A seminary student and I were walking around the lake on a beautiful evening. We had begun the walk in part for exercise, and in part because he wanted to talk about his vocation. He had begun to think seriously about his ministerial identity, his spiritual formation, and the oscillating sense of excitement and apprehension he felt about how others would perceive him as "the minister."
We had a stimulating and wide-ranging conversation about the church, seminary life and the challenges seminaries face with issues of formation, education and malformation. We discussed the importance of spiritual discipline and the ways in which the student would need to develop practices and habits of prayer in order to sustain his strong commitment to a ministry of social justice.
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