Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Fixing Seminaries

Well, at least someone said it. According to Jason Byassee:
Seminary teachers should primarily be evaluated on the basis of the faithfulness of the pastoral careers of seminarians they train, rather than on books published, contributions to journals, or offers of employment form rival institutions. Such a restucturing would require no diminution in intellectual skills. For there is no more demanding task, linguistically, theologically, or morally, than training pastors to conduct faithful ministry in the church (p. 269).
I would quibble though. There's no more demanding task than being those ministers. And not only would Byassee's reform require no diminution of cerebral capacity; it would demand an increase. Byassee goes on to suggest Seminaries move toward the monastic model, a move which - for Protestants such as Byassee - requires traversing the Jacobian gauntlet.