Why is theological education necessary? What are the conditions of its fruitfulness? Such questions are both basic and perplexing. Several years ago I posed these questions as conversation starters to a group made up of seminary presidents and deans of university-related divinity schools. I was surprised and more than a little disheartened by how much difficulty we had in addressing these topics. I had naively thought that such basic questions were regularly on our minds as we interpreted our institutions to students, faculty, staff, donors, congregations, judicatories and the broader culture. I discovered that I was less articulate than I should be in answering my own questions.