A Unique Theological Education Consultation

On October 9, 1978, Dr. Ralph Winter was written a letter by his friend who at this time was in Geneva, Switzerland with the World Council of Churches, Unit on Faith and Witness, Programme on Theological Education. The top of the letter has Dr. Winter’s name on it, but the salutation reads “Dear Colleague.” Three entities plan to have a small consultation on “New Approaches to Leadership Development” on January 9th and 10th of 1979 at the Cook School in Tempe, Arizona. The three groups are the Cook Christian Training School, the Ecumenical Team for Continuing Education, and the Programme on Theological Education. This letter is to inform Winter about the event and to invite him to participate or suggest others who should be invited as well. Winter is one of twenty persons this letter is sent to and he suggests one gentleman as noted in his handwriting on the back.

There are various concerns that will converge and that cause the occasion to be a challenging one. The writer says, “Cook School has recently taken far-reaching initiatives in the development of theological education by extension programs among Native American peoples, and they will be holding a curriculum workshop in conjunction with the consultation (January 11-13).” The Ecumenical Team will hold its regular meeting at this same time to learn from Cook School and other programs of theological education that will be represented. Individuals representing several innovative programs both in North America (mainly Native American) and elsewhere (the Third World) are invited to give case studies at this consultation, which will think about the possibilities and problems these experiences might present for the development of leaders among minority and majority cultures in the United States and Canada.

A gentleman at the Cook School in Tempe will coordinate the activities and send out more information, so the writer states that he will give him the names of the twenty recipients of this letter. He is sad to mention they do not have funds to cover everyone’s transportation costs, only the speakers’. He writes, “If you can attend the consultation, may I ask you to stay on through January 12 in order to form part of a working group to [address] issues and strategies for the development of theological education by extension and other alternatives in the North American context.” The writer concludes by asking the persons to advise the coordinator of their interest and to kindly allow this writer to have a copy of their letters to the coordinator.

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