Theological reflection (TR), which focuses on discerning God’s presence and activity in our lives, ministries and communities, including the nation and the world, is at the heart of contextual ministry. To be effective ministers of the gospel, Christian spiritual leaders need to engage in intentional, consistent TR.
Colloquy offers seminarians regular opportunities to develop the art of theological reflection. Middlers meet with two facilitators (usually a senior seminarian and a community partner) in a series of weekly, confidential meetings. During the course of Colloquy, Middlers take turns presenting ministry events for reflection, facilitating the conversation and offering group process observations.
In the traditional Contextual Ministry (CXM) program, Colloquy sessions were held from the second through fourth quarters of the Middler year. In addition, Colloquy groups were distinct from Formation groups, which meet in faculty homes for worship and discussion on various ministry-related topics.
In lieu of traditional weekly formation groups, beginning in the 2018-19 academic year, Middlers will meet in Colloquy groups while Juniors and Seniors will meet in Formation groups. In the first few sessions of Colloquy, Middlers will have opportunities to debrief their usually intense, summer experience of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE). Subsequent sessions will focus on helping seminarians to strengthen their theological reflection skills.
The Rev. Allison St. Louis, Ph.D. Director of Field Education and The Second Three Years Program