Protestant Educators

Picture of William B. Kennedy

William Bean Kennedy (b. 1926).

Biography

William Bean Kennedy was born on October 18, 1926 in Spartanburg, South Carolina, the fourth of five children, the son of a pharmacist and a former school teacher. The family was "poor but cultured middle class" (Kennedy, 1990, Integrating Personal and Social Ideologies, p. 103). During the depression of the 1920s and 30s, the Kennedys lost the family-owned drugstore, forcing Will's father to work in drugstores owned by others for the rest of his life. The family was able to keep their own home through a federal New Deal program, which made the family enthusiastic supporters of President Franklin Roosevelt and the Democratic Party, and interpreters of economic and political issues in personal terms (Kennedy, 1997, Religious educators oral history ). This early political influence would bear much fruit later in Will's life.

While material comforts may have been few, the family enjoyed a rich educational and cultural life, with music and literature a part of everyday activities. Schools in Spartanburg were good, although racially segregated. The schools Will and his siblings attended served a wide range of socioeconomic and ability groups. The Kennedy family received the benefits of several generations of well-educated pastors, teachers, and other professionals. An aunt lived with the Kennedy family and provided intellectual stimulation to Will, always a precocious and curious child. These early experiences would later help Will to reflect on race, class, and gender, "the great human divisions that tear up society." His introduction to them "personally and viscerally" would motivate Will to understand them "at more than just a cognitive level" (Kennedy, 1997, Religious educators oral history , p. 33) and would later "break open" in the civil rights era and Will's involvement in it.

The First Presbyterian Church of Spartanburg which the family attended was the largest in the Synod of the South Carolina and was important to the whole family. The lively youth group and its leader, Director of Christian Education Rachael Wylie, were strong influences in Will's life. Two Kennedy brothers and one sister went on to theological education and ministry from that church.

Will attended Wofford College in Spartanburg and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa in 1945. After a year in the Navy he received the bachelor's degree in 1947. He was awarded a graduate fellowship to Duke University and earned an MA degree in 1948. He then taught history in high school and junior college for several years. In the summer of 1951 he studied at Union Seminary in New York where he had courses with Lewis Sherrill and Douglas Steer. He entered Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, Virginia in the fall of 1951 where he studied with E.T. Thompson, John Bright, and Rachel Henderlite. Will was greatly influenced by Dr. W. Taliaferro Thompson. "Dr. Tolly," as he was affectionately known, exhibited creativity and attention to process in the classroom that inspired Will to ponder the formative nature of the educational process. He became more and more interested in how professors taught, what worked, and what didn't work. "Dr. Tolly" helped him to explore "the gap between what scholars know and what people in churches know" (Kennedy, 1997, Religious educators oral history , p. 25).

Upon graduation with the BD degree in 1954, Will was awarded the Walter W. Moore graduate study fellowship. He was ordained to ministry in the summer of that year and entered the PhD program at Yale University in the fall. Will received the degree in 1957. His dissertation, The Genesis and Development of the Christian Faith and Life Curriculum , was a contemporary study of a major new curriculum development in the United Presbyterian Church. Will married Frances Barron Harris in 1952. They have four children, Katharine, William Bean, Jr., Jane, and Emily.

Throughout his childhood and young adulthood Will had been conscious of how cultural and social forces such as race, class, and gender, etc. influenced society and education. Beginning at Union in Richmond with "Dr. Tolly" and continuing at Yale, Will was intrigued by the historical/contextual approach to theology and religious education. During his doctoral studies he was able to explore the dynamics of various social realities and their relationships to the structure, content, and processes of education, particularly Christian education. At Yale his advisors were Randolph Crump Miller and Paul Vieth. His course of study included the history of doctrine with Robert Calhoun, sociology of religion with James Gustafson, the history and philosophy of education with John Brubacher, psychology of education with J. W. Tilton, and theory and practice of religious education with his advisors. While at Yale, Will served as minister of education at the First Congregational Church in West Haven. The stress of working in the church while also pursuing doctoral studies was off-set by the stimulation of congregational life. Sustained contact with the on-going life of the church and its people initiated a dialogue between practical work in the congregation and academic work and formed "the best part of my theological education at Yale" (Kennedy, Living the Questions: The Making of a Religious Educator , unpublished manuscript). In addition, weekly staff conversations with Pastor Gerald J. Jud served to deepen and enliven the dialogue.

