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The project of "Building the Future in Leadership Formation" will be carried out through what we are calling Communities of Praxis. A description of the entire process and your invitation to join is found below. You can click on each item or just scroll down the page.


An Invitation to Participate in this Project through the Communities of Praxis

The Description of the Process for the Communities of Praxis

The Description of the Themes for each of the Communities

How to Sign Up


April 7, 2006

Dear UMASCE Friends,

On behalf of the UMASCE executive committee, I write to cordially invite you to become part of a “community of praxis” within our organization.
What is a Community of Praxis? Here is a brief description.

A Community of Praxis is a small group of scholars who spend time together focused around the following: a) Going beyond attendance at the biennial consultations, to BE a community engaged in ongoing processes of consultation that supports individual members in their areas of service and scholarship and, b) Creating what Randy Litchfield calls “a collective movement for prophetic change.”

The 2007 Consultation in Oregon will bring together the work that these communities of praxis have produced by that time, but the most important issue is what will happen between now and then and beyond the consultation. Please see the enclosed description of the communities, their background, a proposed process, and the desired outcomes and consider which Community’s focus attracts your interest.

Please consider this your personal invitation to join a Community of Praxis. The executive committee wants everyone to be involved, whether you are able to attend the 2007 meeting or not. Right now, before you go to the next thing on your “to do” list, look at the descripion of the project process and of the Community themes you will find below, and sign up for the group topic upon which you wish to focus. The facilitators of that group will be in touch with you soon to digitally convene the group. If everyone signs up for the same topic, that’s ok; your executive committee is ready to deal with that and other possibilities.

Let me take this opportunity to personally invite you to beautiful Alton L. Collins Retreat Center at the base of Mt. Hood in Oregon for the 2007 Consultation, July 28-August 1. Please see this website for a “snap shot” of the site: In addition to the great facilities and great work we will do, we will enjoy having a massage therapist and a yoga teacher with us, as well as many opportunities for hiking, and site-seeing. Historic Timberline Lodge, built by the CCC often has snow year round and is an easy drive away from the Collins Center. You will receive more information about the Consultation in the future.

This is an exciting time in UMASCE’s illustrious history as we work with the General Board of Discipleship and the United Methodist Publishing House to shape the future of Christian Education. It’s a great way for each of us to contribute to our discipline and the Church. Some scholarships will be available to help new and senior scholars get to the Oregon meeting. You will receive information about the 2007 Consultation in the near future. In the meantime, feel free to contact me with any questions.


Patty Meyers, D. Min., Ed. D.

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A Description of
Communities of Praxis

United Methodist Association of Scholars in Christian Education

The 2005 Consultation focused on the “Ecology of Leadership Formation” in The United Methodist Church and out of that consultation came the commitment to “Building the Future in Leadership Formation” in our church. To live into that transformative commitment, UMASCE is forming small “Communities of Praxis” centered around themes emerging from the 2005 consultation. These include

Theological education

The goals for the UMASCE Communities of Praxis include:

UMASCE members are asked to join a Community of Praxis that addresses a passion and includes issues they “want to do something about!” Brief descriptions of potential starting points for the groups are available for this. Groups will have two conveners who will facilitate communications, work, and moving the group forward. Conveners will periodically inform the UMASCE executive and research committees on how the groups are functioning.

Members of a community of praxis are asked to:

Once a Community of Praxis is formed, the convener will facilitate a conversation about how the group wishes to refine and approach the issues initially provided for the group. The group may work on the same aspect of the topic or explore different aspects separately. If group members cannot physically meet, they may wish to utilize conference calls, email, discussion boards, group blogs, shared web site or other internet collaboration.

While the Communities of Praxis are ongoing, there is a desire for them to resource and contribute to the biennial consultation. (Attending consultation meetings is not required for being in a group). At the consultation meeting, groups or their representatives will:
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Communities of Praxis Themes

The following descriptive lists of issues for each community are suggestive and potential and not meant to restrict the community to these issues. If someone wishes to explore a community further before they decide they can request to receive more detailed information or talk with the community facilitators.

You may click on one of the theme names here to go straight to that theme or simply scroll down:

Change .....Praxis.....Vocation.....Theological Education....Vision....Community



With the focus on guiding communities/institutions/congregations into needed “adaptive change” potential issues for this community might include:


This Community will explore the role of praxis and reflection on praxis in Christian education and formation. After determining how we will function as a Community of Praxis some initial points of focus for the Community’s work may include:


The following issues will form a starting place for the work of this community being open to other issues emerging as we work together:> Back to Top
Theological Education

The main focus for this group is to consider the development of educational leadership in relation to theological education (includes seminaries and university programs at the graduate and undergraduate levels). The following are potential issues for our initial focus:
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Our focus will be on visioning and dreaming about the future of Christian education and our own action together in exploring those visions. Issues and areas for research might include:

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  This group will focus on an educational pedagogy of "communal" or "shared" praxis approach for community transformation based on a vision of the "Kingdom of God", "Reign of God" or  "The Beloved Community". The research agenda will focus on the components or aspects of such an approach which will include such topics (but not limited to): 

The Community focus group will explore such issues as the end of "Extreme Poverty" "Worldwide (but especially Africa) AIDS pandemic" and Western (Christian)/ Muslim religious conflicts ( i.e....Iraq).  The group will address these issues using a shared praxis approach to community transformation according the vision of the Beloved Community.

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You can sign up simply by sending an email to Ben Marshall at and including your name, mailing address, email address and a phone number where we can reach you, and of course your choice of themes from the list above. (Ben may have your contact information, but please include it in case it has changed)

If you have not become a member of UMASCE for 2006, please send your membership dues ($35 for regular and $17.50 for student and retiree) to Ben Marshall, 4224 Bluffview Blvd., Dallas, TX 75209. We need your membership to help cover the various expenses of this project. Thanks!

When we receive your request the facilitator for that Community will contact you as soon as possible and provide you with further information.

Please send us your request by April 28, 2006!.

If you have any questions, just direct them to Ben at the above email address or with a phone call to 214-350-5821.

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