At SBC one of our primary commitments is that we want you to feel connected and part of the community. There are many ways that you can do this that you might not realise – you can pray for us; you can share news of who we are and what we do; you can come along to our public seminars; you can take a class in an area that interests you; you can even donate money to us!! One way we want to be able to share resources and ideas with you is through this new blog! We hope that you’ll read, share, comment, and engage with them. Throughout the coming months look out for these blog posts written by staff (and the occasional student too!) We hope to share the vision for the College and how you can help shape it, as well as reflect on some of our own areas of interest and research in theology and practice.
At a recent vision day the SBC team thought through some of the ideas that were important to us as we look to the future of the College. We decided upon three key elements to help guide our future direction.
We have a vision that our College will be a place where:
- Our students and stakeholders are EQUIPPED – we want to ensure that our students are equipped for their future careers and places of calling whatever and wherever that may be. We understand that in the current day and age many people are looking to use theology in more and more diverse ways. The traditional church model and pastor still has a key role but there are a variety of other avenues that are students are looking to experience. We aspire to equip our students for careers in teaching, healthcare, various types of chaplaincy, youth ministry, non-traditional forms of church, and mission work of all forms. Moreover, we hope to equip the local church through our graduates, but also, through offering access to our resources – knowledge, teaching, books, and personnel. We want the Church to thrive in Scotland and throughout the world so we strive to be an ‘equipper‘ of the Church.
- Our learning is EMBEDDED – we are fortunate that SBC has a good relationship with the University of the West of Scotland and the College is embedded within the University campus at Paisley, which gives a wide range of benefits to our students. As an embedded College we are able to access the wider resources of the University, from learning support to sports facilities; and on-campus eateries to electronic access to e-resources…and many more besides! Our students are regarded as full University of the West of Scotland students (we think this is fantastic – many other theology colleges don’t enjoy the benefits of being surrounded by a larger University both in regards to the campus and the infrastructure!) SBC is also embedded within the Baptist tradition – a heritage that we wholly embrace. This doesn’t mean that we’re not open to other traditions and backgrounds – in fact we love sharing our tradition with others and having others share their traditions with us: we believe this to be the best way to learn, through critical engagement and discussion!
- Our focus is on EMBODIED learning – embodied learning is key to everything at SBC. We think, for theology, the best pedagogy, the best way to learn, is through embodied teaching, that is being able to alongside a community, in a community, and through the community. To be able to sit in a classroom and learn from one another, person-to-person, is second to none. This shapes our teaching style, enabling and encouraging peer learning, discussion-based seminars, and, most importantly, a community of believers who can encourage, support, and sharpen one another (we have coffee and devotions together every teaching day – a cornerstone of the SBC philosophy!) This doesn’t mean that we won’t be looking to develop more online learning and blended methods of learning but it does mean that we will be careful about preserving the ethos of community and person-centred learning. Our learning is also embodied because it is rooted in real life. We strive to make our classes strike a balance between being academically robust and relevant to practice. Our lecturers are practitioners and often our classrooms are packed with students who come with a wealth of life experience to draw on – the richness and diversity of embodied knowledge like this adds to the classroom experience in an unparalleled way! We also aim to have students in placements to learn reflective practice for one term every year (in years 2,3 and 4). This experience often gives students unrivalled experienced throughout their theology degree and the flexibility to experience a breadth of ministry areas.
We’d love to hear from you what you think about our values and guiding principles. If you have an idea or a comment please get in contact: email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or share it with us on Facebook or Twitter or call the office on 0141 848 3986 and we can start a conversation.