The first three days of my four day module at seminary are completed. They were long days. I don't think I'd want to do every course this way. An intensive format is good in that the material is always right at the forefront of your mind, but it also eliminates the opportunity for mulling things over in between sessions. I arrived home around 6:00 each evening, and was in bed by 10:00 to get enough rest for the next day. The time I had at home was spent with my husband, and tending to my home. The hour drive home gave me time for thought, but mostly, I was just eager to get home.
I really enjoyed the first two days, but I found the last half of yesterday tedious, and I didn't enjoy it as much. The morning discussion was excellent, as we looked at evaluating bible studies, but the afternoon was all about how to train a "curriculum writing team." That was a major focus of the class, i.e. training others, so there was a lot of talk about people skills, group dynamics, administering training sessions, etc. Kind of reminded me of a corporate training session. And while I think training others is valuable, I had a couple of reservations.
A "team" of writers means a very different result than what you'd get from one person (or even two) working on a study. The approach to the team idea was that each lesson was worked on individually by a different person. Each lesson would be submitted to the editor. Before someone could be on a curriculum writing team, she had to go through training. It came across as a large-scale project. That is not the same as me sitting down to write a study for use in my local church or even to submit for publication in the way that Keri Folmar produced her studies for publication. I got the feeling from the professor that she is used to working with very large groups, on a large scale. She confessed to enjoying training others more than writing bible studies, and that was apparent. The young woman sitting near me was having a hard time envisioning this process in her little church which is less than 75 people. She just wanted to know how to put material together.
My other reservation was that it seemed like the step from writing the bible study to becoming a trainer of someone to write the study was a little hasty. I don't know as if writing one or two studies qualifies me to train others how to write them. I wish we had spent more time practicing the various aspects of putting together flow questions for lessons. My "big" assignment for the end of the class is to write a five day lesson plan on a topical study. I don't like topical studies, and we spent very little time discussing that, so en route home yesterday, I was seriously wondering how badly I might blunder this big assignment. I wish we had looked at some examples, or at least done more than read those pages from the manual.
One of the things which did yesterday, which I enjoyed, was to evaluate bible study workbooks. There were some provided, and we were invited to bring some of ours. One of the women brought in a Beth Moore bible study on the book of James. There was absolutely no personal criticism of Moore nor were any aspersions cast upon her character. It was simply a look at what we determined were some shortcomings of her material. And for that post, you'll have to check back later, because I'm already a little long with this post.