Friday, February 6, 2015

The Evolving Future of Theological Education

From Patheos-

I have been on The Episcopal Church’s Board of Examining Chaplains now for twelve years. I’ve finished my last batch of ordination examinations and as of General Convention next summer, I will have completed my responsibilities.

The examination has evolved over the last twelve years, as has the mechanism for evaluating it. I’ve been an observer and participant in the process.  I’ve heard the debates around the character and value of the examination. I’ve participated in the attendant debates around the shape and efficacy of seminary education.  I’ve also been a part of the “conversations about the conversation” about what the church needs by way of priests and deacons that has never taken place.

I wish that I was leaving the Board this year with a sense that we were somewhere on an upward trajectory, that we were building toward something as a church, that a vision for theological education was taking shape, that there was a fresh resolve to take seriously the task of clergy formation.  Reading one to two hundred essay examinations a year, gives you a sense of how important that could be and how subtle and challenging that process is.

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