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Banks, Robert.  Reenvisioning Theological Education: Exploring a Missional Alternative to Current Models.  Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1999.  Paperback.  268 pp.

This book contributes a thoughtful, Evangelical voice to a twenty-year conversation on the theological foundations of ministry training.  Banks reviews that conversation, critiques proposals previously offered, builds a biblical approach to ministry and ministry education, then proposes that biblical ministry education must be missional. 

Brookfield, Stephen D.  The Skillful Teacher: On Technique, Trust, and Responsiveness in the Classroom.  2nd ed.  San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2006.  Hardcover. 297 pp.

In this book, Brookfield provides helpful perspectives and practical advice on the priorities and responsibilities of teachers.  He emphasizes the importance of attending to learner responses as means of assuring that learning occurs and of adjusting instructional approaches to facilitate learning.  Chapters on lecturing, leading discussions, and evaluation are especially helpful.

Cranton, Patricia. Understanding and Promoting Transformative Learning. 2nd ed. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2006. 228 pp.

Cranton’s book provides a helpful introduction to the literature of transformative teaching and learning. In contrast to edited volumes, this book provides a single viewpoint versus a cafeteria of perspectives. Cranton defines and describes transformative education but also is helpfully critical of Mezirow and his associates. Although GATE’s use of the term “transformational education” is unique, Cranton provides the larger context from which GATE’s theory and methods arise.


Daloz-Parks, Sharon.  Leadership Can Be Taught: A Bold Approach for a Complex World. Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing, 2005. Hardcover. 287 pp.

This book provides a very helpful case study of the teaching techniques used to teach “adaptive” leadership by Ron Heifetz at Harvard.   Daloz-Parks provides a day-by-day account of Heifetz’s course Exercising Leadership: Mobilizing Group Resources.  The student of interactive, participatory learning methods will find the book a rich resource of examples that illustrate how to effectively engage learners in leadership development.  Additional insight into the leadership theories referenced in the book is provided in Heifetz’s books Leadership without Easy Answers (1994) and Leadership on the Line (2002).

Elmer, Duane, H. Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility.  Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2006.  Paperback, 212 pp.       

Doing what is servant-like in one’s own culture may not communicate servanthood or humility in another culture.  Six important steps to serving in another culture are examined each forcing us to look through the eyes of the other person's culture.  Leadership, power and mystery are also examined as pieces of the life of the servant.

Elmer, Duane H. Cross-Cultural Conflict: Building Bridges for Effective Ministry.  Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 1993.  Paperback, 189 pp.

Conflict happens to everyone; the difference is the cultural ways in which we handle the conflict.  The book compares the ways Westerners handle conflict with the conflict strategies of Majority World peoples including the respective underlying cultural values.  With strong biblical support, new insights help navigate these difficult places.

Enlow, Ralph E., Jr.  The Leader's Palette: Seven Primary Colors.  Bloomington, IN: WestBow Press, 2013.  Hardcover.  136 pp. 

Scripture and scholarly consensus suggest that leadership is both art and science.  Like every God-given capacity, however, the gift of leadership needs to be developed through thoughtful exercise.  Many gifted leaders fail to develop their gifts fully and to avail themselves of the many facets of influence that comprise leadership’s full effect.  Aspiring and experienced leaders alike can benefit from the reflection this book fosters on the beautiful possibilities inherent in God’s vivid leadership spectrum.

Epstein, Marc J. and Kristi Yuthas. Measuring and Improving Social Impacts. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2014. 254 pp.

In the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors for which Epstein and Yuthas write, substantive social impact is desired, but how to demonstrate or document it? The authors advocate reflection on a “logic chain” that includes inputs, activities, outputs, outcomes, and impact. In planning, the rationale for each link must be supported by previous links. In assessment, only qualitative—principally longitudinal—evidence can document impact. The book provides a helpful lens through which to approach assessment of ministry education.

Ferris, Robert W. (ed.)  Establishing Ministry Training: A Manual for Programme Developers.  Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library, 1995. Paperback.  198 pp.

Written to guide development of missionary training schools in the Majority World, this book is a useful manual for all theological educators.  The principles covered apply equally in school and nonformal education settings.  The book includes basic steps in identifying program goals, curriculum design, and program development and evaluation. 

Ferris, Robert W.  Renewal in Theological Education: Strategies for Change.  Wheaton, IL: The Billy Graham Center, 1990. Paperback. 234 pp. 

Research on theological schools on five continents revealed that the values expressed in the “ICAA Manifesto on the Renewal of Theological Education” are widely affirmed but school leaders are dissatisfied with their implementation.  Case studies of eight exemplary schools lead to recommendations for realizing those values in other schools. 

Fink, L. Dee.  Creating Significant Learning Experiences: An Integrated Approach to Designing College Courses.  San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2003.  Hardcover, 295 pp.

Fink focuses on what happens when good learning occurs.  Seeing good learning we can then ask about the nature of the teaching producing that kind of learning.  Using adult education practices, he leads the reader into designing the effective college level classroom utilizing both theory and practical insights.

Horne, Herman. Jesus the Teacher. Revised and updated by Angus M. Gunn. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1998. Original edition, 1920. 142 pp.

This classic text is not to be read rapidly; Horne’s presentation is accessible but dense. A Christian educator with a forty-year career at a secular university (University of New York), Horne’s study of Jesus’ teaching ministry is deeply insightful for any who take time to digest the data he presents.

Palmer, Parker J. The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher’s Life (Tenth anniversary edition). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2007. Hardcover, 240 pp.

Palmer’s book refocuses the craft of teaching from technique to the teacher and from a singular focus on content to relationships that inhibit or empower learning in the classroom. Reading this book is a soul-searching and liberating exercise for any teacher. Palmer understands—and helps his readers understand—the teacher’s true calling.

Shaw, Perry. Transforming Theological Education. Carlisle, Cumbria, UK: Langham Global Library, 2014. 300 pp.

Shaw has provided a handbook for changing the way ministry education is approached and pursued. He challenges reigning perceptions that guide educational practice in ministry education globally and provides alternatives for reflection, planning, practice, and assessment. Shaw provides ample resources for use by the faculty intent on changing education in its school.

Vella, Jane.  Taking Learning to Task: Creative Strategies for Teaching Adults.  San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2001.  Hard cover.  151 pp. 

This book guides educators in an approach to educational planning that attends to learners and context and that weds learning and application.  Vella holds that educational goals should be framed as “achievement objectives” realized through carefully designed “learning tasks.”  Although simple in concept, implications for teaching and learning are immense.

Zull, James E. The Art of Changing the Brain. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing, 2002. 263 pp.

Learning occurs when new connections are created within the brain. In this description of the science of learning, a biologist and educator describes the neurological aspects of learning. Recent developments in brain imaging technology make it possible for scientists to observe the brain at work. Zull explains both the physiology of learning and its pedagogical implications.