Theological Judgment:

assessed May 2014

Evaluations of student work (analysis of written assignments in RS-180, Senior Seminar, according to the PLO Assessment Rubric for Theological Judgment) all fell between ‘3-Good’ and ‘4-Excellent’, averaging 3.4.

The written assignments asked:

A question we've heard now and again when discussing [books by Amos] Yong and [John] Stackhouse is, "What does this have to do with missional theology?"

If you are still asking that question, you might scan the tables of contents of [other course readings from Lesslie] Newbigin, [Christopher] Wright, and [Timothy] Keller to see where disability and gender issues might inhabit their missional frameworks.

However, here is a scenario to pose the question more concretely and set up your assignment:

At its annual strategic planning meeting, your church decides how to prioritize goals for the coming year. Strategic planning is always a delicate matter for your church, because it threatens to expose and even deepen fault lines that lie within the congregation, let alone the surrounding community.

Student self-evaluations (in RS-180, Senior Seminar, at the conclusion of class, and focus group discussion) all fell between ‘Good’ and ‘Excellent’, averaging 3.5.

The department wanted to determine whether there are components within the Theological Judgment outcome that are stronger or weaker than others. Focusing on the discrete terms and criteria of the assessment rubric in 2013-14 showed a consistent distribution of student performance. It does not seem that some components are stronger or weaker than others.

Response: To deepen students’ knowledge base for making sound theological judgments and coming to creative insights and fruitful applications, the department proposed a change in the major core to require a one-year survey of history of Christianity rather than just a semester and mandate a systematic theological focus in Senior Seminar. This change should give students a firmer basis for their theological and biblical reasoning.