Over the summer the rhythms of SBC change a little. As the students are off enjoying a break from studying and essay writing the staff team are far from taking a break! The summer months see the staff team preparing for classes for next semester or attending and participating in theology conferences. As lifelong learners ourselves it’s good to expand the intellectual horizons!
As I have been preparing for Faith Seeking Understanding next semester (an introduction to theology class) I am reminded of the idea that the practice of theology can be thought of as a conversation. In Jeff Astley’s book on Christian Doctrine (SCM Press) he writes that often theological conversation challenges our ‘horizon of meaning’ – that is, our worldview or theological assumptions. Through the study of theology and interacting with other streams of thought we can experience a ‘fusion of horizons’ – where different ideas or different worldviews influence and shape our own thinking beyond what we currently know. In this sense it is an interactive way of learning and leads to an on-going process of engagement as we revisit the familiar with new insights to consider them anew.
The Faith Seeking Understanding class is an exciting class to teach as it allows for theological conversation to flow, new ideas to be explored, and lives to be shaped. In the same way, as the summer comes around and the staff team continues to engage with our own learning, it is stimulating to keep the theological conversation alive and engaged for ourselves. Over the summer we are all attending various conferences (two different BIAPT conferences, Baptist Historical Society, and more besides!) so if you’ve ever wondered what we do over the summer you now know!
If you think that you’d like to expand your ‘horizons’ by studying theology then please do get in contact with the College – particularly with theology, we’re all lifelong learners so it’s never too late to learn something new! There’s some great courses running next semester besides Faith Seeking Understanding that are ideal to study on a modular basis (i.e. as a one-off class) which might be just what you are looking for! There’s Encountering the Bible (an introduction to the bible) and also our new Introduction to Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care – all horizon-expanding courses!