Protestant Educators

Picture of Sara P. Little

SARA P. LITTLE (1919- ): Since 1944, she offers a unique contribution as a mediator of and advocator for Christian education, while immersed in a productive career at Union Theological Seminary-Presbyterian School of Christian Education, Richmond, Va., from 1951-1989, and in many other theological institutions to the present. Her works The Role of the Bible in Contemporary Christian Education (1961) and To Set One's Heart (1983) stand as a frame of reference for theorists and practitioners in the field of Christian education. Although affiliated with the P.C.-U.S.A., Little is an ecumenical voice that seeks to argue for Christian education as an integrative field.

Biography

As a teacher, when I look at my own motivation and performance, I can only confess my limitations … and find courage to try again. But far more important, when I "see" and interpret faithfully, I am myself judged by the Truth-I and those whom I seek to teach (Little, 1989, Education, p. 195).

An honest voice, Sara P. Little has been described as a "unique gift of God," with an "incredible intuition and agile mind" (McCarter, 1975, p. 287), tempered by a sense of humility. Although she recalls how Nelle Morton, Henry Mack, Richard Neibuhr, and many others, were so influential in her own life (Kennedy, 1994, p. 100), she was taken by complete surprise when Balmer Kelly, her colleague at Union Theological Seminary (UTS), told in a D. Min. seminar that she along side with Karl Barth and Bultmann had influenced his life (p. 63). So, who then is Sara P. Little?

Born in Charlotte, N.C., on March 9, 1919, to John H. and Beulah C. Little, Sara claims to home and church as the basic formative structures that shaped her (Kennedy, 1994, p. 2). Her father worked as a middle-management business person, and her mother was a sensitive presence, who always helped with school work or with gestures of comfort when things were tough. She tells the story of how her mother hugged her and "never said a word of judgment" when on one occasion, she came home from school "burst in tears" because the teacher had insinuated that she was a "liar" for not having heeded to this teacher's instruction. On a positive note she recalls how her first grade Sunday school teacher, after having read that Little became the first woman professor at UTS, wrote, "Dear little Sara, I am your first-grade Sunday school teacher. Do you remember me? I have followed your career all your life." To that she replied, "Of course, I remember Miss Maude"(pp. 128-130).

In 1939, Little completed the A.B. degree, with a double major in math and English, at Queen's College, Charlotte N.C. Then, until 1942, she taught English to ninth-eleventh graders and advanced math to twelfth graders (Kennedy, 1994, p. 3). Next, she attended the General Assembly's Training School (now Presbyterian School of Christian Education-PSCE), Richmond, Va., graduating with a Master of Religious Education in 1944. The next six years were work for the Presbyterian Synod of North Carolina, first as a Sunday school extension coordinator and soon afterwards as an Assistant to Regional Director. She visited churches and was involved with a variety of ministries. For her those were "the most exhilarating" years in her life (p. 11). Somehow she went from "being religiously educated to being a religious educator" (p. 5). During this time she designed curriculum materials to suit specific needs, ran Bible schools, led clinics, and so forth.

One such event revealed her character and level of engagement with the critical social/racial issues in those days. The synod asked her to be an advisor to the Westminster Fellowship. As part of the job, she worked with college students, who requested a joint conference with the black students. So, she went to the synod's committee for permission. The committee asked her to investigate and make sure the event would work. When she returned to hear their verdict, she also carried with her a letter of resignation, in case they denied the request. To her surprise, they accepted the proposal, which meant "miles and miles and miles of driving to do, and millions of committee details." Later they also held the first interracial work camp in North Carolina (Kennedy, 1994, p. 16). Of course in the late 1940's this was a breakthrough. This act of "citizenship" would serve her well, when thirty years later she became involved in a project that linked discipleship to citizenship (see her life contributions).

Just as she was "perfectly happy" (Kennedy, 1994, p. 6) teaching English/Math to high-school students, now she could have stayed with the North Carolina synod for the rest of her life. And yet, she received an invitation to teach at (now) the Presbyterian School of Christian Education (PSCE). She denied this invitation twice. Her main concern was "what would happen to the young people." By the third round, she realized they might not keep on asking her to come. So she accepted with the condition that she would be allowed to go back to school (p. 22). So, in 1951 she started this journey at PSCE, while initiating a Ph.D. at Yale University, which was concluded in 1958, followed by a post-doctoral work at Harvard in 1965.

Another shift came when in 1973 she was asked to join the faculty at Union Theological Seminary, and become full-time in 1976. Just as she taught at Union while working full-time at PSCE, she now does the reversal, keeping her feet in both academic institutions. She retired from Union in 1989.

Sara Little's curriculum vitae paints a race well run before and after her retirement. Among other things, she became Distinguished Visiting Professor of Christian education, Columbia Seminary, 1989, the same at PSCE, 1992-95, and at UTS in 1995. In the mean time, she served as a Visiting Professor and as interim Dean and Vice-President of Academic Affairs, Pacific School of Religion, 1990-92.

All along her career she was asked to lecture to a broad and diverse audience. To name a few, E. H. Bertermann Lectures in Christian Education, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, 1970; Calista Olds Lectures in Biblical Studies and Education, The Defiance College, 1977; David Nyvall Lectures, North Park Theological Seminary, 1979; The Rice Lectures, Nazarene Theological Seminary, 1982; Gheens Lectures, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1984; Christian Education Series, Luther Northwestern Theological Seminary, 1985; Society for Continuing Education in Ministry Annual Conference, 1990; Roger Williams Foundation Lectures, Washington State University, 1991; National Convocation on Christian Education, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, 1993; Ted Ward Colloquium, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, 1994; and Faith Seeking Understanding Lecture, UTS-PSCE Charlotte Campus, 2002.

In addition, the list is vast regarding places where she served as a visiting professor in summer school. Again, just to illustrate diversity, she worked at Princeton Theological Seminary in 1973, 1975, 1978, 1982 and 1986; at Vancouver School of Theology, Vancouver, B.C., in 1974 and 1977; University of Seattle, WA, 1990; and Claremont School of Theology, 1991.

Workshops and other activities were intense. From faculty development activities, Christian education conferences, to broader involvement in the field such as Joint Teacher Education Task Force, 1990, Presbytery of Winnebago; or, same year, Vision Conference on Youth Ministry, Lilly Endowment, Wesley Theological Seminary-all attest to her contributions as a resource person and interpreter or mediator for Christian education and educators.