In choosing a dissertation topic, Will was interested in a project where political and educational issues were intertwined. The development of the Christian Faith and Life curriculum of the (northern) Presbyterian Church in the USA provided just such an opportunity. He was able at this early stage of his academic endeavors to address questions that would occupy him for his entire career as a religious educator, questions such as: How does something new emerge in an organized, creedal institution? What is the relation of theology to education in Christian education? What is the role of curriculum in Christian education and in the church, both as a reflector and a molder of church thought? The methodology for the dissertation, which included the study of denominational documents and interviews with those involved in the curriculum project, allowed Will to investigate the unwritten dynamics of the curriculum development process and deepened his interest in the contextual aspects of religious education.

Upon completion of his doctoral studies, Will returned to Union Seminary in Richmond and began teaching Christian education. Even before leaving Yale he was invited to join a committee to develop a new curriculum for the (southern) Presbyterian Church, the Covenant Life Curriculum. Will went on to write the introductory books for the curriculum, Into Covenant Life volumes one and two, along with the teacher's book. During a sabbatic leave in 1962-63 Will researched the history of the Sunday school movement in the United States with Lawrence Cremin and Robert T. Handy and published in 1966 The Shaping of Protestant Education: An Interpretation of the Sunday School and the Development of Protestant Educational Strategy in the United States, 1789-1860 .

Teaching at Union Seminary in Richmond was stimulating and rewarding as Will continued his involvement in both the academic world and the life of congregations. The result was a deepening of his interest in historical and sociological reference points for the life of the church and its place in society. His research interests continued to focus on the contemporary community of faith, which holds an inherited tradition yet constantly faces new challenges from the ongoing flow of historical events. He continued to explore the broader context within which persons become socialized, including systematic study, home and family, and the worship and work of the church. His pursuit was always to see how education functions in all its aspects and within its complex social, political, and economic contexts.

The late 1950s and 1960s were times of deep social and cultural change across the United States and especially in the South. Involvement in civil rights activities, along with seminary teaching and participation in congregational life, led Will to become "restless" with the pace of change in institutions. That restlessness led him to accept a position as Secretary of Education within the Board of Christian Education of the (southern) Presbyterian Church in 1965, where he hoped to help the church change more rapidly. In this position he provided oversight for the educational programs of the entire denomination.

In 1969 Will accepted a position as first director of the Office of Education for the World Council of Churches in Geneva, a position he held through 1975. One of his closest colleagues was Paulo Freire. Much of his work included explorations into ways of adapting the liberating work of Freire into First World contexts. This challenge eventually led to his identification of the "middle class ideological cocoon" and other concepts that support or inhibit critical reflection among more privileged groups.

From the outset, the Office of Education at the World Council of Churches under Kennedy's leadership focused its attention on "seeing education whole." (Its first conference in 1970 and the subsequent report bore this title.) This meant attempting to see education as both schooling and out-of-school learning. It meant also careful social and ideological analysis of the location of education within larger social systems and the ideological purposes education serves. The realization that education is never neutral and the question of "who profits" became central themes in Kennedy's work.

The Kennedys returned to the United States in early 1976, where Will took a position as director of the Atlanta Association for International Education (AAIE), a broad based ecumenical organization committed to the religious education of the public around issues of justice in international development. In this position Will was able to experiment with new models of education to meet new needs in the urban and global context. The projects of the AAIE were largely hands-on and drew on all of Will's educational, theoretical, networking, and practical skills. In the process his own theoretical educational thinking was more and more clearly articulated, as seen in the 1978 annual report.

Education for justice happens best when it begins either with involvement with those who are poor or with direct engagement in the struggle against the forces that oppress them. That means active commitment and action, intentional activity, to work alongside those who are already so engaged. Or it means some radical change of context that forces a fresh look at oneself and one's social milieu with its conditioning influences. It means entering some strategic activity at a point of readiness, and in the process of working actively, growing into a broader critical consciousness of what is involved. It must sooner or later - preferably sooner - require risk, so that the adrenaline flows. Without that sort of immersion in the action there is little chance that the deep current of ideology will be exposed or challenged or changed. "To know" viscerally is essential if learning intellectually is to do more than reinforce the conditioned values (Kennedy, 1997, Religious educators oral history , p. 25).

In 1979 Will was appointed Professor of Religion and Education at Union Theological Seminary in New York, and in 1981 was named Skinner and McAlpin Professor of Practical Theology, where he served until his retirement in 1994. He collaborated with those at Teachers College and Columbia University to oversee and strengthen the EdD and PhD programs, especially the joint program between Union Seminary, Teachers College, and the Jewish Theological Seminary. He served on the board of the Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education and served as its president in 1992 and on the board of the Religious Education Association and as chair where he served as chair from 1984 through 1989. He was active in the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion.

