The Wesleyan theological method is to evaluate truth from four sources: Scripture as our primary source, and Reason, Tradition and Experience as resources. Thus our theological education involves the study of Scripture, the study of the sciences and philosophy, the study of history and the exposure to experiences. It is molding all four into a single educational experience that is difficult. Greenville University has accomplished this rare feat in their Justice Ministry pilgrimage program.
Here Helen Kaufman, one of the leaders in the FMC for decades in Civil Rights shares her experience in this “embodied learning.” The article begins with:
“Helen Kaufmann ’56 had studied Civil Rights issues for decades. She was no stranger to good research habits, and years of teaching at Parkland College (Champaign, Illinois) honed her ability to engage deeply with material.
Yet a different kind of “learning” emerged when Kaufmann laid her hand across the stone slabs that bore the names of 4,400 lynching victims at the Legacy Museum in Montgomery, Alabama. The horrors of lynching hit home afresh as she viewed “row upon row” of jars holding soil from lynching sites, a stark symbol of the prevalence of that practice mere decades ago.
She slept in a motel built on the onetime site of a slave warehouse, where slaves spent their own fitful nights many years ago. She saw the former Lorraine Motel in Memphis where Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated.
Kaufmann undertook these journeys on G.U.’s first travel-based Justice Ministry course offered last May. The course included reading, lectures and visits to historic locations that immersed her in learning and expanded her view of ministry.
G.U. Andrews Chair for Christian Unity Ben Wayman calls the course “embodied education,” explaining that “where you are changes how you see the material.””
For the entire article click here.