The Rev. Dr. Joy Blaylock, dean of our local School for Ministry, recently attended the Iona Collaborative Conference for non-traditional seminary formation that is held annually at Camp Allen in Navasota, Texas.
The Iona Collaborative Conference is a gathering of bishops, deans and seminary professors (Seminary of the Southwest) who participate in non-traditional, local schools of formation. The participants gather from approximately twenty-five dioceses across the United States for three days of conversation and presentations. Each year, the participants evaluate and make recommendations for current and new curriculum changes and hear of resources from a variety of Episcopal entities that serve the seminary populations.
This year Blaylock was asked to be one of the keynote speakers on the theme of “Casting our Nets in Deeper Waters." She gave a presentation on the lessons learned in the first two years of our school along with an address of what many seminaries call “the flipped classroom” model of teaching. This model has students read texts, watch videos, and reflect on questions before arriving for the designated class weekend. The goal of this model is the use of classroom time to dialogue, to synthesize the higher order concepts, to question and dig deeper into the material, and to be creative and intentional with challenging concepts in a variety of ways.
Blaylock also discussed how the model of "appreciative inquiry" has influenced the process of creating a contextual education course for the students this year that will be grounded in ministry projects to be mutually discerned in a variety of parish settings in our diocese. Blaylock closed with a discussion of best practices for creating greater collaboration, mentoring, and support for new ministers.
Additionally, this year participants were able to observe and dialogue about the Iona Collaborative’s newly awarded $1 million Lilly Endowment Grant to further the resources for “Thriving in Bi-Vocational Ministry." The Rev. Canon David Johnson will serve as a mentor in this endeavor. We look forward to continued growth and expansion of the lay and ministerial resources from the Iona Collaborative in this exciting time.
For more information see: https://ssw.edu/ionacenter/ionacollaborative/
Photo above: Joy Blaylock speaks on the Four Pillars of FLIP at Iona Collaborative Conference. Photo credit: Joy Blaylock.