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Lutheran Education: From Wittenberg to the Future

by Korcok, Thomas

Item #: 531189 / 2011 / Paperback / 328 Pages


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The liberal arts model has traditionally been preferred in Lutheran elementary classrooms. No other educational paradigm so well meets the requirements of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. There is no reason that the liberal arts cannot be adapted to meet contemporary needs. The question is, what should be the main focus of a contemporary presentation of the arts?

Thomas Korcok demonstrates how the Wittenberg theologians settled on a liberal arts education as the preferred model for Evangelical Christian elementary schools. He then traces how that model persisted and was adapted as Lutherans moved from Europe to North America. Korcok concludes that the liberal arts model fits our contemporary setting as changes in society today make it ever more important to have an elementary education that is compatible with Evangelical Theology. The book includes:

  • Historic exploration of educational models in view of theological truths
  • The challenge of influences that push educators either to the Word as objective truth or away from the Word toward secular standards of truth
  • A definition of an Evangelical Liberal Arts approach, its flexibility, and how it fits into classrooms today
  • Extensive references to educational, historical, and theological literature

What Others Are Saying
"Lutheran schools have always accompanied Lutheran churches. Today the connections between church and school—theology and pedagogy, spiritual formation and practical education—are not as clear as they used to be. In this eye-opening history of Lutheran education from its beginnings through the 19th century, Thomas Korcok shows how educational issues have always been at the heart of Lutheranism. In doing so, he also identifies a distinctly Lutheran approach to education….  Dr. Korcok’s book comes at the perfect time. Today the whole country is embroiled in educational controversies. Many Lutheran churches are struggling to understand the ministry of their schools. This book shows that Lutherans have a rich educational heritage, one that lives today and that holds great promise for the future."
Gene Edward Veith, Ph.D.-
Provost and Professor of Literature
Patrick Henry College
"A very comprehensive history of the factors that have affected Lutheran Education. This book is a must read for all Lutheran educators."
-Bill Cochran-
 Director of School Ministry 
 The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod
"Well-written, engaging, and often surprising—my copy is thoroughly marked and cross-referenced. If a living tradition is innovation that succeeds, here is a book to help us think about the future of Lutheran education as innovation in catechesis and the liberal arts."
—Russ Moulds, PhD-
 Professor of Education, Concordia University Nebraska
Op-ed editor, Issues in Christian Education
"A timely contribution to discussions within contemporary Lutheran education and . . . a must read for every Lutheran educator and those who are preparing to teach children."
—Rev. Stephen W. Kieser-
 President, The Consortium for Classical and Lutheran Education
"Books on education are often full of untested innovations, but lack historical perspective. Korcok's Lutheran Education is a history with interesting facts and original insights. It raises fundamental questions that educators have faced in the past and will continue to face."
—E. Christian Kopff, PhD
Associate Professor of Classics
University of Colorado, Boulder

About the Author 
Thomas Korcok, PhD, is an associate professor of theology at Concordia University Chicago. He is broadly experienced, having studied educational models and theology in the United States, Canada, Scotland, and Holland. Dr. Korcok has also taught Catechetics at Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada. While serving as pastor of Grace Ev. Lutheran Church in Pembroke, Ontario, Canada, he developed an elementary school that was based on many of the principles in this book. 

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