One activity that must be highlighted is her involvement with the Association of Theological Schools (ATS), the major accrediting body for theological schools and seminaries in the United States and Canada. Laura Lewis indicates that during her tenure in ATS (three decades) "she exercised perceptive and skillful leadership as a teaching professor and one of the few women in an organization largely composed of male administrators, deans, and presidents" (Lewis, 1997, p. 130). Among some of her tasks, Little functioned as chair of the Faculty Fellowship Commission, chair of the Accreditation Commission, Vice-President, and member of the Executive Committee.

Such tasks embraced "awarding sabbatical fellowships and grants, ensuring full participation of underrepresented constituencies, conducting accreditation visits, and revising accreditation standards … Her work with ATS also offered opportunities to address issues related to women in theological education." Lewis says Little described ATS years as a "broadening experience," teaching her "how much administrative functions were related to theological education" (p. 130).

Later we will see through her "life contributions and influence" (see ahead) that Sara Little is perceived as a creative mind, or as a teacher who never ceased to learn. One can witness creativity in her involvement with the Covenant Life Curriculum. Her desire was to form "an ecumenical laboratory," one in which students would help teach and train leaders, and provide follow up guidance to their teachers-an unceasing opportunity to experiment with youth, children and adults (Kennedy, 1994, pp. 32-33).

However, early on, these experiments were not rooted in the progressive education perspectives or, later, in the social science model. She admits that not until "Yale" authors such as George Albert Coe and John Dewey entered her vocabulary and dialogue. Yet, even in her earlier teaching experiments, the ideas of these authors were present intuitively. Nevertheless, to be sure, in her own words, "I'm really glad I came the way I did" (Kennedy, 1994, p. 33). What did she mean?

One must consider her title The Role of the Bible in Contemporary Christian Education (1961) in order to get a glimpse at her intellectual origins. This work was the fine tuned form of her Ph.D. dissertation at Yale. She recalls it as a work produced "simply in and of itself a delight" (Kennedy, 1994, p. 42). At the time, Christian education was fermenting with a new phase, marked by the challenges brought forth by Randolph Crump Miller's The Clue to Christian Education (1950), in which he claimed theology as the "clue." All along under the influence of Paul H. Vieth and others, Little "came up" in this context. So, her quest was to search out for the theological voices and with which she would side. Her pursuit led her to K. Barth, P. Tillich, E. Brunner and H. Richard Niebuhr, to name a few. She outlined, compared and contrasted their main ideas, and used such as a mirror to sort out the Christian education proposals presented by James D. Smart, Lewis J. Sherrill, Randolph Crump Miller, and others as Paul H. Vieth and D. Campbell Wyckoff. At all times her integrity was at stake. In her own words, "… I wanted to know and what I had come to believe about this … I was pretty sure I was going to come out with Tillich. And when I ended up the papers, I was surprised I felt more congenial with Barth" (Kennedy, 1994, p. 42).

This congeniality can be observed best in her own interpretation of what she found in K. Barth. "Although Barth does not say so, perhaps there is a real implication for Christian education in his view that 'the Word of God has surrendered itself so fully to the need of interpretation that some mediation is always necessary' (K. Barth, 1956, p. 714). The church as a whole exists to carry on this mediatorial work" (Little, 1961, p. 34). Mediation or informed interpretation is a key formative concept in Little's life and works. This theme will be considered as the organizing principle for the discussion on her contributions and influences (see ahead).

So far an attempt has been made to draw a picture of Sara P. Little as a Christian educator and a leading voice in the twentieth/twenty-first centuries. This essay has barely touched the surface of Little's profile. When pressed for an auto-biography, her words suffice, "I'm a teacher. That's what I am. That's just who I am" (Kennedy, 1994, p. 77). I could not agree more. And I am not alone. Reviewing To set one's heart (1983), J. Smith acknowledges "… after reading I must say: She is a teacher" (1984, p. 471). Laura B. Lewis, a former student, tells how Little taught her the meaning of "Let not many of you become teachers" (James 3:1, RSV), a verse that opens To set one's heart. Lewis continues, "… As she had done for so many, Sara helped me discern my calling and to prepare for it" (Lewis, 1997, p. 121). Perhaps Sara P. Little will do the same for us, as we attempt to study her further.

Works Cited

  • Unless otherwise cited, all chronology in this article is from Sara P. Little Vitae provided by the William Smith Morton Library at Union Theological Seminary and Presbyterian School of Christian Education, 3401 Brook Road, Richmond, VA 23227. www.union-spce.edu/welcome/overview/library.shtml
  • Arendt, H. (1977). The life of the mind. Volume One/Thinking. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. In Sara Little (1983), To set one's heart: Belief and teaching in the church. Atlanta: John Knox Press.
  • Barth, K. (1956). The doctrine of the word of God. G. T. Thomson and Harold Knight (trans.). Vol 1, Part II. Edinburgh: T & T Clark. In Sara P. Little, The role of the Bible. Richmond: John Knox Press.
  • Burgess, H. W. (2001). Models of religious education. Nappanee, Indiana: Evangel Publishing House.
  • Dykstra, C. (2005). Growing in the life of faith: Education and Christian practices (2nd ed.). Louisville: John Knox Press.
  • Hawkins, T. R. (1997). The learning congregation: A new vision of leadership. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press.
  • Jackson, G. E (1984). [Review of To set one's heart by Sara Little]. Interpretation, 38, 440.
  • Jones, I. T. (1962). [Review of The role of the Bible in contemporary Christian education by Sara Little]. Interpretation, 16, 111-114.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1994). Interview with Sara P. Little. In Religious educators oral history: Religious education history in the twentieth century. A fourteen-volume project in oral history 1992-1997, (5), 1-148. Unpublished manuscript, Union Theological Seminary and Presbyterian School of Christian Education.
  • Lewis, L. B. (1997). Sara Little: Embracing the call to teach. In Faith of our foremothers (pp. 121-135). Louisville: Westminster/John Knox.
  • Little, S. (1961). The role of the Bible in contemporary Christian education. Richmond: John Knox Press.
  • Little, S. (1965). The language of the Christian community. Richmond: The Covenant Life Curriculum.
  • Little, S. (1968). Youth, world, and church. Richmond: John Knox Press.
  • Little, S. (1983). To set one's heart: Belief and teaching in the church. Atlanta: John Knox Press.
  • Little, S. (1989). A concluding, unscientific postscript. In Mary C. Boys (Ed.), Education for citizenship and discipleship (pp. 183-201). New York: The Pilgrim Press.
  • Little, S. (1990). Experiments with truth: Education for leadership. In Parker Palmer et al (Eds.), Caring for the commonweal (pp. 165-179). Macon, GA: Mercer University Press.
  • Little, S. (1990). Theology and education. In I. V. Cully & K. B. Cully, (Eds.), Harper's encyclopedia of religious education (pp. 649-655). New York: Harper & Row.
  • Little, S. (1993). Rethinking adult education. In David S. Schuller (Ed.), Rethinking Christian education (99-111). St. Louis: Chalice Press.
  • Little, S. (2002, November). Christian Education: The end of an era? Paper presented at Faith Seeking Understanding meeting of the Union Theological Seminary-PSCE Charlotte Campus and Presbytery of Charlotte, NC.
  • McCarter, N. (1975, Summer). Sara Little. The living light: An interdisciplinary review of Christian education, 12 (2), 287-292.
  • Osmer, R. R. (2005). The teaching ministry of congregations. Louisville: John Knox Press.
  • Smith, J. (1984). [Review of the book To set one's heart: Believe and teaching in the church by Sara Little]. Religious Education, 79, 470-471.
  • Wyckoff, D. C. (1984). [Review of To set one's heart by Sara Little]. Theology Today, 41, 136.

