Marvin Lee Anderson

I’ve never built a house. I have, however, helped build hog barns and other farm buildings. While I know how to use a hammer and drive a nail, I can only envy the skill of those who can build a house from scratch.

I do know a few things about construction however: the construction of ideas, attitudes, social mores, ideological practices and theological beliefs. I also have some skills in old-fashioned social networking – making friendships and building relationships between people in the context of their local communities.

I have been graced with the soul privilege of working as a teacher and lay minister, as a consultant and farmer, as a group facilitator and leader, as an adult educator and theological mentor, as an academic scholar and theologian. Because of my pastoral skills and pedagogical acumen in helping adults reflect on the meaning of their lives and faith I have often thought of my work as a kind of spiritual midwifery. This is the labor of love we call learning.

From the formal classrooms of theological colleges and seminaries in Toronto and Kansas City and undergraduate classes at the University of Toronto, to the church halls of local congregations both in rural communities and in downtown Toronto, I have consistently engaged adults in their hunger for learning and theological reflection.

I have also had the pleasure of fostering different kinds of peer relationships and community building within those groups for learning together. Making it possible for adult students and workshop participants to get acquainted with each other and learn from each other is key. It’s integral to my teaching strategy. It’s also a lot more fun.

Marvin Lee Anderson

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