Over on my blog – I recently spent some time reflecting on a recent spate of posts in the media and blogosphere trying to get at the so-called “Future of Seminary Education”. The web portal Patheos.com has sponsored a large online symposium addressing the question that continues to grow.
As a seminary graduate myself, faculty member at a few seminaries mentioned in the discussions as well as the Associate Dean at Seattle Pacific Seminary, I have been following the discussion but must admit that I am left scratching my head a bit with what I am seeing as the conclusions and predictions. Here are some thoughts to add to the discussion.
For starters, given that the changing face of Christianity is certainly not white and male, reviewing just the faces of the key discussion leaders offers up a pretty ethnically and economically homogeneous group to write reflections on what they see as the future… given that they themselves are not the future in a majority sense. » Read the rest of this entry «
During the Abbey Intensive on Whidbey Island, Dean Doug Strong assigned the graduate students (along with one faculty member each) in to small groups. Modeled after Wesleyan-style class meetings, these small groups meet every week to discuss the things that are happening in each other’s lives.
My group in particular meets on Mondays in the library. During the hour session, we have been able to connect in a way that has enabled a strong bond between students. At the beginning of the quarter, the discussion between students was basic and minimal. However, we have seen strong relational growth as the quarter has gone on. For us, the meeting begins with a general question about the week. Each individual elaborates on where they have seen Jesus working in their lives throughout the week and asks for prayer in any specific area where there may be struggles. At the end of the meeting, the group prays for each other and encourages each other on in the name of Christ.
For me personally, class meetings have been an excellent source of fellowship with my fellow students. I have built stronger friendships and been more open with them than I sometimes am at church in my own community. The required class meetings have been awesome.