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The Church as a Learning Community: A Comprehensive Guide to Christian Education [Paperback]

By Norma Cook Everist (Author)
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Item description for The Church as a Learning Community: A Comprehensive Guide to Christian Education by Norma Cook Everist...

Norma Cook Everist contends it is meaningful to say that in ministries of adminstration, outreach, and pastoral care, the church is functioning as a learning community. Whenver and wherever Christians are being formed into the image of Jesus Christ through ministry. Christian education is taking place. Christian education is the name of this process of formation. Building on this central insight, Everist has written a major new introduction to the tasks and practices of Christian education.

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Click here to read a free chapter Norma Cook Everist contends that it is meaningful to say that in ministries of administration, outreach, and pastoral care, the church is functioning as a learning community. Whenever and wherever Christians are being formed into the image of Jesus Christ through ministry, there Christian education is taking place. Christian education is the name we give to that process of formation.

Building on this central insight, Everist has written a major new introduction to the tasks and practices of Christian education. Part 1 of the book focuses broadly on what it means to be the church in the world. Part 2 shows how being a learning community requires ongoing growth in faith throughout the span of life. Part 3 shifts focus to the church as it moves into the community and world.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Abingdon Press
Pages   391
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.02" Width: 6.36" Height: 0.91"
Weight:   1.16 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jul 1, 2002
Publisher   Abingdon Church Supplies
ISBN  0687045002  
ISBN13  9780687045006  

Availability  0 units.

More About Norma Cook Everist

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Norma Cook Everist is Professor of Church and Ministry at Wartburg Theological Seminary, Dubuque, Iowa. She also has served as guide and mentor to many pastors struggling with conflict. She is author of "The Church As Learning Community "and editor of "Ordinary Ministry, Extraordinary Challenge, "published by Abingdon Press.

Norma Cook Everist currently resides in Dubuque, in the state of Iowa. Norma Cook Everist was born in 1938.

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Reviews - What do customers think about The Church As Learning Community: A Comprehensive Guide to Christian Education?

Librarby of ideas in one book  Mar 21, 2006
This book will make you significantly smarter at your next education committee meeting! Ok, well...maybe not at your next meeting- as it is a dense and detailed, idea packed book close to 400 pages- but it will expand your ideas about education in a church environment.
I hate to be caught using the phrase "something for everyone", but it really does apply here. Not only that, Everist includes many things for anyone: most of the material seems likely to enrich any person involved in church education (a group of people which is expanded to include everyone who walks in the doors of the church, by the way.) It is a vast storehouse of practical methods and ideas for every age group, some of which are laid out in a convenient diagram format. Norma Cook Everist explores life stages, ways the community is organized, who is included in the community, and sets out many ideas for education in all of these contexts.
One criticism I have involves the flip side of this book's great strength- the volume of the material presented. It is very detailed and expansive. If you are looking for an easy-read manual that can be thumbed through at meetings when an educational issue arises, don't buy book. In order to utilize its riches, one needs to commit to it and spend time slowly becoming familiar with the content. Trying to skim through or read quickly may result in frustration, and abandoning the effort. (So, you may not have anything for your education committee meeting tomorrow... but next month? Watch out!!)
Another characteristic that might be a problem is the congregational ethos it quite obviously springs from. Parts of this model include church functions (committee structure, liturgy, curriculum, sacraments, the use of the word "parish" and the sometimes-assumption that there is a community of connected churches) that are found more often in mainline, liturgical churches than in a more fluid evangelical or non-denominational approach in which those elements are less important or not present in the same way. However, there are only a very few theological assumptions that affect the curriculum in ways that might cause a problem. The way that baptism is part of Everist's foundation for our congregational responsibility to educate one another might change meanings or create a stumbling block for congregations that practice only adult baptism. Other issues, such as the emphasis on community and civic involvement as part of our educational process (which is an emphasis found more often in mainline churches) add a wonderful richness to the book in taking our responsibility for educating outside the church walls. These differences in perspective are certainly nothing to fear. The sheer volume of information and diversity of the resources within this book (the great majority of which carry no denomination-specific doctrinal claims) assure that it will be a rich resource for anyone. Overall, this is a wonderful book for those serious about education in a church setting.
Resource Book for Christian Educators  Mar 10, 2006
Everist subtitles her book "A Comprehensive Guide to Christian Education", and that it is. Everist discusses both the theological basis for religious education and places it within the contemporary context.

