Approximately three years ago the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary began to understand that there needed to be greater collaboration between Adventist pastors and their church schools. In light of this, Jiri Moskala, Seminary dean, worked together with Allan Walshe, chair of the Department of Discipleship & Religious Education, to create a new course concept to teach on this topic. The course was eventually titled "Collaborative Ministry: School, Church and Community" and has a great focus on discipling the children in our schools and also on making our schools centers for community outreach. One of the underlining beliefs is that healthy schools that are discipling children will become a magnet to draw unchurched parents/families to Christ. These schools will thrive and grow naturally in healthy ways.
Scott Ward was brought in to the Seminary to create the Collaborative Ministry course content and teach it as the Seminary’s latest required class for all MDiv and MA students. The course is being very well received by students and is helping to create excitement and support for our church schools. Each semester the students get out in the field to visit thriving church schools with their professor and to study how these successful schools are discipling children. As a result, many seminarians are now hoping to have a church school ministry in their districts once they get back out in the field. Check out the short film here of one of the Collaborative Ministry field school trips to the Oregon conference.