Contributions to Christian Education

In 1997, Laura Brooking Lewis wrote a thorough biographical essay on Sara P. Little. In it, she presented four major contributions and/or influences that mark Little's pilgrimage: "a heart for teaching that contributes to belief; a dialogue partner with theology; an advocate for youth ministry; and a leader in theological education" (Lewis, 1997, pp. 127-131). My intent here is not to duplicate Laura's excellent work. Although I will draw from it and other sources, I plan to offer a summary that plays the voice I heard louder. To be sure, my summary is far from being exhaustive, but it represents somewhat a challenge and a call for a mature response. I propose that Sara P. Little is a mediator of and advocator for Christian education in the twenty-first century, by providing an overall frame of reference from which we can continue faithfully to carry out the task of Christian education. Because she recognizes from the offset that Christian education has "no independent status" (Little, 1961, p. 164) but is an integrative field, rooted in biblical, theological foundations, and other disciplines, we will keep in mind that her mediation is based on an unending cycle of analysis and synthesis (p. 173). She reads thoroughly; she studies deeply. Some have interpreted her methodology of writing as devoid of "her own views" (Jones, 1962, p. 113), or as "somewhat rococo scholarship, by too muted advocacy of its own thesis" (Wyckoff, 1984, p. 136). Little never abandons her inquisitive writing style, even in her later works. However, in a world in which all are too quick to speak their case, Sara P. Little stands as someone who introduces the reader "to a helpful method of 'dialogue-study'" (Jones, 1962, p. 114). What follows is a studied response.

By mediation Little means the call for and responsibility to interpret "with language" the Christian faith, so that others may come to know and experience God and his self-disclosure (revelation). Perhaps that is exactly what Little does all of her life. She begins her academic career by unfolding a basic theological structure from which one can draw own conclusions. Wyckoff (1984) sees that in To set one's heart as "readers are left to figure out how they will actually teach, using such models functionally and selectively"(p. 136). Burgess, too, describes Little's contribution as one who provides "the structural elements." Although he classifies her within the "mainline paradigm" he admits that she engages in "important adventuring, stretching the boundaries of the model by considering the implications of advancing theological understandings in relation to her special interest in teaching" (Burgess, 2001, p. 116).

Mediation takes place as Little interprets for us the role of reason, its relationship to belief and faith, and to the task of Christian education. Contrary to the definition given by the Enlightenment, reason is to be recognized here as a servant rather than the master of revelation. In The Role of the Bible (1961), under the influence of K. Barth, P. Tillich, E. Brunner and H. R. Niebuhr, she contends that traditions, concepts and ideas should be submissive to God's revelation (self-disclosure) and be continuously transformed by the "reasoning heart." Revelation, she says, "calls for the use of reason," a necessary act for its appropriation, as it happens within experience (p. 158). Following the same line of thought, she raises questions throughout her works. In Youth, world and culture (1968), she prompts, "How can we help youth understand the biblical view of our sovereign God so that they may see him choosing to work through scientific developments and political powers?" (p. 20). In To set one's heart (1983), she borrows the metaphor of "homeless mind" to describe the human condition. This sense of wandering is in direct contrast to "setting one's heart," a concept she found in readings related to the Spanish philosopher Jose Ortega y Gassett (p. 7). Little is intrigued and finds a "home" in Hannah Arendt's translation of fides quarens intellectum-"faith asking the intellect for help" (Arendt, 1978, p. 113; in Little, 1983, p. 7). In "Rethinking adult education" (1993), she claims that a "thinking climate" invigorates adults, and somewhat wishes more of that had happened in her Sunday school classes (Little, 1993, p. 105). She dislikes terms such as "practical theology" because it can be so misleading, when "practical" is not a natural outcome of serious study or foundations (Kennedy, 1994, pp. 42-43); or generalizations that amount to nothing except for "fads" (p. 57); and "spirituality" which can be void of the "totality of life which is committed to the service of God" (p. 91).

Mediation occurs as Little interprets the need for language to be made available for appropriation of faith in the Christian community. Her title The Language of the Christian Community (1965), a part of the Presbyterian Covenant Life Curriculum for high school juniors and seniors, is an invitation simply to receive knowledge of faith through a serious study of the biblical narrative, church history, creeds and/or confessions. It is an invitation to embrace "we believe" rather than a personal response only. Not that revelation happens by the simple communication of stories and creeds, but it might happen when such are shared with integrity. In To Set One's Heart (1983), she distinguishes between belief and faith, and how Christian beliefs relate to the Christian faith tradition (p. 16), thus such tradition must be taught, with language that is understood, so that one can appropriate a frame of reference. Here again "faith is asking the intellect for help," a condition necessary for engaging in a productive theological reflection. Such ponderings help the learner find meaning, direction for life, and a connection between the here and now and ultimate realities and purposes (pp. 11-21).

