On Thursday and Friday last week BTI hosted our inaugural Research Symposium. The symposium was dedicated to fostering collegial sharing and discussion about the nature and place of research within Christian higher education and by Christian educators. There were a total of 21 presentations and the feedback from those present has been very positive, certainly meeting our hopes of providing an inspiring time together, in which we appreciated one another’s research and scholarship, gained new and helpful insights relative to our work, and developed partnerships for undertaking collaborative research together in the future.
Our own Bev Norsworthy and Andrew Smith presented the keynote addresses, complimented by other presenters from: Christian Heritage College (Brisbane), Laidlaw College (Auckland), the Māori Synod of the Presbyterian Church, Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, St Johns Presbyterian Church, and other members of BTI staff. Broadly speaking, the topics covered were: the rationale for research within Christian Higher Education, Māori church history, second generation leadership in Christian schools, utilising Appreciative Inquiry for research development and organisational reflection, supporting and enabling Pasifika students and families, Christian discipleship within tertiary education, digital confidence within teacher education, maximising teacher education practicum, narrative research and practice as evoking of Biblical priorities, spiritual formation within pastoral care and teaching practice, power and ethics within research. The presentations were all of a very high quality and of value to those who attended, which for the most part was those working in higher education but not exclusively so, school teachers, board members, ministers, and tertiary students were also among those who attended.