We live in a complex and fast-changing world that will require a generation of leaders who are as well trained and educated as are the people in any other profession. It is a crime and miscarriage to require anything less. I often tell my students, "If you were laying in the operating room and some one bounded in and declared, 'Hi, I'm Fred, and I don't know a thing about anatomy or the practice of medicine, but I just love the idea of serving God through surgery,' you would use your remaining moments of consciousness to roll off the gurney and claw your way down the hall. And yet it was Jesus who said, 'Fear not those who can kill the body, but those who kill the soul.'" Churches that fearfully cast around for quick fixes to the training of clergy, give it scant attention, and then abandon their priests and pastors to the vagaries of forming themselves cannot expect to be a spiritual force in the world. Nor can they expect their clergy to be positive spiritual forces in the lives of others.
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It is making me think about my own theological education. However, embroiled in the middle of it and perhaps because I am not yet out there in the thick of it, I will return to the thinking here in a year or two and see how prepared I really was.