I’ve really been enjoying the conversation about seminary education over the past couple of days. Thanks for joining in!
Jumping off of those threads, I’ve been thinking about how we should conceptualize seminary as a component of preparation for ministry. So here’s the question:
If that distinction doesn’t work for you, don’t get lost in subtleties. This is what I’m getting at: should we think of seminary as preparing people for ministry, such that an M.Div. recipient should be, generally, ready to step into a ministerial calling (the first option)? Or should we think of it as providing an academic component that will require various other components in order for someone to be pronounced ready to step into a ministerial call?
I think that this overarching question has significant bearing on some of the issues raised in the past two days’ discussions: how academic should our M.Div. be? How academic should a seminary be? Should a seminary admit non-Christians?
I suppose all of this is could be asked a little less abstractly or idealistically: what are we doing by requiring an academic degree for pastoral ministry? What does this communicate, and what does that mean for how a seminary should conceptualize its curriculum?
What do you think?