Category Archives: Speakers

Speaker Profile: Jeromey Martini

Dr. Jeromey Martini (PhD University of Edinburgh) is President and Professor of New Testament at Horizon College & Seminary, Saskatoon, SK. In 2015, under Dr. Martini’s leadership, Horizon became the first accredited undergraduate college in Canada to formally launch CBTE-based programming. You can read more about here.

What excites you about CBTE?

CBTE is an effective way to prepare Christian leaders to advance God’s Kingdom, so it’s exciting to be part of something that’s making a Kingdom impact. At their best, ministerial instructors and institutions have always used aspects of CBTE. It’s just good education. Where CBTE makes a difference is by capturing those best practices and providing a formal framework to deliver them consistently throughout a student’s program.

What excites you about participating in the CBTE 2018 Conference?

When we launched CBTE in 2015, we were the only accredited undergraduate college in Canada formally to do so. We’ve benefited tremendously from secular CBE conferences and resources, but we’ve generally felt isolated in adapting CBE to theological and ministerial training. We were thrilled to find fellow CBE sojourners at NBS, and are really excited to be part of their bringing the CBTE conversation to Canada.

What is your topic at CBTE 2018 and who will benefit from it?

My topic will be of interest to other Christian undergraduate institutions exploring CBTE. As undergraduate CBTE trailblazers, we’ve encountered numerous scrapes and bumps and pitfalls, as well as joys and successes on our journey thus far. And we’ve come far enough along to have gained the benefit of hindsight, learning how we might do certain things differently if we had it all to do over again. But despite any challenges we’ve faced (and continue to face!), we’re more committed than ever to CBTE. If our experiences can help another undergraduate institution implement CBTE, we believe the Kingdom wins.

Speaker Profile: Greg Henson

Greg Henson serves as President at Sioux Falls Seminary where he has worked with his team to develop several new approaches to both financial and educational models within theological education. As a published author and speaker on the topics of theological education, innovation, generational theory, missional theology and competency-based education, Greg seeks to help people see the unique opportunities that exist within the challenges we face in the church and in theological education. Learn more about Greg here.


What excites you about CBTE?
What excites me is CBTE’s potential for empowering disruptive innovation in an industry that greatly needs it. When fully embraced, the CBTE philosophy enables schools to think integratively about curriculum and the ways in which that curriculum is delivered. It also helps schools to explore how educational and operational models are deeply interconnected.

What excites you about participating in the CBTE 2018 conference?
In the world of community development there is a philosophy that the people with challenges often have best solutions to them. Theological education is an industry in need of change and CBTE 2018 will bring together people who are wrestling with that need and wrestling with challenges in their context.

People engaged in CBTE could be tempted to declare, “We have the solution! The answer is CBTE and you do these things and take these steps.” But that would be dangerous and would fail to take account for the importance of context. It is much better to have a diverse group of people who are wrestling with various challenges interacting with those who have experimented with this philosophy of education. That synergy and interaction has the potential to bring about a lot of new ideas and approaches and I’m very excited about what may emerge!

What are you sharing at CBTE 2018 and how does it add to the conversation?
I am going to be talking about how CBTE is an educational philosophy, not a model. It isn’t a step-by-step process that any school can just take off the shelf, so to speak. It is an educational philosophy that has to be thought through and wrestled with in order to be applied and integrated into the context and mission of the school.

I think this opens us up to immense possibilities and that conversation will lend itself to methods, programs and applications that are unique to the school and to the students. It will allow us to invite conversation around the philosophy that we can all benefit from.

Who do you think will benefit most from the conference?
Well, there are really two questions there: “Who will benefit?” and “Who will benefit most?” As far as the first question, I think anyone who is trying to find a new way forward in theological education will benefit. Anyone who is saying, “There has to be a new way to approach theological education,” or, “There has to be a better way for denominations to be engaged.” Anyone who is saying, “I want to be involved in theological education but I just don’t have any faith in the system.” I think the conference will speak to them. It will resonate; it will be encouraging and refreshing.

As to, “Who will benefit most?” I think it is anyone who is looking to discover the CBTE philosophy and has an influential voice or leadership role. So faculty, deans, vice-presidents of enrollment or denominational leadership or anyone who holds a position like that. They will see practical steps forward and have the opportunity to encourage change in their institutions.

CBTE 2018 Speaker Interview: Dr. Stephen Graham (ATS)

Dr. Stephen Graham serves as the Senior Director of Programs and Services for the Association of Theological Schools. Prior to joining ATS, he served as Dean of Faculty and Professor of American Church History at North Park Theological Seminary in Chicago. Dr. Graham will bring his experience in educational models and practices to CBTE 2018. Learn more about Dr. Graham here.

What excites you about Competency-Based Theological Education?
CBTE raises a lot of questions for theological educators about how things have been done in theological education and how they might be done, potentially more efficiently and effectively. Assessing mastery of competencies (broadly conceived) is what theological educators have desired to do regardless of educational model and CBTE breaks free from assumptions about mastery being necessarily related to duration or place of methods of delivery. I also appreciate that CBTE necessarily connects educators and theological schools with those served by their graduates.

What excites you about participating in the CBTE 2018 conference?
I welcome the opportunity to gather with people exploring CBTE and working to address a range of issues involved in applying CBTE to a range of institutions and programs.

How does the topic you are covering at CBTE 2018 contribute to the conversation?
I hope to provide the broader context of theological education, including the findings of the Educational Models and Practices Project, and some reflections on accreditation, and how they can inform the conversations.

Who will benefit from the information and experience you are sharing?
What I have to say should be of benefit to a wide spectrum of participants, including those on particular stages of the road of understanding, considering, and implementing CBTE.

CBTE 2018 runs November 5-6, 2018 in Vancouver, Canada.  Registration is open now.

Speaker Profiles: Amy Kardash and Jay Blossom

Amy Kardash and Jay Blossom

Moving an institution toward Competency-Based Theological Education is not something that a single visionary administrator can do alone. Rather, it requires collaboration among multiple constituencies, including administrators, board members, faculty members, and (often) denominational or church officials. That is, it requires competency in the skill of change management. How does this happen?

Amy Kardash (President) and Jay Blossom (Vice President for Communication) of the In Trust Center for Theological Schools will present the results of their qualitative research on this topic in a breakout session entitled  “All Aboard! Moving Ahead Without Leaving Key Players Behind.” Having interviewed leaders of schools (both within and outside of theological education) where competency-based education has been adopted, they’ll share what they’ve learned — where the process went smoothly, and where it didn’t — and offer some tips on moving forward collaboratively.

Learn more about Amy Kardash                                                Learn more about Jay Blossom

In Trust exists to strengthen theological schools by connecting their leaders to essential resources for helping them to achieve meaningful institutional goals. Visit them at