Q. Some people have the idea that in Christian education courses stu dents simply learn how to use visual aids with children. How would you explain the program? A. (Hilty) It is our job, as well as that o f pastors, to inform people properly relative to what a Christian Education p r o g r a m entails. One quick look at our Biola program would radically change one’s mind. We offer courses in camp leadership, recreational leadership, philosophy o f Christian education, audio-visuals, methodology and many more. (Bynum) Many people do not rec ognize that we are working not only with what is generally termed as “ Methods” and “ How to Teach a Sunday School Class,” but also a realization of the necessity o f “ other people.” There have to be courses designed to help one learn how to understand, how to work, and how to get along with people. There must be an adequate background in ad ministrative and leadership tech niques. This is h ig h ly essential. Christian education is not a glori fied approach to Sunday school, but rather a highly specialized technical and vocational field. Consequently, the college level of training is treat ed as such. A . (Brown) Very definitely, because a great many o f them will have to do the work themselves, in addition to their other tasks. We have not yet begun to send education workers to the mission field. The pastor is not simply a preacher or visitation man on the foreign field. He must also be an administrator, organizing the educational programs. It is ob viously vital for the missionary to be well trained in this field. A large number o f the mission boards are indicating on their vocational area lists, the necessity for Christian education specialists. (Bynum) In a recent survey taken among evangelical pastors, the vast majority (96% ) stated that if they could go back and re-do their semi nary or college training, they would include a majority o f courses in psy chology (human relations and how to work with people) and Christian education. Q. Do pastors and missionaries need training in Christian education?
Mr. Mike Hilty is a
graduate of Biola Col
lege and the Conserva
tive Baptist Seminary
in Denver, Colorado.
He is instructor in
at Biola College.
for workers to fill these needs, we feel majors should be available on the college level. Actually, there is a great deal o f value by having both programs available. Not everyone who goes into the field o f Christian education can r e c e iv e s em in a r y training. For various reasons their college program has to be terminal. It should be pointed out that not all areas o f service demand seminary training. Naturally, the more an in dividual can specialize in this field, the better. We need to prepare Di rectors o f Christian Education to be as skillful as possible. (Bynum) Another thing has been the fact that the vocational demands have changed. More specialization opportunities have developed which have caused us to add the advanced program. We feel a student should receive a broad, liberal base in the undergraduate p r o g r am . This is sometimes missing in just a Bible college program. We are not saying that Christian education should be limited to the graduate level any more than we would say a teacher in the public school system should wait until his masters’ level to pre pare professionally for his specific field. Depending upon the vocational area within the field the person en ters, however, he will find more de mands as the public school adminis tration will require a graduate de gree. There is still room fo r the undergraduate program while th e student should know that there are areas where he may be limited in his scope o f understanding and ministry if he goes no further. The seminary program o f education has become highly specialized and very concen trated in comparison to the under graduate program.
A . (Hilty) While working in the “ secular” world, he will no doubt have a most important and integral part in the church. It is obvious to see the value in such preparedness fo r this field. (Bynum) Regardless o f major, I believe every student should have introductory courses in the subject, giving him the opportunity to be familiar with this vital phase o f the church’s ministry. As a dedicated Christian he will want to give some o f his time at the lay level. This would make him aware o f the oppor tunities o f service at the church. Q. What about a student who comes to a college like Biola who has no specific plans for the future? He wants some Bible and Christian edu cation training. Would you recom mend the Christian education mar for? A. (Bynum) Not necessarily, unless he feels the Lord is really calling him into this vocational area. There are, however, specific courses which will make him a better lay leader and worker in the local church. A major is designed ultimately to make a Director o f Christian Education out o f a student. Q. There are some academicians who believe that a Christian education major should be offered only on a graduate level. Does this have merit for consideration? How do you feel about this? A. (Brown) Considering the growth o f the Christian education field, with churches across the nation asking
Q. Suppose a student plans to enter a so-called “ secular ” vocation, would he have any need for Christian edu cation training?
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