Standards of Excellence Series

July 27, 2020

by David Williams, President, Taylor Seminary

When people talk to us about the Kairos Project, one of their first questions is about quality. More specifically, how do we ensure quality when we don’t require so many of the traditional aspects of education that have been required for the explicit purpose of securing and maintaining quality in education? Not only is that our most frequent question, it is one of the most important questions we are asked.

We believe that quality is essential if the educational journey we provide is going to have the transforming impact on students, churches, communities, nations, and God’s Kingdom, that we believe God desires it to have. This, of course, invites us to dig deeper into what we mean by quality and the standards of excellence one might use to identify and promote that kind of education.  For the next little while we are going to engage these questions.  We will look into some of the standards that have traditionally shaped theological education as well has how the Kairos Project maintains but also transforms them in order to do better what we all want and need theological education to do.

There has been so much written about educational quality that we could not possibly engage much of that conversation here.  What I want to do is to help us become more aware of important dimensions of standards of excellence to better understand why we have done things the way we have. Over the next several weeks, I am going to make a few observations that are sometimes overlooked or, at least, not adequately accounted for in traditional educational practices. Perhaps I will name things that you are already familiar with; perhaps some of this will be new to you.  Either way, by attending to these observations, I think we will better understand the educational journey of Kairos and why we think it is even better than what we have been providing before.  (For those interested, several of these observations are heavily dependent on the work of Alasdair MacIntyre. After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1981, 1984.)

Please join us next week when we talk about the first observation: context.

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