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Head Librarian & Professor
The Rev. Stacy Williams-Duncan, Interim Director of Digital Learning and Trotter Visiting Professor in Practical Theology, recommends the following books as part of the Bishop Payne Library’s monthly series highlighting a faculty member’s “picks”:
These books reflect the diversity of my work at VTS. I hope at least one of these peaks your interest enough to check it out, or at least ponder the questions they have raised for me.
How Youth Ministry Can Change Theological Education – If We Let It
Edited by Kenda Creasy Dean and Christy Lang Hearlson (Eerdmans)
For me the most important work in this book is found in the title when it says “change” not “rescue”. In the parishes I served, often people articulated a desire for a dynamic youth group., as long as that would not require the community to change much. This book reports on what was learned when forty-seven seminaries invited youth to come spend time on their campuses and engage with their faculty members. It tells the stories of the deep desire these youth had to engage theology and of how the faculty members who lived, worshiped, and learned with these youth were changed. This book challenged me to consider how as a seminary professor I need to be open to being changed by those I teach.
How to Think Theologically, 3rd Edition
By Howard W. Stone and James O. Duke (Augsburg Fortress)
Stone and Duke have successfully crafted a theological primer that promotes theology as a practical skill that helps us make sense of life and fulfill our intellectual vocations. Written in accessible language this book effectively balances not assuming previous knowledge and providing resources for people who want to go deeper. The assumption throughout the book that theology is best done in community and profound discussion questions at the end of each chapter have made me wonder what it would be like to do theology with the people I sit next to during Eucharist each week.
Why Do I Need a Teacher When I’ve got Google? 2nd Edition
By Ian Gilbert (Routledge)
Gilbert puts technology in its proper place, arguing that having so much knowledge at the tips of our fingers allows us to focus on learning and transforming the world instead of worrying about covering content. Grounded in respected educational theories, citations of philosophers, and research studies Gilbert’s arguments are compelling. He opens with the Einstein quote, “We can’t solve the problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” If you are wondering what new thinking is needed to address the problems our churches, this book might help you see both the problems and potential solutions differently.
For more Prof's Picks see the 'Useful Links' box here:
Just a reminder that Alums retain borrowing privileges with the Bishop Payne Library and can request these as well others in the catalog be sent at no cost. Alums do pay the shipping costs for the books’ return.