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Experiential Learning Experiences are rooted in three foundational Biblical concepts:

  • Old Testament concept that integrates "observing" with following
  • New Testament concept of "disciple" as a learner who follows the master teacher
  • New Testament concept of "witness" as the person who explains what he has seen and heard

These form the three distinct learning processes of "Observa," "Discipulus," and "Testimonium."  We have chosen to represent these concepts with the Latin terms taken from the Latin translation of the Scripture as a way of signalling to students the meaning of each learning process.

Phase One:  Observa 

Shadowing Professional Practitioners  


Learning your profession by carefully observing accomplished practitioners

Integrated within a course or as a separate course, observation assignments provide students the opportunity to observe and reflect upon course content as seen practiced by career-related professionals.

Phase Two:  Discipulus

Becoming a Professional Practitioner 


Learning how to practice the disciplines of your profession

Integrated within a course or as a separate course, practicums provide students opportunity to practice or implement concurrent course learning. A period of practical experience & training for a student that is supervised by an expert or specialist in a particular field of practice. A period of guidance, direction, and support by an expert or specialist focusing on personal and professional growth and development.
Applying Practicing Developing

Phase Three:  Testimonium

Becoming a Professional Leader


Learning how to give an evidence-based presentation of what you have learned

A multifaceted project that serves as a final academic experience that demonstrates the student’s mastery of the program content and practices. Introduction and practice in statistical and ethnographic research methods in an applied research project A final academic paper that documents the results of a demonstration project of research that indicates the student’s mastery of the program material
Synthesizing Assessing Creating

Understanding "Missionals" & "Discipulus"

The curriculum at Missional University incorporates a series of subject area specific "missionals" as a means of preparing the student for a lifelong mission in the service of God within their respective academic disciplines. The term "missional" is an adjective that means "of or relating to a mission."   A "missional" is a learning event where the student engages the practice of his or her mission rather than theoretical or laboratory professional studies.

"Missional Discipulus" refers to a learner who is preparing for mission within a specific vocational or professional area of expertise.  As a disciple learns the "ways" of the master, so students learn from practitioners who guide their professional development.  Learning experiences at Missional University incorporate "missional" events and "discipulus" formation opportunities in order to equip students to become missional professionals and leaders in their chosen fields of endeavors.


STS Study Beyond Coordinator