Residential Institutes: How They Work

The residential Institutes hosted by the Graduate Theological Foundation at the Dodge House in Mishawaka, Indiana, are designed as Senior Seminars which fulfill requirements for either two graduate courses or the Non-Project Option for a professional degree.

Residential Institutes

Dodge House, the administrative offices of the Graduate Theological Foundation

The Institute is not didactic in that the Faculty Moderator does not lecture during the week but rather functions as the moderator of participant discussions of literature selected by the moderator prior to convening the Institute.

The readings are set for each morning and afternoon session (Monday through Thursday a.m. and p.m. and Friday a.m. only) and have been selected well in advance by the Moderator. All readings are relevant to the topic of the five-day Institute.

Residential Institutes Tinsley Room

Students in a recent Residential Institute held in the Tinsley Conference Room

The Moderator may offer a brief introduction to the Institute’s topic or theme for the week in the opening session and each morning and afternoon session offer a very brief introduction to the intended topic for that period’s discussion. Institute participants are expected to carry the discussion of the materials required prior to arrival, thereby placing the emphasis upon “student performance” rather than “faculty performance.” The Institute is quite decidedly not a course, but rather a Senior Seminar. The Faculty Moderator is not a lecturer but a facilitator of probing, provocative, insightful discussion!

Lecturing is not a part of the Institute Moderator’s duties. However, facilitating participant involvement in both the reading of their 1,000 word papers for each of the morning and afternoon sessions and the resulting discussion within the group constitute the Moderator’s primary duties.

Students in the June 2014 Institute: “The Practice of Ministry in a Changing World”

Learn more about the Residential Institutes coming up in 2015, and visit our Institutes Photo Gallery.

Our next Residential Institute will be “The Classical Schools of Counseling and Their Relevance to Pastoral Issues” held March 9-13, 2015. Registration forms may be downloaded as PDF documents.

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