Daniel J. Stollenwerk
Over the last decade, Divine Word University in Madang, Papua New Guinea, has successfully transformed itself from a secondary to a tertiary institution at the same time that it has experienced rapid growth through an affiliation and amalgamation process with other tertiary institutions throughout the nation. During its present revision of the curriculum in all departments, however, questions have surfaced regarding how the identity and mission of the university should be reflected in departmental course requirements. Basing his argument on Bernard Lonergan’s common sense bias as well as a number of ecclesial documents on universities and development, the author of the following article perceives a bias in DWU’s education toward the practical to the detriment of a higher synthesis of knowledge that would incorporate not just skills, but also ethics, culture, development and religion. He ultimately takes the position that once it recognizes the need for a higher synthesis of knowledge in its courses, DWU will not only offer an improved education, but also will better serve the nation’s quest for long-term solutions to very practical problems as well as fulfil its task to witness to the Gospel in all its efforts.