All our partner schools know that the change we seek in theological education is not an overnight process. Our ambition is generational; it is a change that will take twenty years, not two. But when we’re working for the long term, there is a danger of losing focus and momentum. How can a school get a sense of where it stands, what its strengths and growth needs are, and how much progress it’s making?
The steering committee of the ON has approved a preliminary rubric schools can use to assess how they’re doing in the effort to bring oikonomia issues – whole-life discipleship, vocation, economic wisdom and human flourishing – into theological education. This rubric is a new version, adjusted for specific use in the ON, of on an earlier rubric developed by Amy Sherman and Greg Forster for use at the 2016 Faith at Work Summit. (Speaking of which, check out the academic Call for Papers at this year’s Faith at Work Summit – consider presenting a paper from your own work!)
The rubric invites a school to evaluate how it is doing in five areas: Faculty Leadership, Institutional Support, Curriculum, Extracurricular and Institutional Partnerships. In each area, it provides tangible milestones that illustrate what a school might look like at Beginner, Intermediate, Mature and Distinguished levels of development. These tangible milestones can be an enormous help in surfacing areas needing attention and in catalyzing creativity about how to take next steps.
We are circulating this preliminary version of the rubric to solicit your feedback and make improvements. The ON’s Assessment Working Group has been tasked with receiving and processing your input in order to suggest improvements. Please get in touch with the group’s leader, Nathan Hitchcock of Sioux Falls Seminary, to share your feedback and ideas.