Familar models of development (Eriksen, Piaget) are analyzed within a faith framework to create an age-appropriate religious education model for faith formation from infant to older adult.

Everist addresses head-on the issues most churches face in religious education: lack of time, resources, and personnel; "competition" with the modern culture; living within a pluralistic world. Her book combines theory with practical advice, and in the end she holds out hope that not only is religious education necessary to a life of faith, it can be relevant and life affirming to both teachers and learners.
Wish I had discovered this book a few years ago...  Mar 13, 2005
As a lay leader in my church's adult education ministry, I found Norma Cook Everist's book to be an excellent handbook and guide for my continued faith journey as both a teacher and learner in my congregation. I wish I had discovered this book a few years ago - but as they say - better late than never.

As the author states, "The purpose of this book is threefold: to put forth a vision of the entire parish as a learning community; to help faith communities create and maintain learning environments that facilitate us being different together in a pluralistic world; and to provide a comprehensive guide for religious educators leading a congregation toward fully becoming a learning community." I'm pleased to say that Norma delivers on all three fronts!

This is not the type of book that will sit idly on your shelf collecting dust. It's a wonderful resource that Christian educators will find themselves using time and again. It truly is a comprehensive guide to Christian education. I really enjoyed and appreciated the opportunities for reflection in the various chapters. The graphs, tools and strategies are extremely useful - this book is packed with tips and advice that's both practical and applicable in today's communities of faith. I especially enjoyed chapter three - Eight Facets of Learning: Methodologies for a Diverse People.

As the author states in chapter three, "How we teach teaches as powerfully as what we teach. The method a teacher chooses to use does not just convey content; it becomes the experience." The Church As Learning Community is truly a rich and wonderful guide to helping all of us involved in Christian education become powerful teachers to the body of Christ.
Looking outside the box of Teaching Jesus  Mar 8, 2005
The Church as Learning Community by Norma Cook Everist
This is a great survey of Christian Education and the many many different considerations that go into educating people of faith. It was surprising to me how much there is to think about when writing curriculum, finding curriculum, or critiquing it. I appreciated the different charts that are found through out the book. I liked that there weren't a lot of them, but enough to study to better understand where she was coming from and the big aspects she was trying to get at. The best one is Figure 9 found on page 344. I liked the mapped out ideas of Parish Education and how this is going to be brought out into the World.
A couple of other great things about here books were the Personal or Group Reflection and case studies. The sections of reflection are always helpful to reflect how the written information could be installed into the program of a readers church. The reflection also leaves room for people to break up the book, and read the sections that are going to be helpful at different times. This book should be read in sections, there simply is to much to try to implement in one setting. The reflections allow people to find ways to make Everist's ideas work in what they are doing.
The case studies are helpful as well with the mentioned ideas. They, like charts, allow the reader to have a real life example. With these different ideas, a reader can respond by saying, "Yes I have gone through that" and then reflect on how improve different situations.
Someone's Done Their Homework...  Feb 16, 2005
The Church as Learning Community is an excellent resource that can act both as a guide to teachers, volunteers and paid staff workers (i.e. youth educational directors, etc.) within the Christian community and also affirm and encourage professional and lay leaders alike in the importance of Christian Education. I would recommend that all parish educators use this book as a resource. However, be warned: it is an extremely comprehensive piece of work and includes many diverse theories, ideas, phases in education, etc. Everist's efforts and the work and thought she has put into making this book is obvious.

The book is both theoretical and practical knowledge by nature. Theoretical in terms of presenting many (often diverse) theories on issues (i.e. how to be a church in a pluralistic world) and practical in that it offers suggests on how those ideas can be put into use (i.e. how to create safe learning environments, how to equip leaders, etc.). It is also really engages the reader both theoretically and practically speaking. It offers questions for reflection (theoretical) and strategies for putting into action what you just read (practical). I found it is especially useful in beginning to think about adult Christian education and how to work with different ability (and disability) levels. As the title implies, its geared to get the reader to think about the church an educational facility which is nurtures the educational process at every stage of life. In other words, Christian Education does not stop with youth Sunday School.

Basically speaking, she has synthesised a range of ideas, research and theories concerning faith education into one resource. As such, the chapters address a range of topics from learning amongst a community to connecting the community with public world at large.

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