The issues facing our current models and systems of theological education are daunting. Not only are we are seeing more and more examples of seminaries facing extreme financial crises, but the common remedy to this issue of passing the costs on to students has resulted in massive amounts of student debt – a burden that may in fact be “killing the Church.” Another approach is to hire more and more adjunct instructors, but this may only be causing other problems.
Financial stability, however, may not be the most central issue. For many, the “real crisis” facing our seminaries and other centers of theological education has to do with underlying theological frameworks and assumptions that have served to contort our vision and practice of training theological leaders. Note, for example, the extensive, “Future of Seminary Education” symposium by various bloggers at Patheos; Fuller’s, “Seminary of the Future” project; or 3DM’s “The Future of Theological Education” white paper and video presentation. In addition, the ongoing “Cultural Liturgies” project (Desiring the Kingdom and Imagining the Kingdom) of James K.A. Smith, points in this same direction.
It is important to realize that how we read, evaluate, and respond to the issues of our day related to theological education will have significant implications for the shaping of future leaders and the Church at large.
In the workshop below, John Franke (Executive Director of the Yellowstone Theological Institute) and JR Rozko (Director of Operations & Advancement for Missio Alliance) explore these and other issues in conversation with other leaders in the world of theological education.
Let’s hear from you…
- Do you see a crisis in the world of theological education? What is its nature and what are your suggestions for addressing it?
- As a church leader, what are your thoughts on seminary education as you think about identifying future leaders and seeing them equipped for ministry?
The unraveling of Christendom in North America has given rise to a renewed interest in the calling and identity of the Church. However, far less attention has been paid to implications for theological education. Taking God’s missional nature as a point of departure, this workshop will explore the theological and sociological contours of of theological training in a new day, and look at the frontier of new educational initiatives. The way forward will be missional in orientation, exhibit a vital connection to the local church, mindful of a variety of ways to be engaged in ministry, and less focused on producing professionals.
The audio download of this workshop is available HERE and is available for free all day today, 9/23/13 (discount automatically applied when you add the workshop to your cart).