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Harold William Burgess

By Mari Gonlag


Dr. Harold W. Burgess (1933-2011). A member of the Missionary Church, his interest in the role and process of the teaching of religion was sparked by early experiences of classroom teaching in a Christian college. Believing that the way teaching takes place has a profound effect on learning, he has spent a lifetime challenging the church to consider both the practice of teaching and the theoretical basis upon which that practice is built. While he invested his life in teaching since his first appointment as a Bible college instructor in 1960, the majority of his ministry has been spent in a variety of teaching and administrative roles at Asbury Theological Seminary (1978-2001), and as an adjunct faculty member in his retirement.


Early Life and Education

Harold William Burgess was born in 1933 in Marlette, Michigan. His father was a schoolteacher, Sunday school teacher, lay pastor, and eventually a full-time pastor in the Mennonite Brethren in Christ Church (later the United Missionary Church and now the Missionary Church). Thus, Burgess grew up with an intimate and firsthand knowledge of the church. He experienced models of devout faith and selfless service at home, including both his parents and his paternal grandparents, who played a major role in his religious growth.

Describing his father as a "very effective teacher," Burgess recounts a heritage rich in a variety of church experiences. During one period, his father pastored a Mennonite Brethren in Christ church in one town, preached at a community church in another town on Sunday afternoons, and regularly took the family to a yet another Mennonite Brethren in Christ church on Sunday evenings. In these small churches, Burgess encountered various godly people who shaped his understanding of Christianity and modeled the Christian life in powerful way.

When his father took a pastoral appointment in Detroit in 1947, the Burgess family moved to the city and the rest of his adolescence was spent there. Even during his secondary school years, Burgess was intrigued with education. He identifies the best teacher he ever had as being Mrs. Martin, his eighth grade science teacher. In her he saw modeled the uniting of competence in one's discipline and a capacity to relate to students and involve them in the inquiry process. In a stroke that seems oddly incongruous for one with his personality, Burgess graduated from Cass Technical High School in 1951 with a degree in architectural engineering (and he argues passionately that it was the most difficult school he ever attended!).

The following fall Burgess was off to college at Bethel College in Mishawaka, Indiana, a denominational college of the Missionary Church. Graduating in 1955 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, he then went on to Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky, where he pursued a Master of Divinity degree, graduating in 1958.

Burgess, his family, and his denomination had been strongly influenced by the revival movement, and during his seminary years, a revival at Asbury College (across the street from the seminary) made a profound impact on his spiritual journey. He recounted the experience of that 1957 revival led by Paul Rader (later General Rader of the Salvation Army) in vivid detail, in this way explaining his commitment to various organizations and institutions (especially certain Bible colleges) in the revivalist tradition today.

In a recent interview, he described that experience: "You could almost feel the impact of the description of Pentecost … I am very much committed to the power of revivals." It was during that revival that Burgess was led by the Holy Spirit to make a list of things that he needed to "make amends for in my life, to make restitution for." While the process of making restitution took several years, it led to "a significant moment of spiritual freedom" for Burgess, fueling his commitment to the importance of the power of spiritual revival.

After seminary, Burgess returned to the Detroit area where he served as the Director of Counseling Services for Christian Enterprise, Inc., a ministry that worked with alcoholics and drug addicts in the city and surrounding area. At one point, he worked with approximately 440 men and women from the streets of Detroit, providing a variety of ministry experiences for this young minister.

Harold married Marcia K. Thompson of Port Huron, Michigan, in 1960, and the couple planned on a missionary career teaching in Brazil. As preparation for that future, in 1960 they took an assignment as instructors at Mountain View Bible College in Didsbury, Alberta (Canada), and during their years there, Burgess taught basic theology, church history, philosophy, psychology, modern social problems, and the Gospels. They were also instrumental in planting the United Missionary Church in Bowden, Alberta, during these years. During their time in Alberta, it was determined that Marcia's health would be jeopardized by life in a tropical climate. This discovery led to a change in direction and prompted them to move back to full-time pastoral ministry in Petoskey, Michigan, in 1962. After a year in Petoskey, Harold was asked to return to Christian Enterprise while that organization was in transition. In 1963, Burgess was ordained by the Missionary Church.