It is obvious that this type of landscape requires intentional teaching. Lewis (1997) identifies well Little's main concern, "As she [Little] explores the relationship between teaching and belief formation, Sara asks 'whether and how teaching, as a ministry, could serve a more intentional function' in the way in which a faith community 'transmits its values and beliefs'" (p. 127; quoting Little, 1983, p. 86). By no means teaching is to be perceived as the cure for all ills, but it must be carefully crafted, by "selective use of a variety of models" (Little, 1983, p. 10), which favors "integration and integrity of life" (p. 9). It would be easy to misunderstand Little at this junction, especially as she outlines a variety of models under the premise that "… to be a 'real' teacher is to be able to choose from among options that one which is best for particular purposes in relation to particular subjects and persons. It is to be able to use models in sequences or combinations" (p. 39). However, the entirety of her work attests to something greater than just methodology. She recognizes the sacredness of teaching, as the allusion to James 3:1 mandate in To Set One's Heart (1983, 1). To be sure, her contribution is a call for the teacher to do the work of the teacher in preparation, whatever that might be, so that the teacher and learners, both students, together seekers of truth, may be "judged by the Truth" (Little, 1989, Education, p. 195). As with Craig Dykstra (2005, pp. 151-152), she too is moved by the story of the Tanzanian woman, presented by Hans-Ruedi Weber, who identified the Bible as the only book which read her. Little concludes, "… we who are called to teach are 'read' by that which we teach and learn" (1989, Education, p. 195).

At this point we pause to hear her voice in regard to the role of pastors and professional Christian educators. In " 'Experiments with Truth': Education for Leadership" (Little, 1990), she outlines a profile for leadership at the dawn of the twenty-first century. It is a call to live truthfully, being committed to it. At the same time, leadership is learning together. To illustrate, she uses the character Moses as presented by Aaron Wildasvsky in The Nursing Father: Moses as Political Leader (1984). As Moses was given tasks, he "learned how to be a founder of the nation, a revolutionary, a lawgiver, an administrator, a storyteller, a teacher, a student, and a politician" (p. 168). This learning together implies participation and active learning on the part of the leader as well as of the followers. But how can such a leader be described? She draws from Robert Greenleaf's Servant Leadership; A Journey into the Nature of Legitimate Power and Greatness (1977) and shares with him a discontent for words such as "innovator, enabler, decision-maker, risk-taker, manager, organizer." She is concerned with a contextual leadership that draws from a "conceptual inheritance" that links past, present and future (Little, 1990, p. 171). Along with this connectedness, leadership is embedded in giftedness and mystery. It requires moral, spiritual qualities, integrity, skills for the tasks and a commitment to purpose. The key to carry out the task is precisely "the common good" and "not for personal aggrandizement" (p. 172). As an Epiphany, she suggests four mandates for Christian leaders: to be committed to Truth, to be equippers of saints for the work of ministry, to engage persons in discipleship and citizenship, and to practice bilingual education (pp. 175-179). I will explore these four points with references from other works, in order to highlight her contribution as a mediator for the task of Christian education.

First, the role of the Christian leader is to educate in such a way "that we come to know what we believe and why …" since the biblical view says truth belongs to God and God is truth "in essence and in attributes, in what has been made known as self-revelation in Jesus Christ, as hope and demands for human beings," and whoever "is committed to this kind of truth is 'held' by that truth and shaped by it" (Little, 1990, p. 175). Part of this appropriation comes through engaging in the very act that educates and helps one learn. As she says, "… in our life together … we engage in that kind of embodiment of faithfulness that enables us to know the truth by participating in it" (p. 176). Contemporaries such as Craig Dykstra are echoing this thought when saying, "The practices of Christian faith … turn out to be places in the contours of our personal and communal lives where a habitation of the Spirit is able to occur" (Dykstra, 2005, p. 64) or as Richard Osmer who identifies such practices as a frame which "brings into focus the ways a congregation is a community sharing a way of life embodied in its practices which mediate both traditions of the past and contextual challenges of the present" (Osmer, 2005, p. 62). So, this participation is active and purposeful learning. Meaning engages the learner who in turn experiences "a power within … to become a responsible group member" (Little, 1966, p. 32). Pastors and Christian educators invite learning as they lead in the practices of the Christian faith. In 2002, she delivered a speech at the Union Theological Seminary-PSCE Charlotte, NC campus, in which she paints well the engaging teacher-pastor in the practice of worship. She describes Dr. Kraemer asked those worshiping to look outside the plain windows and take a moment to observe the people passing by, the trees, and so forth. Then he called out, "know that we have gathered here briefly this morning to remind ourselves of who we are and what we are for; we are for that world we see outside." For Little pastoral educational leadership is what she is seeking for in the future (p. 5).

The understanding of equipping the saints attempts "to reclaim the idea of vocation, of calling" and changes the way Christian education is viewed. She says, "to be a Christian is, in fact, to be called to serve." This can be made visible and practical by such things as "a commissioning service for leaders in public life" (Little, 1990, p. 176). In her article on "Theology and Education" for the Harper's Encyclopedia of Religious Education (1990), she discusses how although theology is normative, to a degree its authority resides in the "commitments" of the "community of believers" and as such more is at stake than the simple act of education. "Here the overarching rubric is ministry, rather than education, and the intention is to equip all believers for the ministry to which they are called" (p. 651). When she discusses mission involvement in Youth, world, and church (1968) the idea of vocation and ministry is heard clearly, even as it pertains to youth: "Perhaps we have reached the stage at which we can give more encouragement to individuals or groups of Christians to act where they are, without needing to refer to a church structure for everything related to need or service or witness" (p. 53). Equipping, thus, liberates the life of a Christian.

The third mandate is to engage persons in discipleship and citizenship. Her bank of information comes from having participated in the Lilly Endowment-funded interdisciplinary National Faculty Seminar, which met at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis from 1982-1986, alongside with Mary Boys, Walter Brueggemann, John A. Coleman, C. Ellis Nelson, to name a few. Two very helpful resources were produced as a result of this project: Tensions between Citizenship and Discipleship: A case study (Slater, ed., 1989), and Education for Citizenship and Discipleship (Boys, ed., 1989). In the latter, Little writes the postscript, in which she evaluates and integrates all that this project stands for. The overarching examined question is, "How might our activities of interpreting the Christian faith educate for the future good of the world?" Because there is a need for "responsible-membership" Christian education must expand beyond educating for discipleship to educating "for citizenship." One without the other is incomplete. Drawing from sociologist John Coleman, she points that when discipleship is accompanied by citizenship the outcome is "a wider solidarity, a humbler service, a more taxing reality-test for responsibility" (Little, 1990, p. 177). Not that citizenship in this world is the supreme aim of Christian, rather "… to be a citizen motivated and empowered by the faith of a disciple does indeed bring a new dimension to living" (p. 178).

