The Rev'd. Dr. John Littleton

Learning in a Congregation ~ A Learning Community Perspective for Christian Formation and Christian Education. Download in PDF format.

A Core Characteristics Parish-Based Learning Community: What is it? How does it work in practice? What are the implications?
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Learning from Christ (How do we (be)come Christian?): process is as important as content
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Book Review by John Littleton - Balabanski, Vicky. 2020. Colossians: An Earth Bible Commentary, An Eco- Stoic Reading. London/New York: T&T Clark. 202 pages.
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Book Review by John Littleton - John J, Shea, 2018. Adulthood, Morality, and the Fully Human: A Mosaic of Peace. Lanham, USA and London, UK: Lexington Books. 295 Pages
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Book Review by John Littleton - Olav Fykse Tveit, 2016. The Truth We Owe Each Other: Mutual Accountability in the Ecumenical Movement. Geneva: World Council of Churches (WCC). 353 pages
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Balancing Orthodoxy and Orthopraxis in Theological Education
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Receptive Ecumenism, Ecumenical Learning and Learning Communities
John's essay "Receptive Ecumenism, Ecumenical Learning and Learning Communities" is available in the recently published (16/11/2018) book Receptive Ecumenism: Listening, Learning and Loving in the Way of Christ. Editors: Vicky Balabanski and Geraldine Hawkes. Hindmarsh, Adelaide, Australia: ATF Press 2018, 99-110.

Enhanced learning in the parish context: a learning community approach
John's article "Enhanced learning in the parish context: a learning community approach" has been published in the Journal of Adult Theological Education (JATE). Published online: 28 July 2018. The JATE is incorporated into the Journal of Practical Theology, 11, 4, 2018, where the article is located.

A New Book by John Littleton 2017 ~ ENHANCE LEARNING in Parishes
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Implications of a Learning Community approach for the image and concept of God: an exploratory study in Practical Theology
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Thesis Abstract: Enhanced Faith Learning in Parishes
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Jesus as the Teacher: Facilitator of Learning
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Learning and Teaching in Australian Congregations
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Order form for "A Handbook on Leading Learning in Congregations"
A new Christian Education Publication by John Littleton, A Handbook on Leading Learning in Congregations, April 2010. Click here to access the PDF information leaflet and order form.

"A Learning Community Focus for Christian Education" published
John Littleton's article on "A Learning Community Focus for Christian Education" has been published in the Journal of the Religious Education Association, USA. Vol.103 No.5 October-December 2008.

Order Form for a "Learning Community Perspective in Congregations" Handbook
A Christian Education Publication by John Littleton, A Handbook for A Learning Community Perspective in Congregations, May 2008. Click here to access the PDF information leaflet with order form.

About John Littleton
John Littleton BA, BEd (Melbourne), Dip RK (Cambridge), DMin (Adelaide College of Divinity), MACE is a retired Anglican priest in The Diocese of Adelaide. He was Rector of St. Saviour's Anglican Church, Glen Osmond, Adelaide 1992-2006 ( retired 2/10/06). He was Provincial Field Officer (1983-1986) then Provincial Consultant in Education (1986-1992) in the Anglican Church in South Australia with the Anglican Board of Christian Education. He has also ministered in the Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn, and the Diocese of Gippsland, Australia. He is co-author and co-editor of Spiritual Presence: Commemorating 150 years at Glen Osmond, Openbook Print, 2006. A bound copy of John's 2016 Doctor of Ministry Thesis is available in the Adelaide Theological Library at The Adelaide College of Divinity, Brooklyn Park, SA 5032. The Thesis is entitled ENHANCED FAITH LEARNING IN PARISHES.

The article makes the case for the importance, the recognition and the beneficial use of a core characteristics learning community model in the twenty-first century parish context. This learning community model is derived from Christian education, general education, reflection
file size: 318kb

Vicky Balabanski's book is brilliant; well-crafted and outstanding in scholarship: biblical studies and philosophy. The author shines a light on theological reflection processes used within the context of The Letter to the Colossians, and then spotlights twenty-first century ecological and ethical issues by reflecting theologically.
file size: 131kb

Three Christian education (CE) themes are discussed in this exploratory article; all making the point that for a learning community approach in the parish context process is as important as content. The 3 themes are: A learning community focus for CE in parishes; the early church as a learning community; and, a learning community approach enhances growth in faith.
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This ambitious work does not disappoint. We are all human beings. But what might it mean to be fully human?
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The Truth We Owe Each Other is an eye-opener. The author highlights a topic sometimes taken for granted in ecumenical forums of the worldwide Church, the 'body of Christ' (1-2,14,16)
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Easily understood wording in plain English
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ENHANCE LEARNING in Parishes: A Learning Community Approach for Church Congregations
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Implications of learning processes for the concept of God.
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In this thesis I argue that the learning community processes—of holism, collaboration and theological reflection—when intentionally practised in parishes, enhance learning outcomes in terms of the knowledge, understanding and practice of the Christian faith.
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In this paper, the author contributes to the literature on Jesus as the Teacher by examining the Gospel portrayals of Jesus' teaching ministry through the window of a learning-community approach in parishes. Implications for the contemporary ministry of teaching and learning in the parish context are considered.
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This is about Christian Education courses and ordination in the Anglican Church.
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This practical handbook about Christian learning is written for clergy and lay leaders to use in congregations and parishes, to help build an effective educational ministry for the whole congregation.
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This handbook is about Christian learning and leadership in church congregations from a learning community perspective and is written for clergy and local leaders to use in their congregation/parish.
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This section outlines all the contents of the "Learning in a Congregation" pdf documents available for download via the links below
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The Introduction includes these sections: A personal story in Christian learning, the search for accessibility in Christian Education, the distinctive features of a Learning Community, Investment in Christian Education, and a section on the future. Some references, questions and acknowledgements are also included.
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This document has 5 chapters:
1. Christian Education Belongs to the Whole Church
2. Many Windows of Access to Christian Education
3. Moments of Learning From God
4. Approaches to Christian Education
5. Helping Christian Education Flourish in Congregations
file size: 196kb

The focus of this chapter is on the whole congregation as a learning community. Recent literature is mentioned. Four aspects of leadership are suggested. Significant outcomes from the learning community approach are outlined. This approach changes our understanding of Christian education.
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This chapter is an introduction to the Christian practices approach to Christian Education, the resources available and the educational methods suggested. This approach indicates that more opportunities for Christian Education are readily available in parishes, if only we are aware and intentional.
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The intention of this chapter is to explore the “learning” aspects of the Church, beginning with the past and focussing on the present, using the example of St Saviour's Anglican Church in the Parish of Glen Osmond in Adelaide.
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The Learning Community approach requires leaders to be multi-skilled and multi-faceted in their educational ministry for the whole congregation. This chapter outlines some general competencies and some specific skills of ministry needed by leaders in a congregation that learns, and describes two practical exercises of review and overview for workshop use.
file size: 177kb

This article considers Christian Education in the mixed economy of the Mission-Shaped Church in the light of the learning community approach to Christian Education in Parishes. Growing new Christians is placed in the context of an educational ministry for the whole congregation where there is a sound theology of mission. In both ways, through a mixed economy approach and a learning community perspective, Christian formation and education are essential for new and longstanding friends of Jesus.
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Questions for individual and group reflection / discussion
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Emphasises the importance of context in Christian Formation and Education.
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