Pastoral theology, imagination, and formation in preaching seminarians at Church on the Hill
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From a broad vantage point, this paper is about pastoral theology and pastoral formation. However, the intricate details and the winding journey reveal that it is about so much more. Animated by the life and ministry of Lesslie Newbigin, I explore a framework of pastoral theology for a pluralistic and constantly changing world. Such a pastoral theology is grounded in a classical pastoral theology yet is open and innovative through its cultivation and practice of pastoral imagination. After explicating pastoral theology and pastoral imagination and understanding them more deeply through the life and work of Lesslie Newbigin, the paper takes a turn from pastoral theology to pastoral formation.
The second half of the paper considers how the formation of pastors through seminary education and field education. Utilizing the work of the Dreyfus brothers and their model for professional growth, pastoral formation is explored in a larger context and longer timeline with particular attention paid to the development of pastoral imagination. Through the research project, I explore to what extent pastoral imagination can be formed through cross-cultural field education experiences.
This paper seeks to provide a response to what it means to be a pastor in today’s church in North America and how we form such pastors.