The Changing Seminary–The Changing Pastor

Scott McClellan of Collide Magazine has an excerpt of an interview/article with Craig Detweiler on the the state of seminary, Culture and Seminary. In what I read so far, Craig brings up some interesting points.

COLLIDE: It seems to me that the majority of seminaries spend the majority of their students’ time focusing on 1st-century culture. Is there going to be a shift toward incorporating 21st-century culture as well? Or is that ahead of its time?

Detweiler: No, that’s the right question. Seminaries were created in an era where ministers were prepared to have the most information. The ministers were supposed to be the most educated and the most informed about the Scriptures.

COLLIDE: The most literate maybe?

Detweiler: The most literate. And none of that has necessarily changed, but we’re now dealing with an age of too much information. And so, the job is to help people sort through all of the inputs to find out what matters amongst the avalanche of information. It’s about pointing people to reliable sources, pointing people to credible interpretations, inviting people into ongoing dialogue with their friends, neighbors, and coworkers around the pop cultural expressions. So, it’s moving the seminary education from pastor as most informed to pastor as most insightful because people no longer have an information problem. It’s not about lack of information. It’s about lack of discernment. Information is available to all. Wisdom and discernment remain rarer than ever.

COLLIDE: So, is that change going happen at seminaries anytime soon?

Detweiler: The best seminaries for the 21st century will be born in the 21st century.

Question: Will pastors be threatened, or are they threatened by the available information to the laity, information that was once privy to them through all their education and study?

5 Comments

  1. by Tyler on June 10, 2008  12:54 am Reply

    I agree with his statement but disagree with his conclusion. Most of what he said was dead on. The best pastors have always been the most insightful with great information. So his conclusion is that how pastors need to be trained has changed, but I think his statements are true of pastors today and yesterday. Even if a seminary helps pastors be more insightful, there will still be pastors who have the skill of giving great insight into topics they are great knowledge of.

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