Furthermore, education for discipleship and citizenship must recognize the need to be bilingual. Little resonates with Walter Brueggemann's exegesis of 2 Kings 18-19, as he discourses the need for language "behind the wall" and "at the wall." The former allowed the Hebrew community to worship, repent, grieve, pray, and seek faithfulness to God. The latter implies "public discourse" or dialogue with the outsider. If before Little emphasized language to form citizens of heaven on earth, now she sees the relevancy of speaking another language (more than just expanding a vocabulary), making communication possible with all (Little, 1989, p. 188). Perhaps here she has mediated for us a way of thinking that will bear much fruit, as we, Christians educators, carry out our task of being teachers in Christ's name in the context of globalization.

As I reviewed the life and works of Sara P. Little, I was deeply touched by her humility. I found a willing spirit, joint to other committed Christian educators, as a seeker of truth. She never hungers to come up with new terms or illustrations or metaphors. Rather, she studies serious voices and forms a compilation of many unforgettable reminders of what Christian education is all about. G. E. Jackson (1984) identified this well when reviewing To Set One's Heart. He sees Little's writing style as a "rich review" which provides "informing insights from psychologists, sociologists, philosophers, historians, and theologians …" (p. 440). Indeed Little is a mediator of ideas and concepts. An illustration is how she introduces the reader to the "spiderweb" metaphor, borrowed from Elliot Eisner, as she searched for a way to describe a model for adult Christian education (Little, 1993, pp. 107-108). Thomas R. Hawkins (1997, p. 50) in The Learning Congregation heard Little's ecumenical voice. He writes, "A spiderweb of learning opportunities weaves together various activities and programs throughout the congregation. Planning for learning, Little urges, 'necessitates an awareness of the partnership that should exist among many agencies, with each contributing through its unique function'" (Little, 1993, p. 108). Little mediates to Hawkins and to us a powerful metaphor. Drawing to a close, I recognize in Lewis' words the best summary of her contributions: Little students "are the living legacy, of this gifted woman whom God, in all wisdom, called to teach" (1997, p. 133).


Bibliography

Books and Monographs

  • Little, S. (2002, November). Christian education: The end of an era? Paper presented at Faith Seeking Understanding meeting of the Union Theological Seminary-PSCE Charlotte Campus and Presbytery of Charlotte, NC.
  • Little, S. (1998). Youth ministry: Historical reflections near the end of the twentieth century. In Lectures on youth, church, and culture (pp. 11-23). Princeton: Institute for Youth Ministry, PTS.
  • Little, S. (1997). Historical uniqueness: The Federations of UTS and PSCE. Focus, 3 (1), 20-25.
  • Little, S. (1993). Rethinking adult education. In D. Schuller (Ed.), Rethinking Christian education (pp. 99-112). St Louis: Chalice Press.
  • Little, S. (1990). Experiments with truth: Education for leadership. In P. Palmer et al (Eds.), Caring for the commonweal (pp. 165-179). Macon, GA: Mercer University Press.
  • Little, S. (1989). A concluding unscientific postscript. In M. Boys (Ed.), Education for citizenship and discipleship (pp. 183-201). New York: Pilgrim Press.
  • Little, S. (1989). The place of education in the sanctuary event at the church of the covenant. In N. G. Slater (Ed.), Tensions between citizenship and discipleship, a case study (pp. 174-194). New York: Pilgrim Press.
  • Little, S. (1983). To set one's heart: Belief and teaching in the church. Atlanta: John Knox Press.
  • Little, S. (1982). Christian Education as religious instruction. In J. Seymour and D. Miller (Eds.), Contemporary approaches to Christian education (pp. 35-52). Nashville: Abingdon, 1982.
  • Little, S. (1978). Ways of knowing: An approach to teaching about teaching. In I. V. Cully & K. B. Cully (Eds.), Process and relationships (pp. 15-21). Birmingham: Religious Education Press, 1978.
  • Little, S. (1976). Theology and religious education. In M. Taylor (Ed.), Foundation for Christian education in an era of change (pp. 30-40). Nashville: Abingdon, 1976.
  • Little, S. (1963). Theories of learning. In K. B. Cully (Ed.), The Westminster dictionary of Christian education (pp. 382-385). Philadelphia: Westminster Press.
  • Little, S. (1961). The role of the Bible in contemporary Christian education. Atlanta: John Knox Press.
  • Little, S. (1957). Youth guide on race relations. New York: Friendship Press.
  • Little, S. (1956). Learning together in the Christian fellowship. Richmond: John Knox Press.
  • Little, S. (1944). Projects and principles of social action among young people. (M.R.E. thesis, General Assembly's Training School of Lay Workers). Unpublished manuscript, Presbyterian School of Christian Education.

Co-authorship: Books, Monographs, Chapters, or Bible School Curriculum Materials

  • Little, S., White, D. M., Crim, K. R. & Yancy, P. M. (1977). On human rights. [Sound cassette 79 min]. Richmond: Union Theological Seminary.
  • Little, S. & McCarter, N. D. (1976). Readiness for ministry and curriculum design. Theological Education, 12(M), 151-157.
  • Little, S., Westerhoff, J. & Melchert, C. (1975, April 19). [Sound cassette 40 min]. Richmond: PSCE.
  • Little, S. (1973, April). A symposium: Implications of the consultation as a whole. Consultation for women in theological education. [Sound cassette 20 min]. Richmond: UTS.
  • Little, S. & Montgomery, H. (1961). Team Teaching. Presbyterian Action, (O), 8-9.

