B.S. Texas Wesleyan University, 1997
M.R.E. Southern Methodist University, 2000
Ph.D. Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, 2004
Joined Eden faculty, 2008
If you step into Dr. Tran's classroom thinking you know what Christian education is, be prepared to think Dr. Tran's approach to teaching.
“I hope to move seminarians toward a paradigm shift in thinking about Christian religious education, to debunk some of the myths and assumptions and to help students see the expansiveness of the task at hand. I want religious leaders to consider what it means to create an ecology of learning, so that everything in the life of the faith community is educational. To do that, they must be open to imagining new possibilities.”
And that, says Dr. Tran, entails the expectation that each person will bring all of who they are—their knowledge, wisdom, insights, life experiences, faith commitments—into the classroom to form a learning community built on relationship, mutuality, and accountability. She invites participants to view the religious educational process as inclusive of critical engagement with written texts and “living” texts, and critical exegesis of the narratives and artifacts of fluid and every-changing traditions and cultures. She challenges learners to conceive of Christian religious education as formational and transformational, and fundamentally an intentional, on-going enterprise of practical theological reflection on lived faith and lived experiences.
“If we imagine worship, fellowship, service ministries, preaching, pastoral care, spiritual practices—all of these things—being educational processes or activities, it requires intentionality on the part of the seminarian who will be the leader in the community to bring all these elements together. They must be able to empower people in the church to think theologically about what it means to be people of faith, about their sacred texts, their faith traditions, the history of Christian thought, about all the things for the purpose of answering the question, ‘What does God require of us?’”
Dr. Tran comes to Eden from Pacific School of Religion, where she served as Assistant Professor of Religious Education and Asian American Cultures.