First Book on Competency-Based Theological Education

April 22, 2024


President Henson’s new book, Theological Education: Principles and Practices of a Competency-Based Approach, the first book written on the topic of competency-based theological education, is now available! Henson co-authored the book with long-time collaborator and fellow pioneer in theological education, Kenton Anderson, President of Providence University College and Theological Seminary located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. It was published by Kregel Academic and has received high praise from many leaders within higher education.

Charla Long, President of Competency-Based Education Network, a leading voice in competency-based education in higher education, noted, “Their emphasis on formation, context, and community is especially timely and needed in this field. I’m grateful for the wisdom they’ve shared, and this book is a must-read for anyone looking to understand and implement competency-based education effectively.” Stephen Graham, Director of Accrediting at the Association of Theological Schools remarked, “These two pioneers of competency-based education for theological schools have done the community of theological educators an outstanding service by gathering and sharing their insights with us.”

The book is a comprehensive guide that outlines six principles and six practices for competency-based theological education. Throughout the book, Henson and Anderson draw on their own experiences as educators and administrators to provide insights and examples. The principles remind us that CBTE is a philosophy of education rooted in biblical notions of integrated knowing. The practices paint of picture of operational realities that support and empower a competency-based approach to theological education. Readers of the book will notice several connections to the work of Kairos University. Currently, Kairos operates one of the largest and most diverse communities of competency-based theological education in the world. In fact, two of Kairos University’s recent grants from the Lilly Endowment have been connected to CBTE.

Already, Henson and Anderson have been invited to share more about the book in podcasts, articles, and workshops. You can hear one such podcast here. It is hosted by Philip Dearborn, President of the Association of Biblical Higher Education (ABHE). In addition to this book, Henson was invited to participate in two global consultations on competency-based theological education hosted by the International Council for Evangelical Theological Education in Rome, Italy.

For more information about the book or to purchase a copy, you can find it here. The publisher’s description is here. For media inquiries, you can email us at

To listen to Henson and Anderson talk about the book on the Biblical Higher Ed Talk Podcast, click here.

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