The curriculum is delivered in three phases of learning, with each module delivered over a five-month period.
Phase1: Learners are guided in cohort groups through a carefully designed reading and research program:
- Reading is designed bearing key aspects of vocational practice in mind. Traditional 'answers' are explored through the traditional theological disciplines and social sciences.
- In order to explore the emerging questions learners are required to design and implement a qualitative or quantitative research project. Through this project learners come to terms with the emerging questions faced by practitioners. It also sets up the tension between traditional answers and emerging questions.
Phase 2: Learners attend a 4.5 day seminar. The residential phase will be facilitated by a team comprising a suitably qualified professional and Tabor College (Vic) academic staff member and other practitioners where appropriate.
- Preliminary research findings are presented and discussed.
- The theology and philosophy that underpins the practitioner's praxis is presented and engaged.
- An open book exam is taken prior to the seminar to focus the reading and to create opportunity for creative problem solving.
Phase 3: Learners return to their cohort group and place of work/ministry.
- Learners are required to write a 5000 - 7000 word essay outlining their theological understanding of the area of vocational practice that is being studied.
- As a cohort group, learners plan and implement a professional intervention to demonstrate acquired skill in this area of study. Learners submit a detailed report (1500-2000 words) outlining the steps taken to plan and implement the intervention as well as their assessment of the outcome of the intervention.
This process is designed to achieve the following goals:
- Integrated learning: Learners are encouraged to apply what they are learning, and to integrate this with other personal and professional self-understanding.
- Just-in-time learning: part- time study is encouraged to enable learners to integrate what they are learning in real life.
- Relational learning: Cohort groups place learners in teams. Learners learn not only to achieve as individuals but also as communities of learners.