Skip to main content

The impact of theological training on the personal practice of prayer. An initial investigation

Elizabeth Hoare, Wycliffe Hall

Initial Description

The principle aim of this research is to examine the impact of theological training on the personal prayer practices of ordinands.

The first objective would be to ascertain the practices that ordinands bring with them into training.

Secondly, we would then explore the ways that the practice of prayer has changed and is changing among those currently in training. Questions would focus on the content of training to see whether new learning leads to new understandings of prayer and hence new practices. Are changes that can be discerned due to new theological perspectives or something else? For example, it might be that new learning that is unsettling has led to different ways of praying, but there may also be factors due to joining a new community of learning and discovering how others practise personal prayer.

It would be interesting to see how changes are perceived by the students: whether they are excited, have a sense of prayer deepening or broadening out or whether there is a fear of losing something important?

The context of training would also need to be taken into account and this research would therefore seek to involve both those in full-time residential training and those in part-time non-residential training.

By questioning students from different points in their training –those in their first year as well as those coming to the end, there would be a clearer picture of the impact that can be measured.