Dr. Ken Coley on International Theological Education

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“In the Doctor of Education program, we are preparing students with skills to communicate the gospel and train others in a variety of settings and a variety of cultures to strengthen discipleship,” said Dr. Ken Coley, Director of Ed.D. Studies.

Coley, teaching at Southeastern since 1996, has helped develop and teach classes in church education and administration, youth ministry and teacher education. His primary assignment has been to train Christian school administrators.

He continued, “Essentially, we are training students to train others. Specifically this means having tools and techniques to train laypeople and educators in the area of teaching and learning with the idea that ultimately every disciple becomes an independent learner.”

Theological education, said Coley, is a vital function of the mission of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. For instance, “The Baptist Theological Seminary of Eastern Cuba – as a part of its partnership with SEBTS ¬– requested our assistance in conducting a conference to improve their faculty’s instructional leadership and teaching techniques.”

The primary objective of the Ed.D. program is to develop a biblically-based philosophy of teaching along with some practical techniques to enhance student learning with overwhelming success.

“The future of such theological education, like that in Cuba,” Coley said, “is in the hands of serious scholars who are committed to Scripture as inerrant and to the local church as the Bride of Christ.”

The Ed.D. student travels and ministry extends around the world in places like the Philippines, Thailand, Peru, Kenya, Haiti, Costa Rica, and Jamaica. Many of these international sites are in need of both rich theological education and essential resources such as laptops and basic classroom equipment. Coley noted that these institutions’ full-time professors are eager to receive additional training in active learning techniques and want to weave critical thinking and problem solving into the curriculum.

With over 100 students currently involved in Ed.D. Studies and over thirty graduates in the last five years, the Ed.D. Program desires to make Southeastern alumni and friends aware of certain areas and regions with the hope of future partnerships with those students serving internationally.

Fundamentally, “we are trying to celebrate Christ and his impact in our lives, and we’re always looking for international opportunities where our doctoral students can make a difference for the Lord.”

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