SEI Teaching-Staff Residential 2024

SEI’s Tutors and Associate Tutors gathered for their annual overnight residential (Monday 26 February & Tuesday 27 February 2024) at the Conforti Centre, Coatbridge.

All told, it was a gathering of thirteen women and men in a convivial setting with the goal of continuing educational development. The group sought to expand its own learning and understanding in order to serve their students to a high formational standard.

Monday saw three presentations. First, the Rev Canon Prof Michael Hull, SEI’s Principal, offered a talk entitled ‘SEI: State of play and future vision’. Mike sought to paint in broad strokes SEI’s attempt to allow students agency in their own formation under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Second, the Rev Anthony Luxton, a Pastor at Stirling Baptist Church, outlined ‘ChatGPT and its uses in education’ to good effect by highlighting the benefits of ChapGPT rather than its deficiencies in higher education. The Third presentation was an exposition on ‘Moodle, module outlines, assessments, marking etc.’ by SEI’s Director of Studies, the Rev Dr Anna-Claar Thomasson-Rosingh. Theological education necessarily uses much of the virtual-learning technology now integral to blended learning.

Tuesday saw an extensive presentation in two parts by the Rev Prof Alison Jack, Professor of Bible and Literature and Principal of the School of Divinity, New College, of the University of Edinburgh, on ‘Weaving the language of poetry into worship and theological study’. Alison led the Tutors through a select number of poems to tease out examples of poetry to enhance worship and facilitate theological reflection.

SEI’s annual teaching-staff residential is an intimate event wherein Tutors, who often do not see each other regularly during the academic year, meet face-to-face to share wisdom and experience as a learning community. It highlights a theological component, our ‘keynote address’, that is meant to facilitate our theological reflection as a teaching staff, hence the presentation by Prof Jack. It also includes talks on matters related to theological education and ministerial formation, as per the presentations by Prof Hull, Mr Luxton and Dr Thomasson-Rosingh. Next year’s (2025) is scheduled to be deliver by Dr Bridget Nichols, Lecturer in Anglicanism and Liturgy at the Church of Ireland Theological Institute, Dublin.

Photo courtesy of Michael Hull