How Does Ministerial Training Need to Change?

From the Reformed Baptist Seminary blog I noted the following link to a post from TGC regarding seminary education. RBS asks the question: How Does Ministerial Training Need to Change? I answered that question in my recent post – How Your children Will Attend Seminary. TGC asks the question, “What one thing would you change about seminary?” and answers come from:

  • R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky
  • D. A. Carson, Professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
  • Jeff Louie, associate professor of theology, Western Seminary
  • Richard Pratt, former chair of Old Testament, Reformed Theological Seminary

A few snippets are below…

But what one thing would I change? I would want to banish forever the idea that the mission of the theological seminary is to turn out newly minted professional ministers. Far too many Christians—and this includes many who should know better—think of the Christian ministry as a profession. Thus, they assume that a theological seminary is directly analogous to a medical school training physicians or a law school teaching those who will be attorneys. The idea that ministry is a profession is disastrous. The very idea of a profession is alien to the minister’s calling. Central to the concept of a profession is the idea that there is an identifiable body of knowledge and a profile of expertise that, once mastered, renders the candidate a professional. But, as the New Testament makes clear, there are persons who can master such knowledge and acquire the skill set and yet never be called nor qualified for the Christian ministry. (Mohler)

…close integration with an expanding apprenticeship program in our best churches, led by pastors who believe in theological education but who will also train our M.Div. graduates in relationships, spirituality… (Carson)

The agenda of evangelical seminaries is set primarily by scholars. Professors decide how students will spend their time; they determine students’ priorities; they set the pace. And guess what. Scholars’ agenda seldom match the needs of the church. (Pratt)


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