Written by Derek Cooper
Wednesday, 18 June 2014 15:30
Recently, BTS’s Doctor of Ministry program took students on a field trip to Gettysburg, PA. The trip was connected to the DMin class titled “Missional Theology,” taught by Dr. Paul Metzger from Multnomah Biblical Seminary in Portland, OR. The purpose of the class trip was to reflect on the significance of the Civil War on Christianity in America, and specifically to discuss the impact of race, slavery, and war on biblical interpretation, ecclesiology, and theology.
In preparation for the trip, students were encouraged to read either Mark Noll’s The Civil War as Theological Crisis or George Rable’s God’s Almost Chosen Peoples: A Religious History of the American Civil War. On the bus ride to and from Gettysburg, students discussed thought-provoking questions related to the Civil War and Christianity, such as: Is the Civil War still being fought in America? Did Lincoln die in vain? The great ethnic diversity of the DMin class—with an almost equal number of African American, Asian American, and Caucasian students—greatly enhanced the discussion. In one of the group discussions of which I took part, which included students from Germany, Sierra Leone, and the United States, we heard insightful comments about a range of issues ranging from race to slavery to missional theology and culture.