Articles, Book Reviews, Sound Recordings, and Videos

  • Little, S. (1998). Response to Laura Lewis, "Christian formation for the next generation." Insights, 113 (Spring), 21-24.
  • Little, S. (1995, March). "Reflections." Affirmation, 7(1), 65-70.
  • Little, S. (1995). Reformed theology and religious education. In Randolph Crump Miller (Ed.), Theologies of religious education (pp.11-34). Birmingham: Religious Education Press.
  • Little, S. (1995). What we should not forget. PACE: Professional approaches for Christian educators, 24 (F), 8-12.
  • Little, S. (1994). [Review of the book To understand God truly: What's theological about a theological school? by D. H. Kelsey]. Interpretation, 48 (J), 110-111.
  • Little, S. (1993). The 'clue' to religious education. Union Seminary Quarterly Review, 47 (3-4), 7-21.
  • Little, S. (1993). [Review of the book Carriers of faith: Lessons from congregational studies, by C. S. Dudley, J. W. Carroll & J. P. Ward (Eds.)]. Interpretation, 47 (J), 106-107.
  • Little, S. (1991). Youth and youth ministry. Newsletter of Educational Ministry (Association of Christian Church Educators: Disciples of Christ), 3, 2-5.
  • Little, S. (1990). Dialogue. In I. V. Cully & K. B. Cully (Eds.), Harper's dictionary of religious education (p. 189). New York: Harper & Row.
  • Little, S. (1990). Diversity: From communication to communion. Horizons, 3, 5 (J-A), 28-29.
  • Little, S. (1990). Discussion. In I. V. Cully & K. B. Cully (Eds.), Harper's dictionary of religious education (pp. 194-195). New York: Harper & Row.
  • Little, S. (1990, Winter). Randolph Crump Miller: Theologian-educator par excellence. Panorama: International Journal of Comparative Religious Education and Values, 2, 2, 7-19.
  • Little, S. (1990). Theology and education. In I. V. Cully & K. B.Cully (Eds.), Harper's dictionary of religious education (pp. 649-655). New York: Harper & Row.
  • Little, S. (1989). A teaching church. Presbyterian Survey, (J), 30-31.
  • Little, S. (1989, April 24). The Christian vocation. Presbyterian Outlook, 171 (16), 13-14.
  • Little, S. (1989). Youth and youth ministry (Ed.). Affirmation, 2 (1), 1-121.
  • Little, S. (1988). Horace Bushnell (Christian nurture, 1847): Practical theologian. American Presbyterians: Journal of Presbyterian History SS, (D), 245-250.
  • Little, S. (1988, Winter). [Review of the book The practice of teaching education, by Philip W. Jackson]. Religious Education, 83, 150-151.
  • Little, S. (1988). [Review of the book Teaching and religious imagination: An essay in the theology of teaching by Maria Harris]. Theology Today, 45, 346-347.
  • Little, S. (1988). [Review of the book Fashion me a people]. Theology Today, 45, 346-347.
  • Little, S. (1987). [Review of the book Teaching the gospel today].
  • Little, S. (1985). Christian education conference address. [5 sound cassettes.] Montreat: NC.
  • Little, S. (1985, November). Tomorrow was created today. Alert, 16 (3), 5-10.
  • Little, S. (1985). Women at Union. In Media Res, (D), 1,4, 5.
  • Little, S. (1984, Summer). [Review of the book Presbyterian women in America, by L. A. Boyd & R. D. Brackenridge]. Journal of Presbyterian History, 62, 169-170.
  • Little, S. (1982). From theory to practice: Curriculum, reflective responses. Religious Education, 77(4), 374-347.
  • Little, S. (1982). Religious instruction. In J. L. Seymour & D. E. Miller (Eds.), Contemporary approaches to Christian education (pp. 35-52). Nashville: Abingdon, 1982.
  • Little, S. (1981, July). Editorial. Women and Religious Education. Religious Education, 76 (4), 353-453.
  • Little, S. (1981). Interviews with members of faculty about the c.p.e. program. [Video cassette (46 min.)]. Richmond: Media Services.
  • Little, S. (1980). Symposium on Christian education in the future. [7 cassette (75 min.)]. Durham, N.C.
  • Little, S. (1979, Summer). [Review of the book The revolutionary college: American Presbyterian higher, by H. Miller]. Historical Magazine of the Protestant Episcopal Church, 48, 360-362.
  • Little, S. (1978, July). Belief and behaviors. Religious Education, 73 (4), 398-409.
  • Little, S. (1978, September). Randolph Crump Miller: Theologian-educator. Religious Education, 73 (5), 67-77.
  • Little, S. (1978). [Review of the book The Pastor's role in educational ministry by R. A. Olson (Ed.)]. Journal for Preachers, I (2), 41-42.
  • Little, S. (1978, July). Reflections on what happened: The future of educational ministry. Religious Education, 73(4), 444-448.
  • Little, S. (1977, January). The educational question. Religious Education, 72 (1), 25-28.
  • Little, S. (1976). Invitation to religious education. Religious Education, 71 (M-J), 344-345.
  • Little, S. (1976). Major issues in church education today. [Sound cassette (30 min)]. Atlanta: PC USA.
  • Little, S. (1976, March-April). [Review of the book Youth: The seventy-fourth yearbook: National society for the study of education, part 1]. Religious Education, 71, 220.
  • Little, S. (1975). Badly organized miracle. Duke Divinity School Review, 40 (S), 161-172.
  • Little, S. (1975). The Sunday school: The present. Paper presented at Perkins School of Theology, Dallas, TX.
  • Little, S. (1975). Youth ministry today. [4 sound cassettes (30 min each)]. Austin: Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary.
  • Little, S. (1974). [Review of the book Education and the endangered individual: A critique of 10 modern thinkers by Brian V. Hill]. Religious Education, 69 (N-D), 734.
  • Little, S. (1972). Reflections on the end of an era. In John Westerhoff (Ed.), Colloquy on Christian education (pp. 25-30). New York: Pilgrim Press.
  • Little, S. (1969). Religious education. In Robert Ebel (Ed.), Encyclopedia of educational research (pp. 1123-1127). London: Macmillan.
  • Little, S. (1966). Revelation, the Bible, and Christian education. In Marvin Taylor (Ed.), An introduction to Christian education, (pp. 42-49). Nashville: Abingdon, 1966.
  • Little, S. (1965). Lost in the crowd. International Journal of Religious Education, 42, 3-4.
  • Little, S. (1965). The development of leaders for the school of the church. Richmond: CLS Press.
  • Little, S. (1965). The enlistment of leaders for the work of the church. Richmond: CLS Press.
  • Little, S. (1965). The language of the Christian community. Leader's guide. Richmond: CLC Press.
  • Little, S. (1965). The language of the Christian community. Richmond: CLC Press.
  • Little, S. (1964, May-June). Paul Herman Vieth: Symbol of a field in transition. Religious Education, LIX (3), 202-207.
  • Little, S. (1964, Nov.-Dec.). [Review of the book Theology, philosophy and the Catholic college student by J. B. McGannon, B. J. Cooke & G. P. Klubertanz, (Eds.)]. Religious Education, LIX (6), 517-518.
  • Little, S. (1962, July-September). Teaching the Bible to adults: Later Hebrew history and prophets. The Earnest Worker, Board of Christian Education, Presbyterian Church in the United States.
  • Little, S. (1961, October-December). Teaching the Bible to adults: Christian growth. The Earnest Worker. Board of Christian Education, Presbyterian Church in the United States.
  • Little, S. (1961, Spring). [Review of the book Theory and design of Christian education curriculum by D. C. Wyckoff]. Encounter, 23, 213.
  • Little, S. (1961, Fall). What we learned from the world. The Quill, XXXI (1), 3.
  • Little, S. (1960, Nov.-Dec.). [Review of the book Children and the Bible by E. L. Smither]. Religious Education, 55 (3), 474.
  • Little, S. (1960, May-June). [Review of the book Learning to work in groups by M. B. Miles.]. Religious Education, 55 (3), 237-238.
  • Little, S. (1960). What about supervision? Presbyterian Action, 12-13.
  • Little, S. (1960). Manual of the Presbyterian youth fellowship. Presbyterian Church in the United States, Executive Committee of Religious Education and Publication.
  • Little, S. (1959). The committee on Christian education. Presbyterian Action, (M).
  • Little, S. (1959). Teaching the Bible to adults: The book of Acts. The Earnest Worker. Richmond: Board of Christian Education, Presbyterian Church in the United States (O-D).
  • Little, S. (1958). The language of relationships. Presbyterian Action, November, 4-5.
  • Little, S. (1955). The church's program for senior highs. Leader's guide. Richmond: Board of Christian Education, P. C. in the USA.
  • Little, S. (1955). The church's program for youth. Leader's guide. Richmond: Board of Christian Education, P. C. in the USA.
  • Little, S. (1953). The church school clinic: A manual for those administering a program of local church. Richmond: Board of Christian Education, P. C. USA.
  • Little, S. (1953). Use of resource materials and persons. Presbyterian Action, (M), 9, 28.
  • Little, S. (1952). The adult leaders of youth. In B. Currie (Ed.), Handbook: Senior high fellowship, Presbyterian Church, U.S., (pp. 1-52). Richmond: John Knox Press.
  • Little, S. (1952). An evaluation of the effectiveness of our churches program for young people. Presbyterian Action, (N).
  • Little, S. (1951). Psychological bases for principles of religious education among adolescents. Unpublished manuscript, Richmond: Union Theological Seminary.

