This post is the second in a series of interviews with leading online Wesleyan and/or Methodist platforms. We at BeADisciple believe in the power of the Wesleyan movement to change lives – and we recognize the importance of online presence. In fact, our entire ministry is online! Over the past several years, a plethora of Wesleyan and Methodist resources have emerged in the online faith conversation. The goal of this post series is to explore a network of helpful voices as we seek Christ together in the tradition of the Wesleys.
This week, we feature Dr. Joel B. Green, Editor of Catalyst Resources – a well-established publication designed to provide contemporary perspectives for United Methodist seminarians. Read below to learn more.
Briefly, what are the history and mission of your platform?
Catalyst began as a print publication over thirty years ago, with the goal of providing evangelical perspectives and resources for United Methodist seminarians. For the past 14 years, Catalyst has been produced as a print and web publication. In fall 2014, we moved to a web-only presence.
What distinguishes your platform from others?
Our specific audience is the United Methodist seminarian, irrespective of the school in which they are enrolled. We recognize that Christian leaders of all kinds benefit from our work, but in our editorial conversations we try to keep front and center the particular questions and concerns of United Methodist seminarians.
Do you seek to cultivate an explicitly Wesleyan or Methodist voice online? Why or why not?
This is true only to a degree. We draw especially on United Methodist voices, and then on wider voices within the Wesleyan family, but we also depend on scholars outside of our tradition to provide perspectives and assess resources. On the one hand, we want to emphasize distinctively Wesleyan-Methodist interests. On the other hand, we recognize that many of the concerns shared among our seminary audience are not specific to United Methodists or Wesleyans.
How do you identify your contributors and content topics?
We draw contributors from an array of institutional backgrounds, but tend to prioritize writers who are part of the network of John Wesley Fellows. In our editorial meetings, we discuss trends in seminary education and in publications for seminarians, questions we have received from our audience, and perennial questions related to theological formation — and these help us to focus our interests around particular contributors and subjects.
Do you provide content that is primarily: theological, academic, cultural, pastoral, practical, or all of the above? Do you have a niche?
Our content ranges across all of these areas; what distinguishes us is our explicit interest in addressing theological students.
What have you learned about your readers since developing your platform? What have you learned about the Methodist or Wesleyan movement?
This is not an easy question to address, since our target readership is constantly changing. If we want to speak to theological students, then we have to take seriously that there’s a three or four-year window when they are in formal theological study.
What are your hopes for the future of your platform?
We want to address the variety of issues comprising theological education today, and do so in ways that are fresh and oriented toward the range of vocations for which theological study serves as preparation.
Like what you read? Read our first interview in this series here.
Joel B. Green is a John Wesley Fellow and elder in The United Methodist Church. He is Dean of the School of Theology and professor of New Testament interpretation at Fuller Theological Seminary, where he also administers the Center for Advanced Theological Studies. He has authored or edited more than 40 books, including Why Salvation? (Abingdon, 2013), The World of the New Testament: Cultural, Social, and Historical Contexts (with Lee Martin McDonald; Baker Academic, 2013), and Wesley, Wesleyans, and Reading Bible as Scripture (with David F. Watson; Baylor University Press, 2013). See more here.
Post image credit: Arnoldius