The Future of Seminary

Sunday night after church I was out with a few fellow Journey-ers and we were talking about the future of seminary. It’s been a frequent conversation around the Village in recent years- what to do about educating this next generation of Christian leaders, who are currently being prepared for a Church that may or may not continue in its same form, and arguably not preparing them for leadership in the emerging church. There is also the issue of cost- not only monetary but time- associated with a traditional 3 year seminary. It seems less and less possible these days for someone to drop everything, move somewhere to study for 3 years, and then graduate to be paid very little in return on that hefty life investment.

It’s a monumental question that will require a lot of creative thinking, and frankly I think the answer lies in a multiplicity of models. Recently the Parish Collective has been addressing this issue, and they’ve garnered a unique partnership with the Seattle School of Theology and Psychology (formerly Mars Hill Graduate School). I really love what they’re doing, and if the seminary question is of interest to you, you should explore what they’re attempting. Below is a video of  Dwight Friesen talking briefly about the Think-Tank Model. Dwight is an innovative thinker and great friend of EV. He’s always worth a listen!

What do you think are the major questions/issues facing the future of seminary education?

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  • Randy Woodley

    This is similar to what we have been doing at NAIITS since its inception in 2001. (NAIITS-North American Institute for Indigenous Theological Studies) Terry LeBlanc, Richard Twiss, Randy Woodley, Ray Aldred, Wendy Peterson, Cornelius Buller,Shari Russell, Andrea Smith, et. al. etc. Ask us about it.

  • Sean Witty

    D-Very interested in this conversation given my proximity to many Boston sems, especially Andover-Newton..

    A good model, ironically? The BerklOee College of Music. Why? The vast majority who actually graduate (many leave to get working) will not be superstars. However, they WILL be prepared to be working musicians with a BA or BS.

    Interestingly, MBA’s are questioning similarly, especially in light of the absence of any real focus on business ethics.

    So, what questions? At the risk of overusing business terms, 2 questions:
    What’s our business?
    How’s business?

    Tx for bringing this up. Let me know when you’re in Boston. We’ll host you at and