ABS-NYTS Partnership in Bible Engagement
The Nida Institute recently joined with New York Theological Seminary (NYTS) to interest, encourage and support professionals to strengthen and extend their use of the Bible in ministry settings. The value of this work is captured in the assertion: when you teach a leader, you empower generations.
Students in the Doctor of Ministry (DMIN) Bible engagement program, which is an advanced professional degree, have now completed three of the four required weeks of residency. Their course work investigates Bible engagement through three lenses – (1) critical interpretation, (2) culture, leadership and identity, and (3) research methods.
Together, learners and faculty in Bible engagement explore the contours and boundaries for connecting a variety of biblical hermeneutic strategies and research methods in relation to a wide range of church and community challenges. Learners work in a diverse array of professional settings, and these contexts serve as field sites for their Demonstration Projects, the major work of the DMIN program of study.
Global in scope, but contextually situated, theoretically informed, yet pragmatic in practice and application, four key questions drive the ABS-NYTS partnership in examining of Bible engagement. How is meaning made? How are texts read? How is meaning mediated? How are meaning and change nurtured and sustained? These questions are embedded in understandings that words and meanings are fluid, not fixed; intricately related to the contexts in which they are used. Through explorations and investigations in translation studies, media and the arts, performance criticism, and other channels of transmission and mediation, learners research, analyze and evaluate the practice Bible engagement for individual change and social transformation in specific social contexts.
The questions, readings and tasks of the DMIN in Bible engagement inform students’ insights and help to positively transform ministry challenges into opportunities of hope through development and implementation of their Demonstration Projects. The collaborative partnership between the Nida Institute of American Bible Society and NYTS seeks to enrich understandings and advance skills of leaders for their creative and effective access, translation and embodiment of biblical narratives in ways that enrich community discourse and communication, leading to positive change in their ministerial settings. The desire of program faculty is for every learner to become a more competent and capable reflective practitioner engaged with the Bible in day-to-day professional activities.
For information on how you can become a part of this professional learning community, go to: nyts.edu.
For further exploration in readings that inform teaching and learning about contextual Bible engagement as a reflective practitioner
Brueggemann, Walter, The Prophetic Imagination, Second Edition (2001)
Little, Daniel, Varieties of Social Explanation: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Social Science (1991)
Lyotard, Jean-Francois, The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge (1984)
Stinger, E. T., Action Research, Third Edition (2007)
West, Gerald O. Reading Other-wise: Socially Engaged Biblical Scholars Reading with Their Local Communities (2007)