Enhancing Transfer of Learning from Seminary Classes to Pastoral Ministry

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Seth J Nelson


The author provides an overview of the research on transfer of learning and makes application to theological education and pastoral training. The author defines the concept and contextualizes it for clergy education as: the effective and continuing application by student pastors to their performance of ministry of knowledge, skills, attitudes, and beliefs gained through seminary learning activities. The author surveys several of the most significant models of learning transfer, including Baldwin & Ford’s (1988) seminal model, and discusses the three broad variables that affect transfer: individual learner characteristics, the design of the educational program, and the context of the work and ministry environment. The article concludes with ten recommendations for enhancing transfer of learning from seminary classes to pastoral ministry.

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