Pathways for Tomorrow

Pathways for Tomorrow

by Anthony B. Robinson

I am pleased to re-join the VST community to work on the Lilly Endowment funded “Pathways for Tomorrow” initiative and assessment of Theological Field Education at VST.

I say “re-join” as I’ve had the great pleasure of being on campus at VST many times over the years, including teaching several sessions in the Summer School program. I have been most impressed with the refocusing and renewal of VST in the current chapter of its life.

In addition to my time at VST, I have intersected with congregations and their leaders in BC and Canada in many ways over the years, including, speaking at conferences, consulting with congregations, leading clergy groups and doing clergy coaching. I also spent one year as a visiting faculty member at Emmanuel College at the University of Toronto. So I come to this work with some experience of, and great affection for, the church in Canada and those who lead it.

The other thing I would say at this point is that my own Field Education experience at Union Theological Seminary in New York City was really a very crucial and central part of my own preparation for ordained ministry and church leadership.

In my first year I worked in a multi-racial (black and white) congregation in the city that transformed my understanding of worship. In my middle year I took part in a very innovative “field studies” program which really integrated academic study and field work.

Both of those experiences provided me with mentors and role models that shaped me and my understanding of church and ministry.

I look forward to working with various parts of the VST community on this project in the coming months, and welcome any contributions you wish to make to this assessment of TFE at VST.

Anthony B. Robinson is an ordained minister of the United Church of Christ. He is the author of thirteen books, including the best-selling Transforming Congregational Culture and the award-winning What’s Theology Got To Do With It: Convictions, Vitality and the Church. He is a frequent contributor to The Christian Century as well as other publications. He writes for the “The Daily Devotional” of the United Church of Christ. He holds graduate degrees from Union Theological Seminary in New York City and the University of Oregon. He has also done post-graduate study at Harvard Divinity School.