The Asia Pacific Region has an amazing 12 schools (with many more extensions) that offer the Course of Study to develop and educate students for Ordination in the Church of the Nazarene. The cultural and economic differences between these schools is breathtaking. The educational level of students entering the Course of study ranges from doctoral degrees to some who cannot read or write in their own language. The requirements for students to graduate from the COS range from a basic certificate to a master’s of divinity in some countries. The educational quality also varies greatly from non-accredited certificate programs to world recognized Bachelor and Master’s degrees.
Can we make a course of study that will bridge all these schools? Are the needs of pastors or ordained ministers similar enough that a single course of study could really meet their needs and the needs of the congregation they will minister to?
I walked up to the car with an open hood to see what was wrong. The driver was looking around the engine compartment. As I approach the car he opened the battery cover and pulled out his lighter to look inside the battery. I knocked the lighter from his hand and jumped back from the battery and the car. He needed light to see but did not understand that there could be a hydrogen explosion by using a lighter rather than a flashlight. He did not understand the chemistry and could not see the danger. I had to explain my actions and the chemistry and then he was very shocked and thankful. We found a flashlight to finish the job.
I have often been corrected by educators when I say the phrase “training of pastors.” They react strongly and negatively to the image of training. Over the years I have tried to clarify why they feel this way. Their response is that training involves teaching a series of steps without understanding the reasons behind those steps. They view training as an almost mechanical form – sort of like the training of an assembly line worker with a very limited responsibility.