"Practical theology is a transformational activity. That is to say, both in terms of process and outcome it aims to make a difference to people, understandings and situationa in the contemporary." (Woodward,James and Stephen Pattison, Blackwell Reader in Pastoral and Practical theology, 2000,P13) Please read this chapter there is a lot of information to help.
Discuss this statement in the context of the four areas of Practical Theology, namely:
1. a discipline among scholars.
2. an activity of faith among believers.
3. a method for studying theology and.
4. a curricular area for ministry training.
Drawing on the examples of Practical Theology discussed in the subject, provide evidence that can support this claim for each of the four areas. Do you agree with there conclusion? please give reason for your answer.
Practical Theology as a Discipline Among Scholars
People strive to apply theological factuality to all aspects of biography specifically the work and life of the tabernacle. This aspect is commonly known as functional theology. It pursues to evolve in learners the adeptness and perception for counseling, sermonize, church leadership, instructions, temple planting, leniency, double-cultural machinery, and evangelism. In extension to fostering and encouraging spiritual development, practical theology trains learners for professional ability all in a bid to prepare them for Christian service and ministry. It is an applied discipline that rotates around how the theology ought to be practiced in life and with making the application directly. It has both lived and theoretical dimensions. This double character gives the study of the discipline the privilege to exist in a productive dialogue with the rehearsal of putting that theology into action. Generally, practical theology is a transformational activity. It seeks to fabricate a disparity to people, convention, and the situation in the coexistence both regarding outcome and process. In this paper, this statement will be discussed in the context of the four areas of practical theology as discussed below.
Practical theology is discipline among scholars. Practical theology, as pivotal to the leadership of the church, missionary settings, and pastoral practices is emerging as a distinct discipline among scholars. In the discipline, scholars try to comprehend how the articulations and the acts of God take shape in the expressions and actions of man in the world. The scholars work hard to comprehend what it means to be sent out by the creator to the world where we stay and work. It helps the scholars understand how they can cross the boundaries of race, culture, gender, class, age, and place to reach those people who are in need. Theology itself is words and witness about God. When people hear and see Him, He guides them to the needs of their neighbors. Therefore, practical theology stands to be a discipline since it helps its scholars understand what their neighbors need, what their needs are, reasons behind the needs, possible ways of settling the needs and ways through which they can equip members, leaders, and congregations to become involved in the Creator’s missions to the world.
In the light of all this needs, practical theology gives weight to the issues of church ministry, transformative deeds within the community and the life of faith societies in different settings. The struggles of life that have been analyzed in the ethical and theological deliberations have constantly called for a review of the perception and practice of theology. Therefore, its practice has inspired ministers and educators to critically analyze the existing ministerial practices. The social-economic scenario of the world has changed hence inspiring the believing society to pay attention to the guidance at the practical and theological activities they encounter on a daily basis hence the reason as to why I agree with the other scholar's argument that practical theology is discipline among scholars.
Practical Theology as an Activity of Faith Among Believers
Practical theology is an activity of faith among believers. As practical theologians journey through the different stages of theological studies, they discover who and what they really are. They become mindful that the confines between different agencies serve a beneficial ambition to the world. For instance, organizations based on faith have been pivotal to the global health and social warfare since they came into existence. They are the fundamental providers of social services, healthcare, post-junior services, community development, education and emergency assistance in the present world. Faith-based unions such as the Catholic Charities are some of the givers of convivial services in the world for example, in the United States; the Catholic Church runs the biggest health system. It also runs the biggest private school system. This organizations work with the needy people in the society as an act of faith. The practical theology of running the faith-based organizations is learned best through practice. The Catholic Organizations have developed leadership development models which other faiths can adapt, for example, combining experience with training which could eventually be placed in the community leadership roles.
Practical theology is all about death and life. Human life is defined by paradigmatic variations in all aspects, for example, economic, sexual, social, psychological, theological as well as systematic. Going through all this variations in the light of faith is a fundamental goal for the theological courses. As faith seeks to comprehend, learners implicitly ask themselves several questions. Like who they are, the purpose of the experiences they are going through in their life, the normality of their life encounters, what life means to them, how they can change themselves not forgetting the worries of the whereabouts of God in all the normal encounters of the human existence. One needs the culture of the living theology to examine all this life worries. I agree with the argument that practical theology is an activity of faith because practical theologians as well as their followers tackle some difficult aspects of life which have been difficult to other people with ease.
Practical theology is a method for studying theology. It is an academic discipline which examines and reflects on devotional practices for purposes of comprehending the theology that is applied in such trials. It also helps people to consider how theological practices and theories can be more fully improved, changed and aligned. It often seeks to address the perceived disconnection between theology as an intellectual discipline or opinions on the other side, and the practice and life of the church on the other. Four areas of concern are always discussed in practical theology. This includes the activity going on, the reason as to why it is going on, what is supposed to be going on and the manner in which people can respond to what is going on.
Practical Theology as a Method for Studying Theology
Functional theology is exclusively a specialized name for the canon of the Christian memoir. It houses several related subfields of theology. They include; an applied theology which involves religious education, missions, pastoral psychology, the psychology of religion and the evangelism. Other subfields include; church growth, administration, spiritual formation, spiritual direction, homiletics, political theology, spiritual theology as well as the theology of peace. Theology tries to study the nature of God. As seen above, most of the areas of study in practical theology expand and reflect on religious practices to understand the theology.
As the name implies, practical theology is a way of studying theology in a manner aiming at making it applicable or useful. People study theology through practical theology for it to become useful and applicable to the daily outfits. It is the practical dedication to the application of theological insights. I agree with the argument that practical theology is a method of studying theology. This is because, it helps the students who study it to translate the ideas learned into useful ministry to other individuals. For its goals to be achieved, both family and personal lives, as well as the educational and administrative ministries in the church, are involved.
Practical theology is a curricular area for ministry training. It is a doctrine within theological teaching curriculum which teaches the sub-realm and programs in the agency. The sub-fields include religious education, church administration, social mission, homiletics, and liturgics. Most of the practical theology is taught. However, the surrounding of a residential theological school directly relates to the training of ministers. Several academic pressures such as time fail to authorize either a rigorous professional or academic approach. A pastoral teacher or educator is always required to narrow down their educational objectives to achievable proportions. They are also required to decide upon course contents and methods which will enable the learners to achieve the goals. This is despite the educator’s acceptance of the widening scope of the practical theology. Practical theology is thus a limited enterprise. The discipline, however, equips every student to ask him or herself vigorously throughout their ministry, regardless of the nature of the field, few questions.
To begin with, the learners may worry about what might be happening in a certain situation or even what might be the reason behind what is happening. With these questions, the student is at a point to evaluate their existing work and access again the methods and goals about the future. Practical theology educators have accepted and in co-operated the contributions of sociology and psychology as offering just items for the ministry. In my view, theological teachings provide the learners with the ability to evaluate what is happening now as well as what shall happen in the future. This is why I agree with the argument that practical theology is a curricular area for ministry training.
Indeed practical theology is a transformational activity. It aims at making a difference to people, understandings, and the situation in the contemporary both regarding its processes and outcomes. It is discipline among scholars. It is the pivot of the leadership of the church. It gives weight to the transformative deeds of the church to the community. The discipline has a fundamental responsibility for building the faith of the local congregation holistically. Out of this, many methods have been integrated analytically to prove that the discipline is an act of faith among the believers. Through practical theology, students learn theology. They study the nature of the Creator as well as the various religious beliefs. Students are taught on what is expected of them throughout the practical theology teachings.
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