Unmasking the Hidden Curriculum

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    Theological education can only be effective when the hidden curriculum is intentionally designed rather than unintentionally accepted.  

    In this nanocourse, you read an article by Dr Perry Shaw entitled The Hidden Curriculum of Seminary Education (JAM 8:1-2, 2006: 23-51) that argues that the impact of the hidden curriculum found in most forms of seminary education is profoundly negative. The prevalent methods and structures used in most theological education—including missiological education—subtly undermine the content and intent of our schools, producing graduates who are often ill-equipped for their subsequent roles in church and society. Theological education can only be effective when the hidden curriculum receives as much attention as the explicit curriculum, when it is intentionally designed rather than unintentionally accepted. 

    The article concludes with twenty-five practical ways in which the hidden curriculum can become a positive holistic learning experience.

    Course Outcomes

    This course introduces the importance of the 'hidden curriculum' and provides an incentive for practical application. The course is suitable for all theological educators who believe that education is more than just schooling.  

    Course content

    • The difference between the 'explicit' and the 'hidden' curriculum.
    • The 'hidden' curriculum in seminary education.
    • Examples of the 'hidden' curriculum and its impact on theology students.
    • Practical ways to harness the 'hidden' curriculum for holistic learning.


      The core article for this course is authored by Dr Perry Shaw. Perry has had a long-term passion to see theological schools create and implement multidimensional purpose-driven curricula that promote the development of missional leadership. His areas of expertise include theological perspectives on theological education, curriculum development, teaching methodology, and educational psychology. He is the author of Transforming Theological Education.

      Delivery mode

      This is a self-paced online course.


      This is a nanocourse, entailing 2 hours of learning.

      ICETE Academy points

      2 points.

      Completion requirements

      You will need to read an article, participate in a discussion forum and complete a self-grading quiz.

      Course enrolment key


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