After 15 years as a Christian school principal and 30 years in Christian teacher education, both initial and in-service, I have come to the conviction that a critical component of effective transformative Christian Education is a rich, biblically rooted understanding of humans as imago Dei which intentionally shapes curriculum and pedagogical choices. Rather than ‘having’, ‘bearing’ or ‘being made in’ the image of God, recent scholarship positions imago Dei as one’s vocation. We are being the image of God, it is our identity “rather than a capability or function” and therefore “we cannot lose it” (Imes, 2023, p. 54). When we keep that identity tightly embedded in God’s redemptive story, there are significant implications for transformative and effective Christian teacher education and the consequential teaching of its graduates.

This essay presents four key aspects of such an understanding and draws out some implications these have for curriculum and pedagogical choices. It is hoped that the essay will act as a reminder of the hope and potential that is within teacher education for realising an imago Dei’s teleological dimension. It is important that as Christian teacher educators we saturate our own practice with learning opportunities which invite our students to live in God’s story so they can fulfil the vocation which is imago Dei. Critical to this work is the understanding that Christian Education is not realized primarily through overt ‘subject’ content, but through pedagogy which is informed by a biblical epistemology; that is, it embraces the ideas of lived learning and embodied knowing with reference to God’s priorities and purposes.

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