What is Contextual Education?
An active process of formation for ministry by practicing what is learned in a ministry setting and reflecting upon what is practiced.

We learn the practice of ministry through attentiveness, action, and reflection in a specific setting. This process includes practices of attentiveness to the context of a community, action in the context of community, and reflection on the practice of ministry.

Theology is a contextualized practice of rigorous and coherent thinking, action, and reflection that leads to sound judgment. Praxis and theology cannot be separated nor polarized (as learning needs doing and doing needs learning). The practice of ministry is context specific and yet draws on ancient practices that transcend context (like good conduct & prayer).

What are Mentor Groups?
Faculty leads a small group of students in a weekly gathering for prayer and conversation regarding life, ministry, and school.


  • MDiv students participate 3 years; MA students 2 years. Faculty participate each year.
  • Meet 12 weeks (10x min), weekly for 45-60 minutes
  • Complete & return signed Mentoring Group Covenant


Stage 1: Listening - share life story with a focus on calling to ministry and to ACU GST
Stage 2
: Interpreting - prayer, theological reflection on ministry scenarios, virtues
Stage 3: Living - prayer, vocation, ministry scenarios, virtues

What are Pathways Projects?
A discipline-specific contact points between student learning in a particular class and the overall goals of their degree program.

Pathways require one to integrate the resources of particular disciplines into your course of study, to apply classroom learning to particular situations, and to reflect on implementation. This is where what a student is most excited about in class connects with their ministry passion in a unique integrative practice.

Currently accomplished by students applying course material (a) to your case or (b) to a project that you develop and implement in a ministry context. (Class series, sermon, discipleship program, etc.)

What is the Annual Review Process?
Students are given opportunity to represent their best work by creating a personalized online Portfolio. An annual review of GST students by two faculty members occurs each April. This review process monitors and assesses a student's formative progress through the program.

Year 1 - First Review and Candidacy Check: Completed English Bible Exam, Ministerial Identity, Case 1 Revisions, Pathways Project #1, and Mentor Group participation report. Due before March 21.

Year 3 - Final Review: Substantive feedback on Senior Case #2, Theology of Ministry, and revised Ministerial Identity papers. Plus Mentor Group participation report and completed Pathways Project #3. (note: students will not be reviewed if they have not completed requirements for years 1-3). Due before March 15.

Current students will find many additional resources on the GST Pathways Blog