Faith and learning: An exchange

Forming ministers

Ronald White does not state the precise problem to which his proposals are addressed. From comments salted through his article, I take his thesis to be something like this: The central purpose of a seminary is the theological education of religious leaders. In traditions like ours (Presbyterian), professional leadership is exercised primarily (though not exclusively) through the ministry of word and sacrament, which is usually (but not always) conducted in local congregations. To carry out the seminary’s central purpose, faculty members should have both motive and capacity to provide theological preparation for ordained pastoral ministry and related roles. There are signs that some who seek positions in seminaries are not oriented to, or equipped for, this basic teaching task.


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