Case Study: Incorporating Apologetics into Contemporary Missions Education

This is a joint proposal with Matt Sokoloski.

Educating undergraduate missions’ students at a small-town, conservative, evangelical liberal arts university presents multiple opportunities and challenges. Students at Freed-Hardeman University tend to be morally and theologically conservative, but monolithic in their exposure to traditional evangelism and apologetics methodologies, in spite of their increased exposure to cultural diversity. Still, Dr. Matt Cook’s 400-level World Religions course is often the student’s first significant experience exploring the faith traditions of their diverse world. In previous semesters at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, the missiological component of the course focused on contextualized evangelistic strategies and strategies of diaspora missiology. Upon reflection, more emphasis is needed from an apologetics perspective.

In the Spring of 2023, Dr. Matt Sokoloski (FHU’s apologetics professor) co-taught at 3 class sessions in Dr. Cook’s World Religions course. Specifically, we attempted to integrate World Religions and Apologetics using the model proposed by Benno Van Toren and Kang-San Tan in their newly published work Humble Confidence: A Model for Interfaith Apologetics (IVP Academic, 2022). The goal of the proposed paper is to propose, test, analyze, and present a new educational strategy for university classrooms. In the paper, we will detail, analyze, and adapt Toren and Tan’s model as a framework for the class. Next, we will describe the pedagogical plan for the class sessions. Finally, we will evaluate the results based on student involvement and will conclude the paper with a plan for Dr. Cook to co-teach in Dr. Sokoloski’s undergraduate and graduate apologetics courses in the Fall 2023 semester.

5 thoughts on “Case Study: Incorporating Apologetics into Contemporary Missions Education”

  1. interesting and unusual
    not sure what it means to present a plan to co-teach the course

    The instructions were not followed in the proposal; each presenter must submit a proposal.

  2. Seems more like a course “advertisement” than a “case study”
    And not all that interesting a “case” (to me . . . ). I was not so bothered as our esteemed chair by their utter disregard and flouting of the paper submission protocols, but followed him in similar scoring anyway. . . .


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