Home Pastors The Ending of Seminaries as We’ve Known Them

The Ending of Seminaries as We’ve Known Them

As I’ve written about before, there are things seminaries can do to recapture the attention of students and the trust of the churches who send them. They include, but are far from limited to, the following:

  • Go all-in on hybrid models of education, offering both in-person and online courses and degrees. See this as the new normal.

  • Actively seek out pastors and listen to what they feel a seminary education needs to hold for people they might send their way. In other words, listen to the customer.

  • Embrace the contemporary Church instead of being threatened by it. Rather than seminaries seen as places diametrically opposed to any and all new wineskins, let the seminary be in the vanguard of cutting-edge thought related to the practice of ministry in a post-Christian world.

  • Work collaboratively with churches to provide a seminary education, which means letting the Church truly contribute to that education in ways only the Church can. Seminaries need to work with churches to bring seminary education into the local church.

  • Help faculty and staff realize that they do not primarily serve the academy but the local church, and pray for appropriate passion among the faculty to that end.

  • Ruthlessly evaluate curriculum in light of what it is most trying to do, which is preparing men and women for vocational ministry. Yes, teach about the Council of Nicaea, but also teach about leading a council at church.

  • Lose theological agendas, but rather teach diverging viewpoints within historic orthodoxy with fairness, building faculties with robust diversity within the framework of evangelical thought. Translation: a pastor should feel comfortable sending their Arminian-leaning student as much as a Calvinist.

 Again, I’m rooting for seminaries. I think seminary presidents are doing the best they can with the cards they have been dealt. But that is the problem – the cards.

Maybe it’s time to reshuffle the deck.

This article originally appeared here and is used by permission.