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Integral Ministry Training Design and Evaluation

by Robert Brynjolfson and Jonathan Lewis, eds.

“May God give us grace and creativity to push the boundaries, to create, to re-evaluate, to change, to redesign, and to serve with greater effectiveness and servanthood.” This is the challenge given to all involved in mission training in this new book.

William Carey Library, 1605 E. Elizabeth St., Pasadena, CA 91104, 2006, 222, $19.99.

—Reviewed by George Schultz, director, Center for Intercultural Training, Union Mills, North Carolina.

“May God give us grace and creativity to push the boundaries, to create, to re-evaluate, to change, to redesign, and to serve with greater effectiveness and servanthood.” This is the challenge given to all involved in mission training in this new book. What do the authors mean by “integral” training? They mean a unified or holistic approach to training which includes the cognitive, character and skill elements. You might recognize this approach in other terms like “Know, Be, Do” or “Head, Heart, Hands.” The most effective training programs address all three domains.

This book shows you how to get there with helpful and straightforward steps to an outcome-based curriculum. This is about being learner-focused instead of focusing on information transfer. A person just beginning a new training program or a seasoned trainer can benefit greatly from this book. The contributors have compressed years of thinking, reflection and training experiences into a useable manual which will serve as a guidebook or map for designing or re-engineering a training program. Although there are plenty of practical tips and tools, this is not just a “how-to” manual. The work is built solidly on a biblical worldview and sound educational philosophy. I particularly appreciated the emphasis on the use of formal, informal and non-formal education as well as characteristics of adult learners and implications for training.

Other significant topics are: stakeholder assumptions and consensus building, the outcomes profiling process, writing learning objectives, designing learning experiences and evaluating ministry training programs. The last section includes thirteen case studies of various training programs around the world, looking at their demographics, how they use non-formal practice and experiential learning to develop skills and how they use community to generate growth in character as well as program improvements and development. Seeing how others have done these things gives feet to the theory. It encourages me to know others struggle in the same areas I do and yet are making progress. Thankfully, the authors do not deride those who need to progress further; instead, they are very encouraging in helping us move from where we are to where we could be in effective training.

A bonus at the end includes several missionary training assessment tools which are useful to anyone wanting to critique their own program.

Check these titles:
Taylor, William David, ed. 1991. Internationalising Training: A Global Perspective. Exeter, U.K: Paternoster Press /Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Book House.

Harley, David. 1995. Preparing to Serve: Training for Cross-Cultural Mission. Pasadena, Calif.: William Carey Library.

Ferris, Robert. 1995. Establishing Ministry Training: A Manual for Programme Developers. Pasadena, Calif.: William Carey Library.

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Copyright © 2007 Evangelism and Missions Information Service (EMIS). All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced or copied in any form without written permission from EMIS.

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