We are no longer in the Kansas of pastoral ministry where one can expect a full-time pastorate at the end of the yellow-brick road of seminary training. Indeed, the very opportunity to attend seminary is now a luxury for many.
And as full-time pastors become a thing of the past, more and more seminary grads are taking on secular jobs to supplement their incomes, and often they are doing this after having accumulated high amounts of debt.
This is no way to train for ministry: out of context, out of community, and out of money.
This changing milieu of pastoral ministry requires a shift in how we train pastors for ministry. We need a different model for those who are not seeking or not hopeful about finding full-time pastoral jobs for those not willing or able to relocate for seminary, and for those not willing or able to take on debt.
Here at Missio Alliance we are dedicated to partnering and networking with those who are breaking-down the barriers between pragmatically oriented pastors and scholastically oriented theologians, and working with those who are building-up the community of pastor-theologians, of missionary pastors and contextual theologians.
There are many groups and institutions doing this and we are glad to announce Northern Seminary (a Cornerstone Partner with Missio Alliance) is launching a new Masters of Arts in Theology and Mission.
This program has a very affordable cost structure built around low monthly payments. It works around one’s local ministry life so as to keep you grounded in the life of the church. And it is communal in nature by linking pastors in training with experienced theologian-practitioners.
The goal of Northern’s Masters of Arts in Theology and Mission is to “grow the community of theologian-practitioners”.
Please check out their new program, and then please let us know of others groups and seminaries that are coming up with innovative ways of training the next generation of pastors.