特雷西強調神學的公共性，並指出神學研究應處於公共處境，本質即為公共論述。他提出「實踐-理論-實踐」模式取代傳統的「理論-實踐」模式後，該模式在布朗寧（Don S. Browning）倡導下成目前西方實踐神學方法論的主要模式，並定調在「實踐-反省-實踐」的循環。
Theology is reasoned thought about faith, emerging from the intellectual needs of faith groups. Practical theology must pay attention to contextual aspects of processes and structures involved in dialogue. It must keep in mind the interactive nature of faith and life. When theology acts in service of faith groups, it meets the need to be practical, biblically rooted, and allow for free inquiry into practices and methods of reflection. It must be responsive to actual human and social situations and problems, because practical theology must walk among people.
David Tracy stressed the public nature of theology, and pointed out that theological research must take place in an open context. It’s very nature is public. He propounded the pattern of “from practice, to theory, to action” in the place of the traditional, “from theory to practice” model. This model is described by Don S. Browning as the western model, and is further modified to “from practice through reflection to practice”.
Theological research is, first of all, an art. It must partake of the wisdom of the arts. That requires attention to the nature and method of art. Practical theology concentrates on the practice of Christian faith, and uses the nature and methods of the social sciences. It combines these two fields, of arts and social sciences, in companionship, aiding in the understanding of social situations. To applying scientific methodology in the field church-related theological thought, a practical theologian needs to understand sociology, and to have the freedom to use whatever tools are required for the task, including a good understanding of context. Theological reflection and Christian need these three poles: context, theological reflection and the practice of Christ. Looking and reflecting in all directions will be the model for theology.|