Jack and Irene Suderman, travelling teachers sent by Mennonite World Conference (MWC), taught a special course entitled “Peace Theology and the Great Commission in the Context of the Philippines” at the Peace Builders School of Leadership (PBSL) in the Province of Bukidnon, 14-16 February 2014. There were eighteen (18) Christian leaders — pastors, educators, business people, and non-government organization workers — who enrolled in this course.
Jack’s teaching ministry is part of MWC’s Global Gift Sharing Project. He also comes as a representative of Mennonite Church Canada.
Pastor June Rojo, the provincial peace and reconciliation (PAR) team leader in Bukidnon, said: “Now I see that the Great Commission inherently includes, and is inseparable with, peace and reconciliation ministry. They are components of one Gospel!”
The personal interactions of Irene and Jack with strategic leaders reinforce the PAR movement among the grassroots. “The Gospel of Jesus Christ touches all aspects of life and reality,” said Mr. Manny Alkuino, an inventor, entrepreneur, and a pastor who felt affirmed in his ministry outlook through the influence of Peace Theology. “This concept of biblical peace has become my perspective as I serve God and the people,” he adds. Alkuino leads a network of house churches that are committed to holistic, biblical, radical, and non-violent transformation of our society.
PBSL emphasizes that biblical peace is harmony with God, with our being, with others, and with the creation.
PBSL is the continuing education program for current staff, consultants, and selected volunteers of PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. (PBCI). It is also the training and qualifying program for PBCI’s prospective PAR seminar facilitators, consultants and new staff candidates. It’s mission is to equip effective peace-building and transformation leaders in the context of 21st century global realities based on an anabaptist peace theology.
PBSL is developing into an advanced leadership training program for those who have finished college or university degree, and have completed PBCI’s Peace and Reconciliation Seminars 1, 2, & 3.
Throughout PBCI’s seven-year ministry in Mindanao and in many parts of the Philippines, it has developed a knowledge bank that serves as the learning resources of PBSL:
- A graduate-level leadership training based on Peace Theology and a set of Social Ethical Values
- Has a well-established field experience in peace-building and conflict transformation in the context of Philippine realities
- Facilitators are immersed, on a continuing basis, in various levels of conflict transformation processes in 24 out of 80 provinces in our country
- Enriched by its national and international interns who bring to each class a rich mix of experiences and knowledge
- A learning program whose learning facilitators are actual practitioners who have gone through academic disciplines in biblical peacemaking and social ethics
- Participants are connected and actively working with local and global networks of peace-building practitioners
Our teaching ministry is enhanced when visiting teachers, like Jack and Irene, share their wisdom, knowledge, and experience in advancing biblical peace making.
Three courses will be offered for the first three consecutive quarters of the year. For each quarterly course, the student will be given one month to do the required readings and other class preparation. There will be a whole week–Monday to Friday, 8 hours per day–for class sessions. The student will be given one month to write a course paper.
YEAR 1: PAR SEMINAR FACILITATORS’ DIPLOMA
Peace Theology 101 :: Introduction to Peace Theology. This is a biblical-theological discussion of peace from the perspective of active non-violence. This course will help the students to appreciate and to evaluate a biblical understanding and contemporary practice of Peace Theology. Such evaluation will be done within the framework of social sciences and informed from the perspective of biblical theology. The students will be intellectually involved in the current discussions on the meanings, proposals, and tasks of Peace Theology.
Peace Theology 202 :: Peace and Peacemaking in the Old Testament. A biblical analysis of war and warfare in the Hebrew Bible. The class will study Millard C. Lind’s book, YAHWEH IS A WARRIOR; and, Gordon H. Matties’ commentary on JOSHUA. In his preface of JOSHUA, Matties said: “In an age of fear and insecurity, in which ethnic nationalisms continue to give rise to conflict and war, we dare not avoid critical engagement with biblical texts that have been used to justify colonialism, conquest, occupation, and ethnic cleansing. In this commentary I suggest that the book of Joshua is not a conquest account even though it incorporates several conquest accounts into its narrative. I advocate for the book of Joshua even as I engage in a ‘difficult conversation’ with it.”
Peace Theology 303 :: Peace and Peacemaking in the New Testament. The class will study Willard Swartley’s COVENANT OF PEACE: THE MISSING PEACE IN NEW TESTAMENT THEOLOGY AND ETHICS. “Covenant of Peace” seeks to restore to New Testament theology and ethics the peace that many standard texts have missed. In this accessible volume, Willard Swartley explicates virtually all of the New Testament, relating peace — and the related emphases of love for enemies, non-retaliation, and reconciliation — to core theological themes such as salvation, Christology, and the reign of God.
Upon completion of PT 101, 202, and 303 and successfully passing a 3-hour seminar presentation based on PAR 1-3, a PAR Seminar Facilitator’s Diploma will be issued to the candidate.
YEAR 2: PAR CONSULTANT’S DIPLOMA
Social Ethics 101 :: Introduction to Social Ethics. This course will examine the sources for values that underly our personal ethics. It will also introduce the learners to some of the significant ethical theories in Western and Southeast Asian traditions, theories that we will apply to social and political issues in current Philippine society.
Social Ethics 202 :: Culture, History, and Social Ethics in the Philippine Context. A survey and analysis of the cultural and historical factors affecting our social ethics as Filipinos. The class will discuss case studies of corruption and transformation from the lenses of spiritual, psycho-social, socio-political, and economic-ecological aspects of our realities.
Social Ethics 303 :: Roots of Conflict, Violence, and Peace in the Philippines. An examination of influential theories about the sources and nature of conflict, violence, and peace. The class will discuss various levels of conflict — personal, family, community, society — and how Shalom Theology is applied in the conflict transformation processes needed for the healing of our land.
Upon completion of PT 101-303, SE 101-303 and successfully passing an on-the-job-training in a project under the supervision of a senior consultant, a PAR Consultant’s Diploma will be issued to the candidate.
For more information, including program fees and other costs, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org