Philosophy of Education
Our work at the College for Officer Training is premised upon belief in the creating, preserving, governing, redeeming, three-in-one God of the Old and New Testaments. God has created and sustains a good world, placing it under the care of his image-bearing humanity; however, departure from the Creator’s will has resulted in a disjuncture in the relationship between God and image-bearer, and a disruption in the social and natural order. History then is the stage upon which the drama of a fallen humanity in a fallen world, both being pursued toward restoration by the three-in-one God of holy love (Romans -23), is played out. We prepare Salvation Army ministers for continual response to and active proclaiming and portraying of that divine pursuit.
God is self-revealing, both through the world and through the Word (Psalm 19), and humans are the recipients of that revelation. Therefore, the challenge and capacity to learn/know is fundamental to our humanity, with the very act of living eliciting engagement in that process. True to our roots in the Wesleyan theological communion, we acknowledge four sources of authority -- the Bible, tradition, reason, and experience (the quadrilateral) -- under the supervision of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:6-16), as the lenses through which we best interpret that engagement.
Four convictions pertinent to our training mission emerge: God’s world (nature and culture) and Word require our caring, creative, critical attention; the work of our learning community (learning/knowing) expresses both our humanity and our devotion; all students are to find this a hospitable and appropriately challenging learning environment; learning/knowing is a dynamic, communal process of thoughtful action and engaged reflection, the purview of our academic curriculum (highlighting thinking), campus-community curriculum (highlighting being), and field curriculum (highlighting doing), respectively. Instrumental to this curricular interdependence of classroom, community, and field is the engagement of an instructional staff that consists of seasoned, skilled practitioner and credentialed academic working in partnership.
With these theological and pedagogical commitments at the heart of our life as a faith and learning community, the Salvation Army College for Officer Training is committed to the student’s on-going acquisition of knowledge, development of skill, and cultivation of appreciation with respect to the core matters of:
- Spirituality (relationship with and knowledge of God);
- Humanity (understanding, development, and appreciation of self and others);
- Identity (understanding, appreciation, and embrace of Salvation Army ethos and ministry vocation);
- Marginality (attentiveness to and identification with those who are outside society’s centers of influence and power);
- Ability (discovery and refinement of the skills of Salvation Army ministry vocation).
Woven together, these constitute a tapestry that displays our distinct educational mission.