1. Orientation: Or, After the Fall  in  To Understand God Truly

Book Chapter by David Kelsey

The author addresses the question; what is theological about theological education? His audience for the book is students in the early stages of theological. His objective is that the book be accessible, in plain English, and to engage the reader in an ongoing conversation. In addition, he wishes to sugge3st the ways to think about the issues, and to sketch a particular theological view as to the nature and functioin of the theological school.

5. Utopia  in  To Understand God Truly

Book Chapter by David Kelsey

In this chapter the author invites the reader to join in a thought experiment about what some theological school known to them is and ought to be. He identifies three central issues which need to be resolved in this experiment. He suggests that the Christian “thing” is present in concrete reality “in and as various Christian congregations or worshiping communities in all their radical pluralism.” Finally, he lays out the nature and purpose of the remaining chapters.

6. Borrowed Language  in  To Understand God Truly

Book Chapter by David Kelsey

In this chapter the author prepares the reader to deal better with the rest of the book by carefully defining the concepts of “pluralism,” “understand,” “action,” and “practice.” In ordinary usage these concepts are remarkably vague, but as applied to the book’s proposal they are to be used only by the analysis given here.

7. Congregations  in  To Understand God Truly

Book Chapter by David Kelsey

In this chapter, the author refines the thesis that a theological school is a community of persons trying to understand God more truly by focusing its study within the horizon of questions about Christian congregations. He explores, in detail, what constitutes a congregation and why it is the appropriate arena.

A Ministry to Students

Article by A Symposium

  Ministry to Jewish Students Daniel I. Leifer Rabbi Leifer is director of the B’nai  B’rith Hillel Foundation at the University of Chicago. Though much has changed, much has remained the same since I came to work with Jewish students and faculty at the University of Chicago in 1964. Political activism and the use of …

A Seminary’s Artist in Residence: Cathy Kapikian’s Fabric of Faith

Article by Linda-Marie Delloff

The ambivalence of American Protestantism’s relationship to art has always been pronounced. During the early part of the 19th century, church leaders manifested remnants of Puritan negativism toward art, though sporadically there were significant figures speaking out on behalf of religion’s natural association with the creative impulse: for example, Calvinist Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) , Congregational …

A Southern Baptist Context

Article by E. Glenn Hinson

A large institution such as Southern Baptist Theological Seminary no doubt poses a greater problem for the integration of piety and learning, and that of pastoral care and theology, than a smaller, more intimate setting. For one thing, the whole educational process tends to be more programmatic and structured. Classes are often too large for …

Are Church-Related Colleges Also Christian Colleges?

Article by Richard G. Hutcheson, Jr.

A minister of a mainline Protestant denomination, newly hired as a chaplain of a denominational college, met with a committee of the regional judicatory within whose bounds he would be working. “Tell me,” a committee member asked him, “is this college ‘churchrelated’ or ‘Christian’?” Officials at the college found the question offensive, as would most …

Back to Baccalaureate

Article by Donald G. Shockley

Last spring, after a lapse of some 15 years, a baccalaureate service was held at Cornell University, and almost all 2,000 seats in Bailey Hall were filled. Across the continent in southern California, participation in a similar service at the Claremont Colleges has more than doubled in the past three years. In response to a …

Between Athens And Berlin: The Theological Education Debate

Book by David Kelsey

(ENTIRE BOOK) For Kelsey, “Athens” (based on the Greek paideia , “culturing,” “character formation,”) and “Berlin” (based on the German Wissenschaft, “orderly,” “disciplined critical research,” “professional”) represent two very different — and ultimately irreconcilable — models of excellent education. It is the case de facto, says Kelsey, that modern North American theological education, for historical reasons, is committed to both models, resulting in ongoing tensions and struggles. Kelsey shows how a variety of significant thinkers — Newman, Niebuhr, Farley, Stackhouse, and several others — fit in the Athens-Berlin framework.

Campus Ministry in the Last Decade of the Century

Article by F. Thomas Trotter

It is now forty-two years since I became a campus minister. I was the Protestant Chaplain of Boston University and my title expressed something of the religious ethos of that period. Protestant, Catholic, and Jew still faced each other with a kind of curious tentativeness. Typically of great Protestant institutions, Boston University had more Catholics …

Can the Nonconservative Seminaries Help the Churches?

Article by Edward Farley

Religious journalists have been calling attention to the plight of the "liberal" — i.e., nonconservative — theological seminaries. Like almost all institutions of higher education, these schools, whether university-related or denominational, are buffeted by inflation, a decrease of public support, and a drop in student enrollment. A number of considerations may explain the enrollment problem: …

Chapter 1: Between Athens and Berlin  in  Between Athens And Berlin: The Theological Education Debate

Book Chapter by David Kelsey

The "Berlin" type of excellent Christian theological education only emerged in the early nineteenth century, while the "Athens" type had emerged by the end of the first Christian century. But both types had undergone important modifications by the mid-twentieth century. Consequently it will be important to locate the recent discussion of Christian theological educators in North America by noting major ways in which the versions of each type that the current discussion received had been materially modified.

Chapter 12: Social Class  in  Education and the Common Good: A Moral Philosophy of the Curriculum

Book Chapter by Philip H. Phenix

The fundamental democratic principle for social class is that the orders and distinctions of society should be based upon the contribution made by a person to the good of society and not upon personal privilege. The distinction between social class and functional classification is discussed particularly in the field of education and the dangers of grading students abilities and the grades in which students are placed.

