Seminary: Change in Philosophy

Earlier I mentioned that seminary must change or die. Now I am not anti-intellectual or even anti-seminary. After all, I have my MDiv and am grateful for it. What I am concerned with, however, is making seminary relevant to current needs, not the ghosts of the scholastic era of the Church. That era was great and left an indelible mark on society and of course on the Church. The rich theological heritage we inherited from them is priceless and I personally am most thankful for it.

But I fear that what became a focus on producing learned students of Scripture has now become an idol for some denominations. How ridiculous it is for someone to be refused ordination because he or she does not have a Masters of Divinity or Ph.D. I actually know of specific churches that will not even consider a pastoral candidate if that person lacks a Ph.D. Nevermind clear evidence of a divine call to the office.

I am not saying that ministers should have no training. My contention has to do with how we train persons for ministry and where that should take place. Seminaries are producing candidates for Ph.Ds but are they producing leadership equipped to lead and visioneer churches in the context that best matches their spiritual gift mix?


3 thoughts on “Seminary: Change in Philosophy

  1. I too see a trend where our seminaries are teaching “book knowledge”. People often forget the real meaning of leadership. Jesus didn’t come to be served, he came to serve. I am all for education and wisdom, but sometimes we overlook the heavy burden that is leading a “stiff-neck” people. I always say that a leader should have a great team that has the same vision as you do. In my life there are a few people who hold me accountable and keep me humble for the ministry. And frankly, no “book-knowledge” can give you the tools to be focused during crisis. Sometimes experience is the best teacher.

  2. I think there are some seminaries making the kind of changes you are talking about. I agree though that many are not.
    I am currently in my MDiv program at Biblical Seminary in PA ( This is one of the schools that are making the right kind of changes to produce leadership equipped to lead churches into the emerging culture.

  3. Moe, I couldn’t agree with you more. I really want to avoid that trap even in my own private devotional study.

    B, I’m so glad to hear you are having a great experience at Biblical. I learned about the site from Scot McKnight’s blog and followed the link. AWESOME!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s