Since 2000, the Theological School has required theoTREC, intensive and intentional cross-cultural travel immersion experiences, as a part of the Master of Divinity (MDiv) program.
Students gain global insight into their own understanding of ministry by learning about the struggles and theological vision and perspectives of people in diverse cultural contexts.
theoTREC is typically offered each January and summer. Prior to travel, students will prepare for their excursions by taking TREC 550: Engaging Cultural Contexts. Upon return, students reflect theologically on their travel in THEO 610: God’s Mission in a Multicultural World.
The trips range from one to two weeks in duration and are guided by Theological School faculty.
This summer, MDiv students have the option to participate in one of four educational trips that will complement their studies and provide hands-on, experiential learning. These programs focus on a specific societal, economic, or political issue within the context, and explore culture through a variety of lenses.
Kevin Newburg, associate teaching professor in the history of Christianity and Methodist studies, will lead a voyage to London where students will explore the rich history of Methodism in England.
Students can travel to San Francisco with Daniel Shin, E. Stanley Jones Chair in Evangelism and associate professor of theology and world Christianity, to engage in cultural and natural contexts in the San Francisco bay area to explore topics such as multi-culturalism, faith in social engagement, religious diversity, eco-theology and spirituality, and migration and justice.
Lastly, Rodney Aist, adjunct professor at Drew, will guide students through two different TRECs. The first follows in the footsteps that Jesus and his first disciples made through Israel. The journey integrates contextual biblical study with theological and spiritual reflection, reflects on contemporary issues in Israel and Palestine, and encounters the roots and traditions of the Christian faiths of East and West.
Aist will lead a second TREC to the Blackfeet Indian reservation in Montana to learn about Blackfeet religion, art, and culture; Christianity and church mission; U.S. federal policy; Native American self-determination; and challenges facing contemporary Native America.
In addition to standard health and safety protocols, Drew has developed a set of operational travel guidelines with respect to COVID-19 designed to help students, faculty, and staff return to education abroad in a way that prioritizes the health and safety of all participants.
As the number of international students has increased at the Theological School in recent years, the faculty is also developing new and revised opportunities for intercultural and immersive learning within the U.S. and across the globe.
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