Presenter: Dr Sam Hey

When Christian students enter tertiary studies for the first time they often face challenges as they seek to reconcile their commitment to church traditions and a biblical focus with the demands of higher education. This paper examines the ways in which theological reflection and use of the so called ‘Wesleyan Quadrilateral’ of four theological sources can assist students in addressing these challenges while also promoting education for ministry. This paper draws on a survey and insights from students in a charismatic evangelical college. It considers changes in their views of Scripture, tradition, experience, reason, culture and revelation as they progressed in their studies and as they developed a more robust epistemic platform for integrating various sources of knowledge. The paper draws on the insights of William Perry (1970) and King and Kitchener’s (1994) stages in intellectual development as well as James Fowler’s (1981) faith development research. It also considers the implications of different learning styles identified by Kolb (1985). Clinchy, Belenky, Goldberger and Tarule (1997) provide insights into the ways in which women have been assisted in transition from silence and dependence on received knowledge to finding and expressing their own well grounded theological voice. At the same time, it recognizes that these pathways are varied and unique to each individual student and college and church setting. Through this study this paper shows ways in which models of theological refection and the four sources of the quadrilateral can aid education for ministry.

Image via Pixabay, CC0 Public Domain


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