Thursday, December 02, 2010

The Via Media

In an essay entitled Theology and Learning in Early America, Melvin Endy explained the nature of early American theological formation:
From the middle of the eighteenth century until the 1820s, when most Congregational ministerial candidates began attending such newly formed seminaries as those at Andover, Yale, and Harvard, probably a majority of the Congregational ministerial candidates supplemented their college education by living and studying in a parsonage seminary under the guidance of a minister with an established reputation as an instructor.
We have no official list of such instructional centers due to their informality, but that kind of practical theological training is how it happened, and how in many ways it still happens.  As I put together my professional academic CV, by necessity my time at Media Presbyterian Church becomes less prominent, simply because it's not directly related to my academic pursuits.  Still, who I am is largely dependent upon the education I was privileged to get at the congregation where I spent three formative years after college.  All this is a roundabout way of directing you to the best sermon on Universalism you're likely to hear.