"Unite the pair so long disjoined, knowledge and vital piety,” wrote Charles Wesley in the 1763. Theological education in the middle of the 21st century will still be wrestling with that basic pairing.
The highest levels of theological education will always require the maximum breadth of learning, which will still be represented by a liberal arts baccalaureate degree followed by a specialized master of divinity. There will never be any substitute for excellence in the study of the Bible, church history, systematic theology and the practice of ministry.
But the shape of theological education will be altered in five ways because the shape of vital piety will continue to change rapidly. These changes are already under way; the trends represented by these five adjectives will strengthen over time.