missions. By verifying what is and what is not changing in our global missionary enterprise, the outcome affirms the resilient nature of the movement.

Stained-Glass Sexuality: Restoring Wholeness in a Disintegrated World

One of the most striking aspects of the creation narrative is the concept of tobh or tov, God’s proclamation that His creation is defined by His inherent goodness. It is an expression of congruence between the Maker and that which He has made, the resonance of love between a Father and that which has been birthed into existence. Inherent in this goodness, we see connectedness and relationality as defining features of the created world, epitomized by the first man’s awakening attunement to God, to creation, and ultimately, to another—woman.