Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Seminaries

William B. Evans, in "On Choosing a Seminary" suggests a taxonomy of seminary types:
.... I have concluded that the ethos of a theological seminary, the soul of a school if you will, can be characterized in terms of its response to three sets of polarities, each of which is to be viewed as involving two poles on a continuum. Bear in mind that no school will match these categories completely. These three sets of polarities, in turn, form an interpretive grid that some of my students seem to have found useful. These three sets of polarities are: (1) the graduate school of theology vs. the school for pastors, (2) catechetical vs. critical, and (3) ecumenical vs. confessional. ....
Later he argues that it is important for pastors to be well versed in the theological tradition they profess:
The current crisis of Christian education today—the fact that many evangelical Christians are unable to articulate even the basics of Christian doctrine—suggests that many churches need a renewed focus on the basics of their traditions. What is needed, first of all at least, is not the critical analysis of the tradition but basic knowledge of the tradition itself. The minister who succeeds in passing his theological heritage and tradition on to the next generation has done a good and increasingly rare thing! .... [more]
On Choosing a Seminary - Reformation21