The report entitled, “Theological Education for Ministry—Seminary Education and Preparation for Ministry: A Review of the Bachelor of Theology (B.Th.) Program,” prepared by the US-based Ad Hoc Working Group states that “degrees designed for basic theological education for ministry are built on the now widely accepted content areas, namely, religious heritage, cultural context, personal and spiritual formation, and capacity for ministerial and public leadership.” Quoting from Charles Foster’s book, “Educating Clergy: Teaching Practice and Pastoral Imagination”, the same report affirmed that, among others, “formation and contextualization are pedagogical strategies” for theological education.
The Central Philippine University College of Theology understands that the training of a person desiring to be a pastor must be holistic and integrative. Learning opportunities need to touch every aspect of the learner’s life. Learning, therefore, cannot be confined to the traditional methodology of classroom teaching referred to by Paolo Freire as the “banking system.” The College of Theology also believes that persons are learning all the time, whether in the chapel, the library, the cafeteria, the dormitory, the local church, the playground, the market place, the public square wherever else the person finds himself/herself. Further to this, a person preparing for the ministry needs to develop his/her reflective capacity so that he/she may discern the presence of the Divine everywhere, may be sensitive to the “letters” that God drops in the most unlikely places, and endeavors to live out those messages. If, as John Wesley intimates that “the world is my parish,” women and men in formation toward being pastors need an all-around exposure to ministerial practices/events in the Seminary and in the community. It is for this reason and in this spirit that the Spiritual Formation Program (SFP) of the Central Philippine University College of Theology has been organized and developed.