I’ve been thinking about theological education lately. Partially because I finished a graduate degree from a seminary a few years ago, I work at a seminary, and I work at a church. There’s also been some buzz around the internet about what theological education should look like going forward – see Patheos, my friend JR Rozko’s posts on theological education, 3DM’s Future of Theological Education initiative, and Fuller’s Seminary of the Future project.
Most of the conversation seemed to point out the flaws in the academic institution of seminaries, but I’ve been thinking about the role of the local church in theological education and pastoral formation. I wrote up some thoughts that were published today in an article called “Seminary Education is Not Enough” at The Burner Blog. Here’s a snippet:
While there are divergent ideas and suggestions, the general theme of this conversation is that (a) seminaries have not done enough to provide the practical training necessary for effective ministry leadership and (b) seminaries should change to meet the shifting needs of the 21st century church.
I certainly believe that good seminaries must be innovative and flexible, with a grasp on the pulse of the church, but I struggle with the idea that the problem lies with seminaries, and suggest that both the problem and solution actually exists within the local church congregation.