The Graduate School of Theology is handing out iPads to 10 different students in Dr. Tim Sensing’s “Contexts of Ministry” course for the duration of the spring semester.
The purchase of the iPads was made possible by a $10,000 grant from the James A. “Buddy” Davidson Charitable Foundation of Midland.
James Prather, president of ACU’s Graduate Student Association, decided to attempt to earn the grant with the help of ACU staff and faculty members after he realized ACU has not included the possibility of this research in the Mobile Learning Initiative.
Prather said students would now be able to conduct ethnographic research related to history, demographics, stories, traditions, people, and events associated with a particular ministry.
Prather explained how the iPads would be used as research to see the difference in studying ethnography when using better technology.
“There are some amazing tools on the iPad for biblical studies,” Prather said. “There are many applications students can purchase to read the Bible in the original language. It allows students to interact with it by touching certain words that give an option for an explanation of the word and facts about it.”
Prather has selected the data that will be used by the students and will write up the research that will be presented at the biennial meeting of the Association for Theological Field Educators in Williamsburg, Va., in January 2013.
Peter Cariaga, graduate student from the Philippines, is one of the students selected to be a part of this research. While the other students will only be keeping their iPads until May 2012, Cariaga will continue to use his iPad for the next two years. Cariaga’s thesis deals with ethnography and will provide long-term data to this research.
“My thesis is about looking at third-culture kids, such as missionary or military kids, and finding the biblical lament for their grief,” Cariaga said. “I want to use ethnography to map out what grief looks like for these people with biblical texts to help them with their grief that comes from multiple transitions.”