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Blog // Thoughts
March 17, 2006

Students Head To Seminary, But Not To The Ministry

From today’s New York Times, comes news of a trend that many have been talking about for some time. Seminary enrollments are up, but the new students are not seeing their long-term goal as traditional full-time ministry. This is a very positive trend because it shows a strongly mission-based outlook to career and vocation. It […]

From today’s New York Times, comes news of a trend that many have been talking about for some time. Seminary enrollments are up, but the new students are not seeing their long-term goal as traditional full-time ministry.

This is a very positive trend because it shows a strongly mission-based outlook to career and vocation. It also blurs the line between formal and informal ministry. However, many theological colleges and centres of learning are not really euqipped for this trend, being locked as they are in denominational and traditional modes of thinking.

I recall bringing this issue up quite a number of times during the 90s, but it seemed the larger colleges in Sydney were reluctant (or unable) to see students that were not looking at full-time ministry as anything other than second-class citizens (or there soley for ‘personal enrichment’). The notion that the church might suggest to their best and brightest that the best way to serve was by avoiding the pulpit and heading back into “secular” employment was even more inconceivable.

Moreover, what is interesting from this New York Times piece is some students are avoiding traditional church roles not because those are hard or demanding, but because of what they perceive as issues in the power structures of the churches.

[tags] Theological Education, Seminary, Missional [/tags]

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