“The Church, in its reflection on its existence as a missionary community, becomes the “base community” for practical theology. This provides the ecclesial focus for critical reflection on the church’s nature with a view to its understanding of the nature of God and the Triune life of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. As the church is involved in its mission, understood as the continuing mission of Jesus Christ through the praxis of the Spirit, its theological reflection opens up the more comprehensive discipline of exegetical and systematic theology.”
(Ray Anderson, The Shape of Practical Theology, 2001, p.32)

Although the academic rigours of Systematic and Biblical theology find their home predominately within academic institutions they are, and must continue to be, service to the community of God’s people. The institutions in which they sit should only distinguished from the church by geography. All theology is service to the community by the community. It is within the context of community that God makes himself known; whether it be the community of the Father, Son, and Spirit or, the community life of the people of God, God is revealing himself and his mission. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the church that she does not separate herself from the institution. Academic disciplines and exploration must be explored by ministers, elders, lay preachers, and the person in the pew because, it is within the context of community that we seek to understand who God is and what it means to live faithfully as his people. As Ray Anderson says, “As the church is involved in its mission,… its theological reflection opens up the more comprehensive discipline of exegetical and systematic theology. ” These disciplines however, are not explored as theoretical hypothesis. The unpacking of all theology is not done in a vacuum but rather, within the context the ongoing mission of Christ in the world.`