Back in the 1990s I enrolled in an evangelical divinity school on the north side of Chicago. I am not sure why I was there. I wasn’t sure I wanted to be a pastor or a missionary, but I knew I liked studying and had an ongoing fascination with theology and church history. I spent three years in divinity school. After I finished I did not go into the ministry, but my experience in divinity school prepared me to think about the world from a Christian perspective.
A lot of my classmates at divinity school were there because they they wanted to pastor evangelical congregations. Some of them left careers or good-paying jobs to following God’s call on their lives. Many of them had spouses and children. A lot of them were going into debt in order to fund their divinity education.
I thought about these fellow students when I read Jerry Bowyer’s post, “The Seminary Bubble.” (Thanks for the link, Russ Reeves).
Imagine an institution that requires its leaders to attend not only college, but graduate school. Imagine that the graduate school in question is constitutionally forbidden from receiving any form of government aid, that it typically requires three years of full-time schooling for the diploma, that the nature of the schooling bears almost no resemblance to the job in question, and that the pay for graduates is far lower than other professions. You have just imagined the relationship between the Christian Church and her seminaries.
Read the rest here.