Dr. John Aukerman, professor of Christian education at Anderson University’s School of Theology, spent the past two years writing and editing a textbook for university and seminary students. Dr. Aukerman and 12 colleagues from other colleges worked collaboratively to write the textbook. This January, Warner Press will publish the book.
“Two years ago, I got a free copy of a book from a publisher,” said Dr. Aukerman, who has struggled to find good textbooks for his courses. “I’ve been on this faculty for over 25 years, and I’ve never found one good, comprehensive, theologically sound textbook of Christian education.”
After reading the first three chapters, Dr. Aukerman knew that the textbook was not appropriate for his courses.
“I thought, ‘I could do better than this. My lectures are better than this,’” said Dr. Aukerman. He decided to collaborate with his counterparts at other Church of God colleges, asking other Christian education professors if they would be willing to write one or more chapters of a textbook.
Dr. Aukerman submitted the concept for his textbook to Warner Press, which usually does not publish textbooks. This time, however, they expressed interest, which was conditional on the textbook’s perspectives being expanded beyond the Church of God.
The writers pool expanded to professors from theological perspectives such as the Church of the Nazarene and the Wesleyan Church, and with 12 colleagues on board, Dr. Aukerman began writing and editing.
The entire book was written and edited via e-mail, as there was no budget for the book and no opportunities for collaborative meetings. Dr. Aukerman assumed the responsibility of sorting ideas and editing submissions through this process.
“It became obvious that I was going to be the general editor,” said Dr. Aukerman.
The book was immediately split into 28 chapters with three major sections: principles, planning and practice of Christian education. Dr. Aukerman wrote the introductory chapter to set the tone and reasoning for the book’s existence and wrote three additional chapters in the book.
The book is roughly 400 pages, and its tentative title is “Discipleship that Transforms: an Introduction to Christian Education from a Wesleyan Holiness Perspective.”
On Aug. 26, he submitted the manuscript to the publisher, and it will be printed in January 2011.
This book, according to Dr. Aukerman, is his chance to leave a lasting imprint in the discipline of Christian education.
“I’m looking at the end of my teaching career in about six years,” said Dr. Aukerman. “This book that my 12 colleagues and I produced will allow us to leave a product that will be useful to students for the next 20 years.”
— Kelly Frye is a junior from Elkhart, Ind., majoring in biology and communication arts. Frye is an associate with Fifth Street Communications, writing on behalf of the Anderson University Office of Communications.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,700 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2010, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the seventh consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing, and theology. The Anderson University School of Theology is the seminary of the Church of God (Anderson, Indiana). The SOT offers a number of seminary degree programs for women and men, including the Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.), Master of Divinity (M.Div.), the Master of Theological Studies (M.T.S.), the Master of Arts in Intercultural Service (M.A.I.S.), and the Online Master of Arts in Christian Ministry (M.A.C.M.).