Reviews of Sara P. Little life and works

  • Burgess, H. W. (2001). Models of religious education. Nappanee, Indiana: Evangel Publishing House, 13, 113, 116, 123, 134, 247, 249-50.
  • Dyke, A. H. Van (1962, May). [Review of the book The role of the Bible in contemporary Christian education by Sara Little]. Reformed Review, 15, 58-59.
  • Gangel, K. O. & Benson, W. S. (1983). Christian education: Its history and philosophy. Chicago: Moody Press, 319-320.
  • Hawkins, T. R. (1997). The learning congregation: A new vision of leadership. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 25, 42, 50.
  • Jackson, G. E. (1984). [Review of the book To set one's heart by Sara Little]. Interpretation, 38 (O), 1984.
  • Jones, I. T. (1962, Jan.). [Review of the book The role of the Bible in contemporary Christian education by Sara Little]. Interpretation, 111-114.
  • Johnson, C. H. (1962, Winter). [Review of the book The role of the Bible in contemporary Christian education by Sara Little]. Perkins School of Theology Journal, 15 (2), 50.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1994). Interview with Sara P. Little. In Religious educators oral history: Religious education history in the twentieth century. A fourteen-volume project in oral history 1992-1997, (5), 1-148. Unpublished manuscript, Union Theological Seminary and Presbyterian School of Christian Education.
  • Lewis, L. B. (1997). Sara Little: Embracing the call to teach. In Faith of our foremothers (pp. 121-135). Louisville: Westminster/John Knox.
  • McCarter, N. (1975, Summer). Sara Little. The living light: An interdisciplinary review of Christian education, 12 (2), 287-292.
  • Miller, J. B. (1962). [Review of The role of the Bible in contemporary Christian education by Sara Little). Encounter, (Spring), 211-212.
  • Reed, J. E. & Provost, R. (1993). History of Christian education (pp. 353-354). Nashville: Broadman & Holman.
  • Smith, J. (1984). [Review of the book To set one's heart: Believe and teaching in the church by Sara Little]. Religious Education, 79, 470-471.
  • Vogel, L. J. (1991). Teaching and learning in communities of faith: Empowering adults through religious education. San-Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 48, 64, 77, 79, 80, 95.
  • Wyckoff, D. C. (1984, April). [ Review of the book To set one's heart by Sara Little]. Theology Today, 41, 136.

Excerpts from Publications

Little, S. (1961). The role of the Bible in contemporary Christian education. Richmond: John Knox Press.

To trace the changes in the role of the Bible is … to elucidate developments in philosophy of Christian education … that kind of Christian education in which the Bible will continue to be a determinative influence will not understand itself to be an autonomous discipline. It is a mediatoring discipline, an area in which conversation may be carried on among various and numerous disciplines of thought, with the goal of merging together those factors most relevant to Christian communication and transforming them into forms suitable to the content to be communicated. (p. 163)

That which distinguished the curriculum of Christian education from all other curricula is the fact of revelation … the curriculum of Christian education designates those occasions in which the church witnesses to the fact of revelation, interprets its meaning, endeavors to understand its contemporary relevance, and responds to it in worship and commitment … There is no need in Christian education to contrive situations in which Christian teaching may be 'practiced,' or to introduce endless projects which are no more than busywork. There is no need to duplicate the efforts of other agencies, or to become competitors with other churches, envious of the complexity of their programs. (p. 164)

Little, S. (1968). Youth, world, and church. Richmond: John Knox Press.

Mission, as used here, refers to God's action in Jesus Christ by which he is reconciling the world to himself … No one action or thing is ever mission, because mission refers to the whole of God's activity … Is the mission focus appropriate for youth? The answer is yes, for two reasons-both because youth can grow in Christian maturity only as they know in experience the meaning of obedience, and because the church needs youth to be the Christian witness among their contemporaries. (pp. 21, 23)

Perhaps the most important thing to be said here is that emphasis on mission does not negate concern for education. If fact, it affirms that education may occur at a deeper level just because it occurs as a doing that is not separated from knowing. (p. 106)

Little, S. (1983). To set one's heart: Belief and teaching in the church. Atlanta: John Knox Press.