Will's scholarly work at Union built on his global experience, his concern for justice, his insights into and critiques of the field of religious education, and his ideological analysis and critique of education as he continually sought for better ways to transform the church and theological education. Early interest in the significance of class, race, and gender expanded to include sexual orientation and cultural privilege. Overall his work reveals a belief in practical knowing with an emphasis on experiential learning and intentional reflection, analysis, and critique. Throughout his tenure at Union, Will continued pedagogical experiments in churches, youth conferences, and the seminary classroom. Innovative ways of teaching demonstrated his commitment, in the words of Paulo Freire, to "help people know that they know" and to "help them know clearly what they already know confusedly." Expertise in education is most creatively and effectively used, according to Kennedy, to organize content, to sequence and pace learning experiences, and to help participants reflect on what they already know. The specialized gifts and knowledge of those with formal theological training are in service of "doing theology" in the church and in theological education (Kennedy, 1997, Religious educators oral history , p. 25).

Since his retirement to Black Mountain, North Carolina, Will has been elected to three terms on the Board of Aldermen and has served as Vice-Mayor. He remains active in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and in Democratic Party politics.


Contributions to Christian Education

Seeing Education Whole

The theme that runs through all of William Bean Kennedy's work as a Christian education practitioner and theorist is his desire to "see education whole." The historical, contextual, and personal aspects of theology and education, he has insisted, are equally as important as the content and process of education itself. While it is possible to identify and examine the many aspects of education, it is impossible to extract education from the matrix of cultural, political, and ethical factors that are always in play. Investigations of this educational and theological matrix have led to his significant contributions to critical social theory. According to James Washington, "Will's own interest in critical theory seems always to be mindful of the contextual realities that impinge upon institutional religion, as church and synagogue, in its local, national, and international expressions" (Washington, 1993, 2).

Ideological Analysis - The Ideological Captivity of the Non-Poor

Among the most significant of Kennedy's contributions is his perceptive and thorough analysis of "the ideological captivity of the non-poor." Especially in Pedagogies f or the Non-Poor , written with Robert Evans and Alice Frazier Evans, he outlines the many factors that, taken together, insure that the everyday lives of the non-poor are insulated from the realities faced by the poor. Douglas Sloan notes that "He has given much attention to ideology as the unconscious and conscious manipulation of ideas to legitimate unjust social practices and actions. And he has been especially interested in the role of theoretical, socially dominant abstract ideas, taken without question to be the truth about the way things are, in serving to build, in his terms, 'ideological cocoons.' . . . This concern with the cultural pervasiveness of ideology has led Kennedy continually to confront religious educators with the primary task of waking up, and helping others to wake up, to our involvement in unjust, coercive, and exploitative relations of every kind - those of race, class, gender, position, and so forth." (Sloan, 1993, 139).

Kennedy's concern for ideological captivity of the church includes its relationship to American culture. C. Ellis Nelson writes that "the congregations which the vast majority of Protestants belong are seldom aware of any serious discrepancy between their self and society. . . Few Christian educators have been more concerned or have written more persuasively about this matter than William B. Kennedy" (Nelson, 1993, 165-166). The educational processes recommended by Kennedy serve to begin to break down this captivity.

Ways of Knowing and Educational Practice

Religious education that includes sustained confrontation of ideology, its sources, methods, and effects, requires a thoroughgoing reappraisal of human ways of knowing and the resulting educational practice. Sloan notes Kennedy's call for "a transformation in our ways of knowing that begins with the realization that direct experience, emotion, and practice are not dispensable adjuncts to knowledge, but are themselves necessary sources for genuine knowledge of ourselves and others" (Sloan, 1993, 140). In advocating education for transformation, Kennedy writes that, "To know viscerally is essential if learning intellectually is to do more than ad another layer to the cocoon of conditioning within which we live" (Kennedy, 1984, 556). This experiential approach is in contrast with ideological assumptions about knowing that privilege doctrinal certitude over lived experience. Washington notes Kennedy's insistence that "theory is the byproduct of crisis and critique. Without crisis, tradition would continue to resist change without the pressures of opposition and alternative world views." Will has a slight twinkle in his eyes when he suggests in various ways that crisis is not really such a bad thing (Washington, 1993, 2). In his classroom practice and in his writings, Kennedy has engaged in pedagogical experiments that would open the way for the kind of transformation of the ways of knowing called upon, especially in church and seminary classrooms. The significance, according to Joseph Lukinsky is "the contrast between what happens to people and what education can make happen." Educators, following Kennedy's lead, says Lukinsky, see experiences as consequential. Kennedy's work shows both how serious attention by educators to what happens to people has the possibility of making something happen for them. Likewise, the study of religion and education gives substantive attention to this process. (Lukinsky, 1993, 85.)

