22.3.11

Theological education - good enough or adequate?

An interesting article has come to my attention - thanks DDD.

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.


Read more here

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. 


4 comments:

Lynne said...

I can certainly say that my own theological education certainly didn't teach me everything , but what it did do is give me the tools for ongoing, self-directed learning.

ian Paul said...

I think the issues here are slightly different, and I explore some of them at http://www.psephizo.com/?p=333

Robert said...

How many would-be priests and ministers are really interested in theological training? I've managed to avoid theological colleges, but I've heard some despairing comments from those who teach there. I've noticed that some ministers go through the system, presumably pick up enough to pass the exams, then come out with the sort of theologically naive stuff they were probably spoonfed in Sunday School, as if they'd never studied at all.

Rachel said...

Hi Lynne

I think you are very right in what you say and it is one of the reasons why I continue to blog and read around. Reading the blogs of others is also particularly helpful, especially many of those at Biblioblogs. In studying theology, I sense that I am venturing into the heart of God, however crass that might sound... I feel alive when I study theology because it is life-giving. Just today we listened to our lecturer explain to us beautifully and with such humility what it is that happened at the cross and we were all blessed by it and stand now better equipped to reveal some of its light to others.

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