In 1964, the Burgesses moved back to full-time pastoral ministry in Brown City, Michigan, at a church that had been established by Burgess's great grandfather, Bernhardt Kreutsiger, as the first fully organized Missionary Church in Michigan. This church, too, had grown out of a revival movement historically tied to the 1860s Tuesday prayer meetings and the revivals of Phoebe Palmer.

In 1967, Burgess was invited to return to his alma mater, Bethel College, to become director of religious affairs (a chaplain-like position) and instructor of religion and philosophy. The combination of his own experience as a student and his natural tendency for reflection on process had provided the grist for serious consideration of educational theory. But it was the experience of teaching in the classroom that proved pivotal. In a number of places in his writings, he relates a discovery that raised the questions he has sought to answer throughout his ministry.

On just a few days notice in his first year back at Bethel, Burgess was asked to teach a course in "Christian Foundations." Through the experience of that semester, he discovered a significant number of students - most of them from churched homes and families and the products of years of Sunday school-who seemed to be completely disinterested in matters of faith. He began to hypothesize that something in their past Christian education experiences, rather than evangelizing or educating them, had merely inoculated them from the true message of Christian faith. Convinced that the answer to the problem was in the way the students had been taught in their churches, Burgess began to focus on the teaching and learning process itself.

During his 10 years at Bethel, Burgess advanced through the ranks from instructor to assistant professor to associate professor, all the while exploring and experimenting with the teaching process in an attempt to become more effective in the classroom. In due time he became interested in pursuing an advanced degree. Because of his location (northern Indiana), he started investigating programs at the University of Notre Dame. Though initially accepted into a doctoral program in theology, Burgess quickly ruled out that direction because he sensed his clear calling from God was to "educate Christian persons." Instead, he became very intrigued with Notre Dame's Religious Instruction Program that focused on the teaching of religion. He completed his Ph.D. at the University of Notre Dame in 1974. His dissertation title reveals the direction most of his formal academic pursuits would take across his teaching career: An Analysis of Selected Theoretical Approaches to Religious Education in the Twentieth Century (1974). From 1974 until 1977, he continued teaching at Bethel while adding some teaching responsibilities as a visiting professor at Notre Dame.

Over the next several years, personal and professional study took him to three authors/educators who would help to shape his further thinking. From D. Campbell Wyckoff's The Gospel and Christian Education (1959), he came to see the primary challenge to Christian education as a theoretical one: the need to understand the interaction between the educational process and the culture, life, and thought of the church. Once in his doctoral program at Notre Dame, he began to encounter James Michael Lee, both in the classroom and through his writings. Especially through Lee's The Flow of Religious Education (1973), he recognized that there is very often a discrepancy (or outright conflict!) between the content a teacher is trying to communicate and the methods used to teach. Taking Wyckoff a step further, in his article "Hope for the Profession" (1972), Charles Melchert pointed out the crisis in the field of religious education due to a disregard for the theoretical and a "bias toward the practical." These concerns began to provide the driving impetus for Burgess's own research and experimentation in the classroom.

In 1977 he accepted a position at Messiah College in Grantham, Pennsylvania, and after serving one year at Messiah, he accepted a position as Associate Professor of Christian Education at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky.

During his years at Asbury Theological Seminary (1978-2001), Burgess served in a variety of roles. In 1983 he was promoted to Professor of Pastoral Ministries and Christian Education. From 1986 to 1990, he served as Dean of Leadership Ministries, a position that included responsibilities as the director of continuing education and director of the Doctor of Ministry program. Though he officially retired in May 2001, he continued to teach as an adjunct faculty member at the seminary.

Throughout his long career in educational ministry, Burgess always remained active in a variety of church and parachurch ministries. He served as founding pastor, interim pastor, or solo pastor of churches in Alberta, Michigan, and Indiana. He made numerous contributions through writing (as an author and editor) and speaking in various conferences and other settings. He was instrumental in the establishment of the Francis Asbury Publishing Company and the Religious Education Press, both of which he served in various leadership roles between 1975 and 2000. He was a long-term member of the Board of Directors of OMS International and an active member of the Board of Trustees at Somerset Christian College in Zarephath, New Jersey. Despite this broad ministry, Burgess considered himself to be primarily a teacher. "The things that give me the most satisfaction and of which I am most proud are the marks that my teaching and who I am have made on the lives of a number of my students. God called me to be a teacher and that's where my major success has been." Harold Burgess passed away on March 28, 2011, from complications of a brain tumor.