Ecumenical Commitments

The career of Will Kennedy is marked by ever-expanding circles of inclusion and ecumenical commitments, beginning with his southern Presbyterian heritage, denominational teaching and educational leadership, continuing into ecumenical commitments at the World Council of Churches and the Atlanta Association for International Education, and culminating as the Skinner and McAlpin Professor of Practical Theology at Union Seminary in New York. James Washington remarks on his commitments, saying, "He lent his considerable intellectual and administrative gifts to those who believe that diversity is a fact of life rather than an irritating inconvenience" (Washington, 1993, 3).

As a measure of Will Kennedy's contribution to the field of ecumenical Christian education, the list of scholars and educators who have studied with him includes many notable figures from a broad range of traditions and global locations. Barbara Austin-Lucas, New York Theological Seminary, New York, New York; Susan Davies, Bangor Theological Seminary, Bangor, Maine; Susan Harlow, Meadville-Lombard Theological Seminary, Chicago, Illinois; Byron Jackson, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Young Soo Koh, Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Seoul, Korea; Kathleen O'Gorman, Loyola University, New Orleans, Louisiana; Robert Pazmino, Andover-Newton Theological School, Newton Center, Massachusetts; Suzanne Toton, Villanova University, Villanova, Pennsylvania; Elizabeth Nolan, Melbourne, Australia; Fayette Veverka, Villanova University, Villanova, Pennsylvania; Brian Tippen, Presbytery of the Redwoods, Napa, California; Regina Coll, Notre Dame University, South Bend, Indiana; Lois Patton, State University of New York Press, Albany, New York; Jane Rogers Vann, Union Theological Seminary and Presbyterian School of Christian Education, Richmond, Virginia.

Works Cited

  • Kennedy, W. B. (1980). Learning in, with, and for the church: The theological education of the people of God. (Inaugural address March 20, 1980). Union Seminary Quarterly Review , 36, Supplemental Issue.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1990). Integrating personal and social ideologies. In Fostering critical reflection in adulthood: A guide to transformative and emancipatory learning (p. 103). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.

Bibliography

Books and Monographs

  • Kennedy, W. B. (Ed.). (1997). Religious educators oral history: Religious education in the twentieth century in the United States , II, (14 Vols.). Unpublished manuscripts, Union Theological Seminary, New York library and Union-PSCE library.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1992). Education and religion in Taiwan and the United States: Captive in the modern world ? Taipei: Taiwan Theological College and Seminary. (In Chinese).
  • Kennedy, W. B, Evans, A. F., & Evans, R. A. (Eds.). (1987). Pedagogies for the non-poor . New York: Orbis Books.
  • Kennedy, W. B., & Kennedy, F. H. (1981). A new heaven and a new earth . Adult Study Course, Vol. 3, Course 4, Christian Education: Shared approaches, living the Word, and leaders Guide.
  • Kennedy, W. B., Freire, Paulo & Simpfendorfer, Werner. (Eds.). (1971). Seeing education whole . Krips Pepro N.V. Meppel, Netherlands, Geneva: World Council of Churches.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (Coauthored). (1969). An open letter: The public and its education - Report of the special joint committee on the church and public education of the Board of Christian Education, Presbyterian Church of the U.S. and the Board of Christian Education of the United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. Co .
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1966). The shaping of Protestant education: An interpretation of the Sunday school and the development of Protestant educational strategy in the United States, 1789-1860 . Monographs on Christian Education. New York: Association Press.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1963). Into covenant life (Vols. 1 & 2). Richmond: CLC Press.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1963). Intro covenant life teachers book . Richmond: CLC Press.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1957). The genesis and development of the Christian faith and life curriculum . Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Yale University, 1957.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1953). The relation of the Southern Presbyterian Church to social and moral issues in the periods of 1861 and 1934 . Unpublished paper for E. T. Thompson's class in American church history, Union Theological Seminary. Union-PSCE library.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1948). David S. Reid, North Carolina politician, 1813-1891 . Unpublished master’s thesis, Duke University, 1948.

