I didn’t end up going there, but I’ve wondered if they really did do that. I don’t think the tagline would have fit the seminary I attended. It’s not that I feel unprepared for ministry in the 21st century—I don’t. We talked a lot about the current cultural landscape and the need to do ministry differently, and the theological and scriptural grounding I received has served me well… but in talking to friends, who attended a variety of schools, seminaries trained us well for a church that is disappearing, less so for the church as it currently is.
(Maybe this is an unsolvable problem—people always gripe about what they don’t teach you in seminary, but maybe there’s only so much you can do before you’re on the job in a particular context. Unless you have psychic powers, you don’t know exactly what you’re going to need.)
The seminary I attended—which is a place I loved and continue to support—sent out a survey this morning asking a couple of questions.
- living and translating the gospel of Jesus Christ in an often hostile or indifferent culture
- congregational revitalization–how to faithfully serve and lead churches that are graying and/or dying
- small church ministry… since most churches are
- tentmaking–how to support oneself when more and more calls are part-time
- family systems work
- leadership skills
- entrepreneurial skills, that would serve both new church development and revitalization efforts
- social media and faithful use of technology
What do you think? What would you add?