Defending My Seminary Stance: Introduction

As can be expected, many people don’t like some of the assertions I’ve made about the future of seminaries. That’s no surprise. What bothers me a little bit is that I feel like I am being misunderstood. If people disagree with me on substance, that’s fine, but I don’t like being misunderstood.

Honestly, there is good reason for me to be misunderstood. I wrote the post on a whim. When I first saw Tyler’s post I was instantly struck by how differently I saw things and was therefore inspired to write about it. I didn’t feel like hunting down all the references that back up some of the claims I was making, and because of that some have said I’m just making unsubstantiated predictions about the future.

So, in order to be a little clearer in my analysis and give this topic the treatment that it deserved in the first place (and to give me something to write about) I’m going to try and substantiate my arguments better and defend against the common objections against my stance on seminaries. I think I’ve said all this before, but just to clarify:

  • This is forward-looking. My claims are more akin to predictions about why seminaries can’t keep doing things the way they do now than they are an indictment on today.
  • This seminary peice is only a small part of where I see ecclesiology moving. Many detractors seem to argue their case assuming the current systems, norms, standards, and beuracracies will exist indefinitely. I see things differently. There are many ecclesial dominoes that will fall and this is one piece. To understand the argument you have to be able to imagine that the future will be different than today. I will get into these specifics more in turn.
  • I am simply siggesting there might be another way to train church leaders. Can’t we at least raise the question?
  • Irrelevance might not be the best word to use, but that was the word Tyler used in his original, so I kept that language. If seminaries don’t change they will become irrelevant, but they are not necessarily so right now.

Thanks to everyone who’s chimed in on this conversation, whether in support or in defense. Either way, you have helped me to think more about this topic. I hope you will stay involved in the discussion to come over the next few weeks.


  1. says

    on those points I think you and I see the same things happening. i just see seminary as a place that is changing/will change and adapt. and i see it as the most effective place to learn and grow for ministry in many capacities.

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