January 18, 2021
by Greg Henson, President
A few weeks ago, we started talking about how Kairos is a pioneering approach to theological education that encourages students, partners, resource providers, faculty, authors, and more to build new experiences for students, mentors, and all participants.
The goal is for the Kairos to be the connector between multiple points within the network of theological education. In order for this to be possible, we believe institutions need to embrace the following principles: collaborative mission, contextual discipleship, integrated outcomes, customized proficiency, mentored teamwork, and holistic assessment. Last week, we explored collaborative mission. Today, let’s talk about mentored teamwork.
Each participant in Kairos is part of a mentor team, and each team is composed of a student, faculty mentor, vocational mentor, and personal mentor. Kairos invites each member of the team to see himself or herself as a sojourner, co-learner, and disciple of Jesus. As a team, they are shaping, evaluating, and experiencing a journey of discipleship that is informed by the context and vocation of the student. It is this reality that requires a commitment to collaborative mission. Each member of the team is engaged in a journey of discipleship, each member is learning together.
In this approach, it is the context and vocation of the student that serves as a catalyst – not the school. Each member of the team brings her unique gifts, experience, expertise, questions, baggage, and wisdom to the process. Together, the team discerns what it means to develop and display proficiency of content, character, and craft in light of what it means to be a follower of Jesus. Because proficiency or standards of excellence are contextually defined, each member of the team must practice mutual submission and humility. In some cases, it will be the student or vocational mentor whose insights provide the most clarity. In other situations, it could be the faculty or personal mentor. In every case, however, each member of the team must refrain from imposing a “foreign” or “hegemonic” definition of proficiency on the vocational context. By working together, the team speaks with one voice and collectively grows to understand what it looks like for the student to flourish in her vocation by being like Jesus.
As foundational principles within Kairos, collaborative mission and mentored teamwork are invitations for the institution to give away power, to humbly submit to the work God and to each other, and to walk with one another as we discover what it means to flourish in one’s vocation for the sake of the world.
Next, we will look at contextualized discipleship and customized proficiency. We will see that like collaborative mission and mentored teamwork, we must think of ourselves as stewards who are invited to explore and discover how God is inviting us to participate in the Great Commission!