Contributions to Christian Education

It is not surprising that the primary contributions of Harold W. Burgess revolve around the classroom, for that is where they all started. He began his concentrated study of the theory of Christian religious education in an attempt to become a more competent and effective teacher. As a doctoral student, his most immediate study was in an academic mode as he prepared his doctoral dissertation, An Analysis of Selected Approaches to Religious Education in the Twentieth Century (1974).

Prompted to explore the theoretical constructs of religious education through the works of Wyckoff, Lee, and Melchert, Burgess "hit upon the notion of employing a system to investigate categories as a means of facilitating the analysis and description of the several ways of thinking about Christian religious education that were becoming more obvious" in his reading of the literature (Burgess, 1983). Others before him, including George Coe and D. Campbell Wyckoff, had attempted a similar task. But Burgess's categories were somewhat different. He chose to examine aim, content, the teacher, the learner, the environment, and evaluation as the categories for analysis.

Using these categories, he examined the history of religious education and found four major approaches that are subsequently outlined in many of his writings. These approaches include the historical approach (focusing on the communication of a divinely ordained message), the social-cultural approach (both viewing religion through the eyes of society and culture, and attempting to influence society and culture through human responsibility for response to God), the theological approach (emphasizing the "organic relationship" between religious education and the church), and the social-science approach (focusing on the teaching-learning process, while maintaining a loose yet dynamic relationship with theology). His Invitation to Religious Education (1975) is a very lightly edited version of his dissertation. His scholarly work toward building a unified theoretical underpinning for Christian religious education is revisited in Models of Religious Education (1996), this time with a historical and philosophical survey of religious educators.

The evidence that this theoretician fulfilled his goal of providing a workable system of categories is exemplified by the frequent referencing of his categories and analysis in such works as A Reader in Christian Education (Gibbs, 1992), Christian Education: Its History and Philosophy (Gangel & Benson, 1983), and Foundational Issues in Christian Education (Pazmiño, 1997). These categories have become a standard in the field for understanding and interpreting the theoretical perspectives of Christian educators. Both his supporters and his critics note his careful research, analysis, and documentation.

Burgess has also been something of an ecumenist. From his work with Roman Catholic educational theorist James Michael Lee at the University of Notre Dame (including the cooperative development of resources for the United States Navy, Chaplains Corps Professional Development Training Course) to his involvement with parachurch organizations like the Francis Asbury Publishing Company, he has sought to emphasize the shared values of Christians, rather than to stress their differences. He moves freely and easily between Protestant and Catholic Christians, between local church ministries and interdenominational settings, and between such far-reaching places as Korea, Russia, and Brazil, where he has lectured and taught basic Christian education courses. Burgess was also a founding member of the United Wesleyan Graduate School in Hong Kong, China, and continues to serve on its board. One of his colleagues has noted that he is truly a world Christian in the tradition of John Wesley.

But this theoretician is at heart primarily a teacher. Throughout his research and writing, Burgess has never left the classroom. His motivating force has always been the challenge of helping students and setting them free to minister effectively. It is impossible to have a conversation with Burgess without him referring to several students, present or former, and the things they are accomplishing for God. He has a spiritual gift for encouraging others, seeing their potential and helping them to see it, and eventually helping to connect them with ministry positions in which they can be effective. And his list of students ministering around the world just keeps growing.

At a celebration of his retirement from Asbury Theological Seminary in 2001, his colleagues were asked to reflect on Harold Burgess's ministry at the seminary. The consistency of their responses was enlightening as again and again they pointed to his compassion for students, and his excitement and joy in working with students and rejoicing in their successes (Stonehouse, 2001).

His academic goal has been to help the colleagues of his discipline agree upon a system of categories and a unified approach to Christian religious education, and thereby establish a basis for discussion, exploration, discovery, and evaluation of religious education across the field. But his more personal goals have to do with people, specifically the students in the classroom. "Teaching is what I love to do!" he proclaims, and it is teaching that has made him happy and granted fulfillment throughout his lifetime of educational ministry.

