Seminaries and the Future -- Sightings (Martin Marty)
I am a seminary graduate -- two degrees from Fuller Theological Seminary. I found my time at seminary very formative and do not regret going to seminary in general or Fuller in particular. Back in the day I was a fairly traditional student -- 1 and 1/2 years out of college, not yet married, and free to do what I needed to do. Fuller was growing by leaps and bounds then and continues to expand, but seminaries are struggling. This is especially true of denominationally affiliated schools. Recent news about Luther Theological Seminary, one of the largest in the country, having severe financial difficulties has raised the topic of the value of seminaries.
Tony Jones has recently opined about the prospect of the death of the residential seminary. Tony, like me, is the beneficiary of a strong seminary education, but he puts greater faith in new media than do I. Unlike him, I'm not sure that TED talks are a possible replacement. But that remains to be seen.
Martin Marty, a now emeritus professor at one of America's most distinguished seminaries, also opines about the current situation -- pointing us to the same Chronicle of Higher Education article that Tony looked at. I suggest reading all of these sources and let us engage in a conversation about the value of theological education! As for me, I believe that we need more theological education, not less! Maybe it needs retooling, but the premise of theological education is still important.