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Abstract.  This article presents findings from an empirical study exploring student and teacher perspectives on positive learning experiences in practical theological education. Forty-five students and twenty teachers were interviewed in focus groups in four educational institutions delivering programs in practical theology. The findings indicated that students valued practical theological education when it enabled them to think critically in relation to their personal or professional experience, and that students valued tutors, their peers and a flexible curriculum design in promoting this kind of learning. There was a high correlation between students’ views of positive learning experiences and what tutors perceived as important qualities that they hoped their students would develop. Difficulties associated with the students’ lack of clarity about the learning process and the tensions between academic and professional contexts are also discussed.