Works Cited

  • Primary information for this article is from an interview with Dr. Harold Burgess conducted in Wilmore, Kentucky on May 30, 2001, from subsequent e-mail and telephone conversations for follow-up, and from the professional resume developed by Dr. Harold Burgess.
  • Burgess, H. W. (1974). An analysis of selected theoretical approaches to religious education in the twentieth century (Doctoral dissertation, University of Notre Dame, 1974)).Dissertation Abstracts International, 35, 05A2789.
  • Burgess, H. W. (1975). An invitation to religious education. Mishawaka, IN: Religious Education Press.
  • Burgess, H. W. (1983). In quest for the connection: Toward a synapse of theory and practice. In M. Mayr (Ed.), Modern masters of religious education (pp.174-187). Birmingham, AL: Religious Education Press.
  • Burgess, H. W. (1996). Models of religious education: Theory and practice in historical and contemporary perspective. Nappanee, IN: Evangel Publishing Company.
  • Gangel, K. O., & Benson, W. S. (1983). Christian education: Its history and philosophy. Chicago: Moody Press.
  • Gibbs, E. S. (1992). A reader in Christian education: Foundations and basic perspectives. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.
  • Lee, J. M. (1971). The shape of religious instruction. Birmingham, AL: Religious Education Press.
  • Lee, J. M. (1973). The flow of religious instruction. Birmingham, AL: Religious Education Press.
  • Melchert, C. F. (1972). Hope for the profession. Religious Education, 67, 360.
  • Pazmi ño, R. W. (1997). Foundational issues in Christian education (2nd ed.). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.
  • Stonehouse, C., et al. (2001, May 9). Unpublished notes from Burgess's colleagues, Asbury Theological Seminary.
  • Wyckoff, D. C. (1959). The gospel and Christian education. Philadelphia: Westminster.



  • Burgess, Harold W. (1996). Models of religious education: Theory and practice in historical and contemporary perspective. Nappanee, IN: Evangel Publishing Company.
  • Burgess, Harold W. (Ed.). (1987). Let's explore our faith: A study of the Missionary church and its teachings. Elkhart, IN: Bethel Publishing Company. [Burgess as contributor and member of editorial committee.]
  • Burgess, Harold W. (1975). An invitation to religious education. Mishawaka, IN: Religious Education Press. [lightly edited version of Ph.D. dissertation]
  • Burgess, Harold W. (1974). An analysis of selected theoretical approaches to religious education in the Twentieth century. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Notre Dame.


  • Burgess, Harold W. (2000). Foreword. In C. G. Oakes, Working the Gray zone: A call for proactive ministry by and with older adults. Franklin, TN: Providence House Publishing.
  • Burgess, Harold W. (1993). What is a Volunteer? In D. Ratcliff (Ed.), Religious education volunteers (pp. 9-13). Birmingham, AL: Religious Education Press.
  • Burgess, Harold W. (1983). In quest for the connection: Toward a synapse of theory and practice. In M. Mayr (Ed.), Modern masters of religious education (pp.174-187). Birmingham, AL: Religious Education Press.
  • Burgess, Harold W. (1976). The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit. In R. E. Ringenberg (Ed.), Believers in the Missionary church. Elkhart, IN: Bethel Publishing Company.


  • Burgess, Harold W. (2002, December). The Wesleyan revival: John Wesley's ethics for Church and State. Brethren in Christ history and life, 25 (3), 521-524.
  • Burgess, Harold W. (1983). A Wesleyan theology of ministry. Wesleyan Theological Journal, 18 (1), 30-43.
  • Burgess, Harold W. (1974). Guest Editorial. Theory and practice: Defining a relationship. Notre Dame Journal of Education, 5 (4), 292 and 377.
  • Burgess, Harold W. (1974). James Michael Lee's Social Science Approach to Religious Instruction. Notre Dame Journal of Education, 5 (4), 293-312. Presentation/Training Manual (contributing co-editor and presenter):
  • Lee, James Michael, and Harold W. Burgess (Contributing Eds.). (1991). The delivery of religious education in the Sea services. n. p.: The Chief of Naval Education and Training (published for The Chaplain Corps Professional Development Training Course). (Course presented 14 times in 1991 for the US Navy Chief of Chaplains Office)