Chapters in Books

  • Kennedy, W. B. (1993). Liberating pedagogies in the globalization of theological education. In A. F. Evans, R. A. Evans, & D. A. Roozen (Eds.), The globalization of theological education (pp. 278-287). Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1991). Auf dem wege zu einem bildungsparadigma fur die praktische theologie. In E. Nipkow, D. Rossler, & F. Schweitzer (Eds.), Praktische theologie und kultur der Gegenwart: Ein internationaler Dialog (pp. 119-131). Karl Gutersloh: Gutersloher Verlaghaus Gerd Mohn.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1990). USA: Ideologiekritische analyse der theologischen ausbildung in Nordamerika. In L. Engel, & D. Werner (Eds.), Okumenische perspektiven theologischer ausbildung. beihfet sur okumenischen rundschau (pp. 208-221). Frankfurt am Main: Verlag otto Lembeckt.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1990). Ecumenical institutes. In I. V. Cully, & K. B. Cully (Eds.), Harpers encyclopedia of religious education (pp. 206-207). San Francisco: Harper and Row.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1990). Liberation theology. In I. V. Cully, & K. B. Cully (Eds.), Harpers encyclopedia of religious education (pp. 379-381). San Francisco: Harper and Row.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1990). Religious education committee. In I. V. Cully, & K. B. Cully (Eds.), Harpers encyclopedia of religious education (pp. 546-547). San Francisco: Harper and Row.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1990). Integrating personal and social ideologies. In J. Mezirow (Ed.), Fostering critical reflection in adulthood: A guide to tran formative and emancipatory learning (pp. 99-115). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1989). Toward an ideological analysis of theological education in North America. In Doing theology in different contexts , (pp. 96-109). Geneva: World Council of Churches.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1989). The church as educator: Religious education. In D. W. Lotz, et.al. (Eds.), Altered landscapes: Christianity in America . 1935-1989 (pp. 280-295). Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1988, June). Reflections by a North American participant, pp. 59-61; Toward an Ideological Analysis of Theological Education in North America, pp. 96-109. In O. Ortega, & D. Chabloz (Eds.), Doing theology in different contexts, Latin American and Eastern/Central European theologians in dialogue . A report of a Programme on Theological Education Consultation in Prague, Geneva: World Council of Churches.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1986, April 11). [Untitled contribution]. Child care and the public schools: What are the issues for the churches ?(pp. 9-12). Report of a consultation, New York: National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1981, July 12-15). Report of the Northeast four-state consultation on global solidarity in theological education. In Global solidarity in theological education (pp. 63-65). Report of the U.S./Canadian Consultation held at Trinity College, University of Toronto, Geneva: World Council of Churches, Programme on Theological Education.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1978, January 27-29). The education of the US public for human development in the world: Theological reflections on the church and higher education. In J. H. Westerhoff (Ed.), The church's ministry in higher education . Papers and responses presented to a conference at Duke Divinity School, New York: UMHE Publication Office, 118-132.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1978). Demands for a church of the poor in a land of the rich. In The church of the poor , document (no. 14, pp. 1-5). Geneva: World council of Churches Commission on the Churches. Workshop, Ayia Napa, Cyprus, Sept. 17-30. See also Julio de Santa Ana (Ed.), Towards a church of the poor , Geneva: World Council of Churches (1979).
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1976). Education in the world ecumenical movement. In M. Taylor (Ed.), Foundations for Christian education in an age of change (pp. 208-218). Nashville: Abingdon Press.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1973). Ecumenical leadership training challenged today. In Education for service (pp. 46-55). Geneva: Lutheran World Federation, Department of Studies.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1971). Introduction. In J. Westerhoff, & R. O'Leary (Eds.), The education crisis and the church: Report on Greenwich, CT Conference . Geneva: World Council of Churches.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1970). From the perspective of Geneva. In Supporting modern education abroad: The problem of conflicting values and lifestyles (pp. 42-44). Symposium on a paper by that title by L. W. Pye, for the Education Commission of the Division of Overseas Ministries, National Council of Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. New York: Friendship Press.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1966). Christian education through history. In M. J. Taylor, (Ed.), An introduction to Christian education (pp. 21-31).

