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Le Vieux Séminaire, Montreal, circa 1888. Some rights reserved by Philippe Du Berger.

Revisioning seminary

In our annual theological education issue, Will Willimon observes that the most effective clergy he knows are finding creative ways to start new communities of faith—but seminaries are not teaching them how to do it (“Making ministry difficult”). “Seminaries have changed less in the past 100 years than vibrant congregations have changed in the past two decades,” says Willimon.

I don’t think Willimon goes far enough. I don’t believe that theological education has changed in its basic assumptions and structures for centuries: it’s a graduate school environment, complete with residential campus and students working in academic disciplines—languages, history, Bible and theology.

 

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