If only we could do a better job of helping students at "connecting the dots," theological educators commonly lament. Integration, often proposed as a solution to the woes of professional education for ministry, would help students integrate knowledge, skills, spirituality, and integrity. When these remain disconnected, incompetence ensues, and the cost runs high for churches, denominations, and ministers themselves.
However, we fail in thinking that integrating work is for students alone. It is a multifaceted, constructive process of learning that is contextual, reflective, and dialogical. It aims toward important ends--competent leaders who can guide Christian communities today. It entails rhythms, not stages, and dynamic movement, including disintegration. Integrating work is learning in motion, across domains, and among and between persons. It is social and communal, born of a life of learning together for faculty, staff, administrators and students. It is work that bridges the long-standing gaps between school, ministry practice, and life. It's a verb, not a noun.
Here a diverse group of theological educators, through descriptive case studies, theological reflection, and theory building, offer a distinctive contribution to understanding integrating work and how best to achieve it across three domains: in community, curriculums, and courses.