Articles

  • Kennedy, W. B. (1996). Montreat: An educational center of the Presbyterian Church. American Presbyterians Journal of Presbyterian History , 74 (2), 93-106.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1993). Reading, writing, and restless: A religious educator in theological education. In Essays on religion and education: An issue in honor of William Bean Kennedy, Union Seminary Quarterly Review , 47 (3-4), 205-219.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1993). Interpreting the history of religious education in the twentieth century: Responses to Brian Tippen. Forum Edited by William B. Kennedy. Religious Education 88 (4), 607-638.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1992). New WCC head speaks at Union. Oikoumene: The Ecumenical Newsletter of Union Theological Seminary 1 (2), 1-3.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1992). Diversity in a postmodern context: Presidential Address, Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education. Religious Education 87 (4), 506-513.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1992). Towards an educational paradigm for practical theology. Ministerial Formation , 56, 24-36.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1991). Rachel Henderlite: Covenant life curriculum architect. Presbyterian Outlook , 173 (42), 8.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1991). World council of Christian education. In N. Lossky, et. at. (Eds.), Dictionary of the ecumenical movement (pp. 1082-083). Grand Rapids, Michigan: William Eerdmans.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1990, March 21-28). [Review of the book Make a world of difference: Creative activities for global learning by Tom Hampson]. Christian Century, 107, 310-312.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1989). Doing theology in diverse contexts: Reflections by a North American participant. Ministerial Formation , 44, 24-26.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1988). [Review of the book God's choice: The total world of a fundamentalist Christian school by Alan Peshkin]. Theology Today , 44, 560.
  • Kennedy, W. B., & Parker, E. C. (1987). Report of the study commission on theology, education and the media, Religious Education , 82 (2), 163-186.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1987). Understanding media. Religious Education , 82 (2), 191-202.
  • Kennedy, W. B., & Parker, E. C. (1987). On control: A discussion of the ethical and moral issues arising from current communication policies and practices. Religious Education , 82 (2), 203-218.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1986). National Conference Centers of the Presbyterian Church. Presbyterian Outlook , 168 (11), 8-9.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1986). Inclusive language is important. Presbyterian Outlook , 168 (12), 8-9.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1986). Christian education and mission into the 21st century. Theodolite: A Journal of Christian Thought and Practice , 7 (6), 3-15.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1985). Ideology and education: A fresh approach for religious education. Religious Education , 80 (3), 331-344.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1985, September 16). He enlarged our vision. Presbyterian Outlook , 2. A letter to the editor on the death of George Laird Hunt.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1984). Education for a just and peaceful world. Religious Education , 79 (4), 550-557.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1984). Conversation with Paulo Freire. Religious Education , 9 (4), 511-523.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1983). Pursuing justice and peace: a challenge to religious educators. Religious Education , 78, 467-476.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1983). [Review of the book Justice Church: The new function of the church in North American Christianity by Fredrick Herzog]. International Bulletin of Missionary Research , 7, 27.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1982). [Review of the book Strengthening the adult Sunday school class by Dick Murray]. Perkins Journal , 36, 30.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1982). From theory to practice: Curriculum - Dwayne Heubner interviewed by William Bean Kennedy, with responses. Religions Education , 77 (4), 363-374.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1982). Faith stretched: Around the world with 304 member churches. Midstream , 21 (4), 501-511.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1981). Ecumenical agreed statements: Their significance for religious education. Journal of Ecumenical Studies , 184, 625-640.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1981). Highlander praxis: Learning with Myles Horton. Teachers College Record , 83 (1), 105-119.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1981). Toward reappraising some inherited assumptions about religious education in the United States. Religious Education , 76, 467-481.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1981). Can religious education be ecumenical? Journal of Ecumenical Studies , 18 (4), 625-640.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1980). Learning in, with, and for the church: The theological education of the people of God. (Inaugural address March 20, 1980). Union Seminary Quarterly Review , 36, Supplemental Issue, 27-38.