Sound/Video Recordings

  • Lee, James Michael (Interviewee). (1999). The social-science approach to religious instruction: A conversation with Dr. Harold Burgess [2 videocassettes recorded in Birmingham, AL]. Wilmore, KY: Asbury Theological Seminary. (Burgess as interviewer, editor, and contributor)
  • Burgess, Harold W. (Speaker). (1988). Home at the Lord's table [Sound recording, 2/11/88]. Wilmore, KY: Asbury Theological Seminary.
  • Burgess, Harold W. (Speaker). (1986). Holiness and our human personality [Sound recording, 2/04/86]. Wilmore, KY: Asbury Theological Seminary.
  • Burgess, Harold W. (Speaker). (1981). Using the Myers-Briggs personality inventory as a ministry tool [Sound recording, Summer Theological Institute]. Wilmore, KY: Asbury Theological Seminary.
  • Burgess, Harold W. (Speaker). (1981). Community as an ingredient in spiritual formation [Sound recording, 9/24/81]. Wilmore, KY: Asbury Theological Seminary.
  • Burgess, Harold W. (Speaker). (1979). The educational ministry of the church [Sound recording]. Wilmore, KY: Asbury Theological Seminary. Work in Progress:
  • Burgess, Harold W. (200? - forthcoming). The role of teaching in sustaining the Church (working title of book manuscript). Bibliography of Reviews of Books by Harold W. Burgess:
  • Gangel, Kenneth O. (1997). Models of religious education by Harold W. Burgess [Review of the book Models of religious education]. Bibliotheca Sacra, 154, 124-125.
  • Benson, Warren S. (1996). Models of religious education [Review of the book Models of religious education]. Christian Education Journal, 16 (Spr), 122-127.
  • Cox, Edwin. (1977). Review of An invitation to religious education by Harold Burgess [Review of the book An invitation to religious education]. Religious Studies, 13, 124-125.
  • Gangel, Kenneth O. (1976). Different approaches to Christian ed. [Review of An invitation to religious education]. Christianity Today, 20, 32-33.
  • Little, Sara. (1976). An invitation to religious education. [Review of An invitation to religious education]. Religious Education, 71, 344-345.

Excerpts from Publications

Burgess, Harold W. (1975). An invitation to religious education. Mishawaka, IN: Religious Education Press. (p. 13)

The proposed analysis of the selected theoretical approaches, then, will follow the pattern of examining books of religious educationists identified with the several approaches in order to ascertain the typical theoretical position of the several approaches with respect to: first, the aim of religious education, which in this preliminary investigation will also include such notions as goal, purpose, objectives, and the like; second, the content of religious education (the nature of content is perceived so differently among religious educationists, that, of necessity, the scope of this category will not be the same for each approach - for example, one school of through identifies content with a divine message while another school of thought identifies content directly with the religious instruction act); third, the role of the teacher in the teaching of religion; fourth, the student, particularly the manner in which he acquires and in which he manifests religious learning outcomes; fifth, the function of the environment in religious education; and sixth, the means by which religious education may be evaluated.The four approaches to theorizing about religious education which will be described and analyzed in this work are: "the traditional theological approach," "the social-cultural approach," "the contemporary theological approach," and "the social-science approach." Although these approaches are not exhaustive of the possibilities for discriminating among ways of designating schools of thought concerning religious education, they do seem to be etched out in religious educational literature with sufficient clarity to warrant this preliminary descriptive-analytical investigation.

Burgess, Harold W. (1996). Models of religious education: Theory and practice in historical and contemporary perspective. Nappanee, IN: Evangel Publishing Company.

Despite numerous attempts to define the field, religious education continues to have a critical problem with its identity… One factor contributing to this perplexity concerning nature and purpose seems to be that no common methodology for analysis and synthesis has been fully established. (p. 18)Finally, this book is an effort to promote fruitful communication across the several ideological barriers that separate those of us who work in the field. (p. 19)I have sought to speak to a number of the more critical needs in the field, arguing, in particular, (1) for an appreciation of the relationship of the educational endeavor to the wholeness of the church and (2) for a more effective grasp of theory and of its power to improve practice. (Afterword, p. 236)Burgess, Harold W. (1974). Guest Editorial. Theory and practice: Defining a relationship. Notre Dame Journal of Education, 5 (4), 292 and 377.It is safe to conclude that religious education, as a professional activity, will be raised to a higher level by thus recognizing and articulating the dependence of theory and practice upon each other. Theory which remains in the realm of speculation and practice which is unaware of the theory upon which it is based are equally unproductive of renewing and developing the field of religious education. On the other hand, a creative and responsible use of theory coupled with a conscious awareness of the theoretical implications of the practices which are employed will enhance the professional status of the field. (p. 377)

Burgess, Harold W. (1975). An invitation to religious education. Mishawaka, IN: Religious Education Press.