Teaching is that offering on the part of the designated teacher of a structure and a process within which the intentional learner may be exposed to the integrity of the subject and supported in his/her efforts to understand and assimilate the meaning of that subject for himself/herself. (p. 9)

It is not so much that one is 'socialized into' language and ritual through participation as it is that one lives in a fellowship where the gospel is experienced and thereby appropriated … Beliefs are 'sustained, reformed, and embodied by the faith community,' according to our thesis. (p. 24)

[The idea of truth] - What we are talking about here is not a tightly knit, logical system of belief, not a static body of propositions that may pose as absolute truth, not even truth that is experienced and 'known' through intuition or mystical moments of awareness … Truth is far greater than any one person's perception of it, or than the combination of all perceptions. And so when one thinks of Ultimate Truth, or for the Christian, of God as revealed through Jesus Christ, the response can only be one of awe … Constitutive believing merges with faith 'to set one's heart' and links believing and being-both the possibility of our 'being' at all, and our relationship with Being. (pp. 90, 91).

Little, S. (1993). Rethinking adult education. In D. S. Schuller (Ed.), Rethinking Christian Education.

There is no one best way to learn or to teach. Cognitive developmental theory suggests that particular learning goals are most appropriate at different ages … But adults need everything-a continuation of a nurturing fellowship, new knowledge, new applications, and knowledge that develops through and in action. (p. 106)

Someone in a congregation could become a resource consultant-or could use nearby resource centers, which are developing both denominationally and ecumenically. The time may have come when curriculum is primarily a congregational planning task, rather than a denominational undertaking. Planning for adult education necessitates awareness of the partnership that should exist among many agencies-congregational, extrachurch, judicatory-with each contributing through its unique function. (p. 108)

Unless adults have some clarity about who they are and what they are about, no age group will have educational effectiveness, any more than adults will have effective adult education, or adult ministry. Adult education cannot be separate from the church or the world. (p. 110)


Recommended Readings

Books and monographs

Little, S. (1961). The role of the Bible in contemporary Christian education. . Richmond: John Knox Press.

This resource originated as her Ph.D. dissertation and her intent was to discover the multiple theological voices that inform Christian education. It helps the reader gain in perspectives of primary source, because she quotes extensively from theologians such as Karl Barth, Paul Tillich, Emil Brunner, and H. Richard Neibuhr. In addition she provides a review of the field of Christian education from its origins with the REA in early twentieth century to the mid-fifties, and how interpreters such as Randolph Crump Miller, James Smart, Lewis J. Sherrill and others were dialoguing with theology.

Little, S. (1965). The language of the Christian community. Richmond: Covenant Life Curriculum.

This resource illustrates well Little's thesis that to have informed faith, the Bible and church traditions must be understood with intelligibility. The Christian community continues to be a living reality as it seeks to interpret God's redemptive story in ways that it can be understood. Although she utilized a methodology that was suitable for the youth at the time, she demonstrates her point well. It is not suffice to pass on stories. Stories must be transmitted with a context that links past, present and future.

Little, S. (1968). Youth, world, and church. Richmond: John Knox Press.

Although the target audience for this resource is youth and youth workers, it interprets the theology of God's mission (Missio Dei) for the people of God at large. It describes how youth can be involved in God's mission at home, church, school or anywhere. It hints at vocational guidance, as adult leaders teach, plan, evaluate, and become available to "really listening" (p. 182).

Little, S. (1983). To set one's heart: Belief and teaching in the church. Atlanta: John Knox Press.

Of all her works, this is the most condensed and requires a careful scrutiny. She discusses how beliefs are formed, how such relate to faith and faith formation, and the need to intentionality in teaching, if persons are to respond with informed faith. She dwells on "faith asking the intellect for help" as her guiding principle. Intentionality in teaching comes in many forms and shapes. She offers five models: information processing, group interaction, indirect communication, personal development, and action/reflection. The right method is the one that "… utilize those strategies which most directly move toward accomplishment of the intention, toward giving appropriate forms to theory" (p. 38).

Articles or book chapters

Little, S. (1978). Ways of knowing: An approach to teaching about teaching. In I. V. Cully & K. B. Cully (Eds.), Process and Relationship (pp. 15-21). Birmingham: Religious Education Press.

Here the reader can see how she unpacks the idea that the subject matter determines the method to be utilized in instruction, for "… a system of conceptualizing is a great help to thinking about teaching" (p. 18) because it helps the teacher grapple with the different ways of knowing. She was inspired by different essays written by Jerome Bruner, Plato, Kierkegaard, Martin Buber, John Dewey, and Paulo Freire. She offers a chart evaluating these philosophies, and how teachers can move from theory to practice, by selecting the proper model for the subject matter in mind. She ends with four assumptions that help frame for teachers their rationale for selecting the proper method.

Little, S. (1989). The place of education in the sanctuary event at the church of the Covenant. In N. G. Slater (Ed.), Tensions between citizenship and discipleship (pp. 174-194). New York: Pilgrim Press; A Concluding Unscientific Postscript. In M. C. Boys (Ed.), Education for citizenship and discipleship (pp. 183-201). New York: Pilgrim Press.

These two resources describe her involvement in the National Faculty Seminary, a Lilly Foundation project (1982-1986) that sought to address the issue of citizenship and discipleship in theory and in practice. In both volumes Little synthesizes the work of her colleagues and takes the role of an interpreter, helping the reader gain in perspective "to rethink the totality of the enterprise called Christian education" (Education, p. 191). She also illustrates what she thinks is the proper model for theological education. In her own words, "… members of the Seminar might note … that they have not only thought about education, they have also been educated-a kind of model of theological education for the future, both in graduate theological schools … and in congregations" (p. 197).

Little, S. (1993). Rethinking adult education. In D. S. Schuller (Ed.), Rethinking Christian Education (pp. 99-112). St. Louis: Chalice Press.

Again we see Little synthesizing research in the field and inviting readers to dialogue with her conclusive reflections. She advocates the action-reflection model for adults or "knowing-in-action" (p. 106). Adult ministry calls for a variety of opportunities to serve and learn. Here she advocates for the "spiderweb" metaphor rather than "stairsteps," when planning for adult education in the church (p. 107).


Author Information

Sophia Steibel

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