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1980). Education for global mission. Mid-Stream , 19 (1), 32-42.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1980). Neo-orthodoxy goes to Sunday school: the Christian faith and life curriculum. Journal of Presbyterian History , 58, 326-370. Reprinted in Journal of Presbyterian History , 76 (1), 81-109.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1980). Liberation theology. In I. V. Cully, & K. B. Cully, (Eds.), Harper's encyclopedia of religious education (pp. 379-381). San Francisco: Harper and Row.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1980). Religious Education Committee. In I. V. Cully, & K. B. Cully, (Eds.), Harper's encyclopedia of religious education (pp. 546-547). San Francisco: Harper and Row.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1979). A radical challenge to inherited educational patterns. Religious Education , 74 (5), 491-495.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1979). [Review of the book Once to every man: A memoir by William Sloane Coffin]. Journal of Presbyterian History , 57, 501-501.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1979). Book learning limits faith. Ministry and Mission , 4 (1), 3.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1979). The South, an underdeveloped country? Ministry and Mission .
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1978). The over-rationalization of faith in the Reformed tradition. Religious Education , 73 (5), 503-512.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1978). More than schooling: The over-rationalization of the faith. JED Share , November, 11-13.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1978). PCUS mission in the 1980s. Presbyterian Survey , 68 (1), 30-31.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1977). We learn where we walk. Response: United Methodist Women , 9 (4), 20-23.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1976). Ecumenical movement: A must for church renewal and world survival. Mid-Stream , 15, 12-27.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1975). Pilgrims of the obvious: or the not-so-obvious. Risk , 11 (1), 4-11.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1975). Kennedy, William Bean, Freire, Paulo, and Illich, Ivan, Invitation to conscientization and deschooling: a continuing conversation. Risk , 11 (1), 4-58.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1975). Education for liberation and community: Representative statements from around the world: Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and North America. Religious Education , 70, 5-44.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1972). Encuentros: A new ecumenical learning experience. Study Encounter , 8 (2), 1-8.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1971). [Review of the book The big little school: Sunday child of American Protestantism by Robert W. Lynn and Elliot Wright, New York: Harper and Row]. International Review of Mission , 60, 534-536.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1971). New baby in Geneva. Colloquy , 4 (1), 10-12.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1964). Federal aid to education. Christianity and Crisis , 24 (2), 16-17.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1964, April 11). Greater changes are likely. The Hamilton Spectator (Ontario, Canada), 12.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1963). Growth. In K. B. Cully (Ed.). Westminster dictionary of Christian education (pp. 298-300). Philadelphia: Westminster Press.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1963). Reflections on the march on Washington. Expression ( A publication of students of Union Theological Seminary and The Presbyterian School of Christian Education, Richmond, VA .), 8 (2), 1, 5.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1963). What is the background of the covenant life curriculum? Presbyterian Outlook , 145. Part 1. A shift in the educational goal, June 17, 5-6; Part 2. A three-fold approach, June 24, 5-6; A shift in content organization, July 8, 5-6.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1962). What adult materials shall we use? Presbyterian Action , 12 (11) 10-13.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1962). Response after two months: To the addresses by Furnish, Langford and Heim. Religious Education , 57 (4), 266-267.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1961). [Review of the book Future course of Christian adult education: Selected addresses and papers , by L. C. Little (Ed.)]. Interpretation , 15, 116-118.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1960). [Review of the book Encyclopedia for church group Leaders , by Lee Jay Gable]. Interpretation , 14 (2), 242-244.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1960). You are the translator. Presbyterian Survey , 50 (1), 27-29.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1959). Children of the covenant. Presbyterian Action , 9 (1), 8-9.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1958). Using the Bible at home. Presbyterian Action , 8 (10), 4-5.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1958). Why I chose Christian education as my field. Presbyterian Survey , 11 (9), 7-8.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1955, September 3). "National maturity at last?" Religion at the newsdesk: A Christian interpretation of public events (New Haven, Connecticut: Yale Divinity School), 2-3.