Thus, there is good reason to believe that a widespread adoption of a system of categories similar to that which I have employed would contribute in a significant way to the fruitful meshing of theory and practice in the field of religious education. Such a meshing of theory and practice should have the effect of enabling religious educationists (1) to bring greater definition to the field by raising religious education to a higher level of professional activity, (2) to communicate more effectively both among themselves and with religion teachers in parish settings, and (3) to establish a more efficacious change process by utilizing readily available scientific methodologies more adequately through the development of a framework for theorizing and testing hypotheses about pedagogical matters in religious education. (p. 168)My major purpose in writing this book, then, has been to invite interested persons to work together toward a better understanding of the relationship between theory and practice in the field of religious education; it has not been to draw far reaching conclusions concerning the relative merits of the four approaches which are described here. Nevertheless, because it seems to be uniquely capable of integrating theory and practice on a level which might actually "bridge denominational and theological lines in such a way as to establish valid boundaries for the field," I believe that the social-science approach (or better, some version of it) may well prove to be the brightest hope for the future of religious education as a field and as a profession. (p. 168)

Burgess, Harold W. (1983). A Wesleyan theology of ministry. Wesleyan Theological Journal, 18 (1), 30-43.

To gather up my argument to this point, it seems fair to hold that two major roles of a theology of ministry can be identified: 1) to develop a "linkage" between a theology which is espoused and actual practices of ministry, and 2) to establish a standpoint for evaluating the results of ministry. (p. 33)In the first place, it seems clear that a critical need is to work in the direction of reducing any disjunction that may exist between Wesleyan theology and Wesleyan practice of ministry… In the second place, to deliberately incorporate the actual results of our ministry as a primary element in evaluation would make a positive contribution to wholesome ministry. (p. 39- 40)

Books and Book Chapters

Burgess, Harold W. (1996). Models of religious education: Theory and practice in historical and contemporary perspective. Nappanee, IN: Evangel Publishing Company.

Building on his original work in An Invitation to Religious Education, here Burgess applies the model of the four dominant approaches the he developed earlier to a sweep through the history of religious education from the time of the early church to the present. There is some modification, however, as the four approaches expand to five including the "historic prototype," the liberal model, the mid-century mainline model, the evangelical/kerygmatic model, and the social-science model (the last four roughly equivalent to the four approaches explained in An Invitation). He examines the teaching models of forty-six leading Christian educators. The historic prototype is characteristic of most religious educators for the first nineteen centuries, while the other four models are developed with primary focus on 20th century educators.

Burgess, Harold W. (1993). What is a Volunteer? In D. Ratcliff (Ed.), Religious education volunteers. Birmingham, AL: Religious Education Press.

While most of his written work is somewhat theoretical and theological, this article reveals the very practical side of Burgess, the ministry professional. It also demonstrates his commitment to the personal growth and encouragement of those who love God and seek to invest their lives in Christian service.

Burgess, Harold W. (1975). An invitation to religious education. Mishawaka, IN: Religious Education Press.

This book is a very lightly edited version of Burgess's Ph.D. dissertation from the University of Notre Dame (An Analysis of Selected Approaches to Religious Education in the Twentieth Century, 1974). It explains both his primary research interest (developing a system of categories that can be used to analyze and describe the dimensions of Christian religious education) and the result of his research. The result is the system of four primary approaches: the traditional theological approach, the social-cultural approach, the contemporary theological approach, and the social science approach. Within each of these approaches he analyzes the aim, content, student, teacher, environment, and methods of evaluation characteristic to the approach.


Burgess, Harold W. (1983). A Wesleyan theology of ministry. Wesleyan Theological Journal, 18 (1), 30-43.

Demonstrating his own theological underpinnings in Wesleyan theology, Burgess examines both the message and method of John Wesley, stressing Wesley's own passion for a tight connection from theology to the practice of ministry. His passion for a theologically based ministry is clear. The emphasis on theory and practice is also consistent with the educational theory of James Michael Lee's social-science approach.

Burgess, Harold W. (1974). James Michael Lee's social science approach to religious instruction. Notre Dame Journal of Education, 5 (4), 293-312.

James Michael Lee was a key mentor for Burgess during his Ph. D. studies. In this article, Burgess carefully and systematic explores Lee's social-science approach to religious education.

Author Information

Mari Gonlag

Mari Gonlag (Ph.D., Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) serves as Associate Professor of Religion at Southern Wesleyan University, in Central, South Carolina.