Track: Engaging Mind & Culture

Next Available Track:

Spring 2020

Application Deadline

November 1, 2019                       (Openings Available)

Residency Dates

  • May 7-18, 2018
  • May 20-31, 2019
  • May 18-29, 2020 (New Cohort)
  • May 17-28, 2021

The Goal

As Christians, we’re swimming against strong cultural currents. From scientific naturalism to moral relativism to challenges to the reliability of the Bible, the people in our churches are facing ever-increasing pressures from the world. How should we think about the pressing issues of our day? How can we faithfully follow Christ in a skeptical culture? 

We desperately need Christian leaders who have the categories to understand worldviews and culture, who are equipped to engage the worldview conflict in contemporary culture, and who will lead the church in the spiritual struggle to influence worldviews and culture. 

Engaging Mind & Culture is a Doctor of Ministry track designed to give you the tools you need to speak about important ideas with confidence and competence. Through personal mentoring from Dr. Greg Ganssle, you will gain the advanced theological, cultural and philosophical training you need to lead your people well. Over the course of three years, these gifted mentors will seek to inspire genuine spiritual and intellectual maturity in you and your people. Along the way, you’ll have access to the resources of Talbot School of Theology’s philosophy program, the largest Christian graduate program of its kind.

Videos

 

The Strategy

 

Year One: Understanding Worldviews & Culture

In the first week you will begin to gain confidence in engaging worldviews in a way that is culturally conversant, theologically informed, and philosophically savvy. We will examine the foundations of the two major worldviews that rival Christianity and shape our culture: naturalism and postmodernism.

During week two, you will learn how to think “Christianly” in the midst of worldview conflict and cultural chaos. Four areas will be examined: 1) crucial notions in metaphysics relevant to preaching, reality, truth, love, life after death, and God himself; 2) key concepts in epistemology, 3) the nature of consciousness and human persons, and 4) important issues in science and religion, reductionism, and the Intelligent Design debate.

Year Two: Engaging Worldviews and Culture

This residency begins by giving you the tools needed to lead in the areas of ethics and politics. You will learn how to help people to think about issues such as abortion,euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, cloning, capital punishment, just war theory and homosexuality. We will look at the area of politics: the different views of the Kingdom of God, the church/state relationship, Christian political engagement and social justice.

During the second week we will listen to specific cultural voices–significant books, movies, events and leaders. You will also learn about the nature of the modern secular university, how it developed, why it is so hostile to Christianity, how it impacts your church, and what you can do about it.

Year Three: Reclaiming Worldviews and Culture

In the first week you will develop skills needed to defend your faith and to equip your church for cultural engagement. You will form answers to issues such as the existence of God, pluralism and the exclusivity of Christianity, challenges to the historical Jesus, the problem of evil, and the fairness of hell.

The final week will focus on the practical ministry implications of what you have been studying. You will examine the nature of spiritual formation, how to discern the voice of God, how to foster a healthy, balanced experiential knowledge of God, and how to discern answers to prayer.

The Faculty Mentor

Dr. Ganssle is Professor of Philosophy at Talbot. He has been thinking about the intersection of Christian faith and contemporary scholarship for over thirty years. He was part-time lecturer in the philosophy department at Yale for nine years, and a senior fellow at the Rivendell Institute. His research interests lie in contemporary Philosophy of Religion and History of Philosophy. In addition to publishing many articles, chapters and reviews, Dr. Ganssle has edited two books, God and Time: Four Views and God and Time: Essays on the Divine Nature (with David M. Woodruff). He is also the author of Our Deepest Desires: How the Christian Story Fulfills Human Aspirations, Thinking about God: First Steps in Philosophy, and A Reasonable God: Engaging the New Face of Atheism.

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