Alongside his ministry in parishes, David has been involved in ministerial training in three Dioceses, writing and teaching courses for students training for both lay and ordained ministry. As a professional educator, he is sharply critical of some aspects of theological education. Below are some articles previously published and some extracts from some of his courses.

Articles on Pastoral Theology and Ministerial Training

Educating Ministers of Character

This article was written as a contribution to the work being done in the Church of England in preparation for the introduction of a common suite of curricula for ministerial education. It was included in the handbook for the working groups meeting to devise modules for ministerial training and appears on the C of E website.

Theological Reflection at Cuddesdon

A short article published in the Journal of Adult Theological Education 6.2 2009 looking at how theological reflection can be taught effectively and the issues that arise.

Faith development theory: a case for paradigm change

James Fowler's theory of faith development has become extremely influential since the publication of Stages of Faith in 1981. But the outstanding theoretical and empirical problems with the theory have never been convincingly dealt with and the advent of postmodernity places even more questionmarks against the theory's adequacy.

Author Posting. (c) Taylor and Francis, 2008.
This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of Taylor and Francis for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Beliefs & Values, Volume 29 Issue 3, December 2008.
doi:10.1080/13617670802465813 (

A New Paradigm for Theological Education?
In this provocative article, David Heywood argues that the approach underlying theological education is inappropriate, owing too much to the University and not enough to the challenges of ministry. He calls for a wide-ranging shift in the way training is conceived, away from an academic model towards a vocation model.
This article appeared in the journal Anvil vol 17, no 1, 2000

Ministerial Education and Teaching Skill
In an earlier article, David argued that theological education is often ineffective because its practitioners fail to observe the canons of educational good practice. Things will only improve when skill in teaching is recognised as an important qualification for theological educators.
This article appeared in the British Journal of Education, vol 9, no 1, 1997

John Westerhoff and the Faith Community model of Christian Education

John H. Westerhoff III has been one of the most influential writers on Christian Education in the United States over the past thirty years. This article from the British Journal of Religious Education for 1988 reviews his key ideas and offers some criticism.

Theology or Social Science

With the increasing significance of practical theology it is becoming more and more common for theologians to draw on the insights of the disciplines of the social sciences. But how do theology and social science cohere? In this article David addresses this question in relation to the controversy in Christian education over the proper theretical framework for the discipline. Originally written in 1984, it has been slightly edited and updated. The orignal version is published in The Contours of Christian Education, edited by Jeff Astly and David Day, Gracewing 1992.

Shorter Occasional Articles


A reflection prepared for the Bishop of Southwark's Theology Group in 1995, looking at the importance of the biblical concept of 'shalom' for mission in the city.

The Gift of Rest

As the idea of work-life balance becomes increasingly widespread, it is important for Christians to be aware of the biblical basis for this idea and the values and guidelines attached to it: what does it mean to keep the Sabbath today?

Reflections on the Practice of Ministry

Why Collaborative Ministry?
From the first session of the course "Future Church", part of the Lichfield Diocesan Local Ministry Training Course. This introductory article sets out a theological rationale for collaborative styles of ministry based on the doctrine of the Trinity.
included with the permission of Lichfield Diocesan Local Ministry Scheme

Local Ministry in the New Testament
Also taken from "Future Church", this article explores the way ministry developed in the New Testament period, as a background for work on the relationship between local ministers, both lay and ordained, and nationally recognised ministry.
included with the permission of Lichfield Diocesan Local Ministry Scheme

Managing Change
A brief summary of the distilled wisdom of various Church leaders on the process of change management
included with permission of Lichfield Diocesan Local Ministry Scheme

Authority and Power
One of the most important elements of church leadership is the responsible handling of power. This article opens up the subject with some stimulating food for thought.
included with the permission of Lichfield Diocesan Local Ministry Scheme

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