Lectureships

  • Kennedy, W. B. (Lecturer). (1995). Lectures and seminar . Chautauqua Institute, Chautauqua, New York.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (Lecturer). (1991). Schmiechen Lectures . Eden Theological Seminary, Webster Grove, Missouri.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (Lecturer). (1989.) Jackson Lectures . Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (Lecturer). (1989). Willson Lectures . Southwestern University at Georgetown, Texas.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (Lecturer). (1971). Robert F. Jones Lectures . Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Austin, Texas.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (Lecturer). (1968, June 19). The Church's mission of justice and mercy: An appraisal of the work of Christian social action in the church today . An address to the Synod of Virginia, Presbyterian Church in the U.S., Staunton, Virginia. (Published as a pamphlet by the Synod).

Audio and Video Recordings

  • Kennedy, W. B. (2000, April 29). Signs of hope in the new millennium (Cassette Recording) Presbyterian School of Christian Education Alumnae Weekend, Richmond, Virginia: Union-PSCE library.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1998, May 31). The church teaches (Cassette Recording). Commencement address at Union-PSCE: Union-PSCE library.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1994, January 25). Memories and reflections from the Class of 1954 (Cassette Recording). Alumnae and Reunion Luncheon, Richmond, Virginia: Union-PSCE library.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1989). A little tribute for Sara from PSCE . (Video Recording). Includes tributes to Sara P. Little from William Bean Kennedy and others. Union-PSCE archives.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1982, August 14). Address to the Presbyterian Heritage Conference (Cassette Recording). Montreat Conference Center: Union-PSCE library.
  • Kennedy, W. B., E. D. Grant, R. Henderlite, & S. Little (1980?). Memories . (Slide and Cassette Recording). General Assembly Mission Board, Presbyterian Church in the U.S.: Union-PSCE library.
  • Kennedy, W. B., E. D. Grant, R. Henderlite, S. Little, & C. E. Nelson (1980?). Dreams (Slide and Cassette Recording). General Assembly Mission Board, Presbyterian Church in the U.S.: Union-PSCE library.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1978). Ecumenism: A global perspective (Cassette Recording). Address given at the Religious Education Association Convention, Chicago: Union-PSCE library.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1976, July 21). Evangelism is living (Cassette Recording). Address delivered at Montreat Conference Center: Union-PSCE library.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1972, July 10-13). The world ecumenical movement (Cassette Recording). Four lectures recorded at Union Theological Seminary, Richmond, Virginia: Union-PSCE library.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1971, January 24). Jesus is Lord (Cassette Recording). Sermon recorded at Ginter Park Presbyterian Church, Richmond, Virginia: Union-PSCE library.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1971). The crisis in education (Cassette Recording). Robert F. Jones Lectures, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Austin, Texas: Union-PSCE library.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1971). Little boxes (Cassette Recording). Robert F. Jones Lectures, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Austin, Texas: Union-PSCE library.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1971). Persons learn (Cassette Recording). Robert F. Jones Lectures, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Austin, Texas: Union-PSCE library.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1971). Education for freedom (Cassette Recording). Robert F. Jones Lectures, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Austin, Texas: Union-PSCE library.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1967-68). Crisis in the nation. "Frontiers of faith" NBC-TV series (Video Recording). National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., Broadcasting and Film Commission. Originally released as 16mm. film. Videorecordings produced in 1994. Union-PSCE library.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1967, July 6). Reconciliation to God (Cassette Recording). Address to Montreat Women's Conference, Montreat, NC: Union-PSCE library.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1967). Religion in public education (Cassette Recording). Union-PSCE Classroom: Union-PSCE library.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1967?). From bondage to freedom: God's varied voices: Introduction to the adult study book in the Covenant Life Curriculum (Cassette Recording). Union-PSCE library.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1966, August 14). The changing church (Cassette Recording). Sermon recorded at Second Presbyterian Church, Richmond, VA: Union-PSCE library.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1966, May 8). Morality (Cassette Recording). A dialog sermon with Richard F. Perkins recorded at Bon Air Presbyterian Church, Richmond, Virginia: Union-PSCE library.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1965). The Lord's Prayer: What is God? What is Man? What is the World? What is the Bible? What is the Church ? (Cassette Recording). Five lectures delivered at the Women of the Church Conference, Montreat, North Carolina: Union-PSCE library.
  • Kennedy, W. B. (1963, August 11). The Meaning of commitment (Cassette Recording). Ordination service of Marvin Lutz, Ginter Park Presbyterian Church, Richmond, Virginia: Audio recording. Union-PSCE library.

Reviews of William Bean Kennedy's Work

  • Bower, T. R. (2003). Identifying current uses of philosophies of critical pedagogy in religious education . Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Union Theological Seminary and Presbyterian School of Education.
  • Manschrek, C. L. [Review of the book Pedagogies for the non-poor ]. Journal of Ecumenical Studies , 25 (2), 283.
  • Mays, C. W. [Review of the book Pedagogies for the non-poor ]. Dialog, 26, 229.
  • Nelson, T. (1989). [Review of the book Pedagogies for the non-poor ]. Chicago Theological Seminary Register, 79, 52.
  • Olson, M. [Review of the book Pedagogies for the non-poor ]. Other Side, 23, 50.
  • Whelan, W. [Review of the book Pedagogies for the non-poor ]. Religious Education, 82, 641-642.

Recommended Readings

Kennedy, W. B. (1993). Reading, writing, and restless: A religious educator in theological education. In Essays on religion and education: An issue in honor of William Bean Kennedy. Union Seminary Quarterly Review , 47 (3-4), 205-219.
Kennedy, W. B. (1989). Toward an ideological analysis of theological education in North America. In Doing theology in different contexts (pp. 96-109). Geneva: World Council of Churches.
Kennedy, W. B., Evans, A. E., & Evans, R. A. (Eds.). (1987). Pedagogies for the non-poor . New York: Orbis Books.
Kennedy, W. B. (1981). Toward reappraising some inherited assumptions about religious education in the United States. Religious Education , 76, 467-481.
Kennedy, W. B. (1980). Learning in, with, and for the church: The theological education of the people of God. (Inaugural address March 20, 1980). Union Seminary Quarterly Review , 36, Supplemental Issue, 27-38
Kennedy, W. B. (1978). The over-rationalization of faith in the Reformed tradition. Religious Education , 73 (5), 503-512.
Kennedy, W. B., Freire, P., & Simpfendorfer, W. (Eds.). (1971). Krips Pepro N.V . Meppel, Netherlands, Geneva: World Council of Churches.
Kennedy, W. B. (1963). Into covenant life (Vols. 1 & 2). Richmond: CLC Press; Into Covenant Life Teachers Book. Richmond: CLC Press.

Author Information

Jane Rogers Vann

Jane Rogers Vann (Ed. D., 1995, Teachers College Columbia and Union Theological Seminary, NY) serves as Associate Professor of Christian Education, Union Theological Seminary and Presbyterian School of Christian Education in Richmond, Virginia.

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