Chapter 14: Economic Life  in  Education and the Common Good: A Moral Philosophy of the Curriculum

Book Chapter by Philip H. Phenix

There are three systems in which the economic game of desire is played: Individual free enterprise; associated free enterprise; controlled economy. The American economy has always been a mixture of the three. Because of the growth of population and diminishing resources, the third principle has appeal. The dangers inherent in this and the need for education concerning this are further discussed.

Chapter 15: Political Organization  in  Education and the Common Good: A Moral Philosophy of the Curriculum

Book Chapter by Philip H. Phenix

The importance of the following items in a democracy of worth are given consideration: the place of law; of power; The Constitution; separation of powers; limited powers; representation; party system; local versus Federal control of education; bearing of political democracy on education; and the responsibility of professional educators.

Chapter 17: Religion  in  Education and the Common Good: A Moral Philosophy of the Curriculum

Book Chapter by Philip H. Phenix

While it is not within the province of government to determine who is religious and who is not, nor to discriminate between the different forms of religion, irreligion, and idolatry, except where public security is at stake, it is the function of the democratic state to persuade and encourage its citizens toward religious faith and away from irreligion.

Chapter 2: “Athens” in the Mid-Nineteenth Century  in  Between Athens And Berlin: The Theological Education Debate

Book Chapter by David Kelsey

This chapter present a case study of a mid-nineteenth-century version of the “Athens” type of theological education that was highly honored, at least verbally, in some mid-twentieth-century discussions of higher education generally, in order to draw attention to ways in which the material modifications it introduced have proved to be problematic.

Chapter 2: Two Democracies  in  Education and the Common Good: A Moral Philosophy of the Curriculum

Book Chapter by Philip H. Phenix

There are two kinds of democracy. The first kind is founded on the principle of organizing life to insure maximum satisfaction of human interests or claims. The other type of democracy centers around devotion or loyalty to the good, the right, the true, the excellent. If the American way of life is to be worthy of survival, and if democratic societies are to offer any lasting solution to the problems of men, the solution lies with this second kind of democracy which is referred to as the democracy of worth.

Chapter 3: Intellectual Excellence  in  Education and the Common Good: A Moral Philosophy of the Curriculum

Book Chapter by Philip H. Phenix

Human intellect is universal; intellectual life is crucial to democracy because it is the source of the human community; intelligence is the source of human freedom; intelligence is the foundation of individuality. Therefore, education should be universal, socially oriented, aimed at the development of mature judgment, and cognizant of individual differences.

Chapter 4: The Mass Media of Communication  in  Education and the Common Good: A Moral Philosophy of the Curriculum

Book Chapter by Philip H. Phenix

There are three animating spirits in the magic of the new mechanical and electronic arts: First, the mass media are tools for advancing the interests of those who control them. Second is the view that the function of the agencies of mass communication is to create and sustain a "popular culture." The third is that the process of communication is not simply a bipolar one between the publisher and his public, but is a triadic one involving also the controlling reality of truth, which transcends the participants and transforms the relationship between them.

Chapter 4:”Athens”: Unity and Pluralism in the Current Discussion  in  Between Athens And Berlin: The Theological Education Debate

Book Chapter by David Kelsey

Two very different proposals about the nature and purpose of excellent theological education are examined in this chapter. For one, theology is faith’s inherent insightfulness or wisdom brought to a high level of self-conscious critical reflection. For the other, theology is critical reflection on the narrative of persons’ lives that attends to the concrete particularity of different persons’ experiences of God and to the ways in which those same lives have been victimized by injustice.

Chapter 5: “Berlin”: Unity and Pluralism in the Current Discussion  in  Between Athens And Berlin: The Theological Education Debate

Book Chapter by David Kelsey

Education will be unified if it is ordered to a single overarching goal. More particularly, theological education will be unified if all aspects of the enterprise are ordered to “doing theology” in an appropriate way. Furthermore, all parties agree that the chief criterion of this “appropriateness” is that it be done in a way that capacitates students to “do theology” themselves.

Chapter 5: Esthetic Excellence  in  Education and the Common Good: A Moral Philosophy of the Curriculum

Book Chapter by Philip H. Phenix

In the aristocratic view it is assumed that esthetic judgments are relevant only to certain kinds of activity and are reserved for the aristocracy only. In the democratic view there is no experience that does not have its esthetic aspects or dimensions, and the difference between these two views of esthetic ideals have clear consequences for education.

Chapter 6: “Athens” and “Berlin” in a New Key?  in  Between Athens And Berlin: The Theological Education Debate

Book Chapter by David Kelsey

Charles Wood’s proposal may point the way to something like a higher synthesis. In Vision and Discernmen (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1985) he proposes a way through this impasse by a radical reorientation of the ways in which we have been posing the central questions. The overarching goal of theological education, according to Wood, is theological inquiry. Theological education will be unified when all aspects of it are ordered to that one end.

Chapter 7: Work  in  Education and the Common Good: A Moral Philosophy of the Curriculum

Book Chapter by Philip H. Phenix

Democratic society will not accept the contrast between slave and free and therefore universalizes the responsibility for work. No one is exempt from work, and no fixed classes of persons are assigned to the labor of hand and brain, respectively. Society is not expected to be stratified with respect to labor and leisure, for work is accepted as an intrinsic and universal component of the human situation. Modern technology has largely decreased the difference between the aristocrat and the democrat.

Chapter 8: Recreation  in  Education and the Common Good: A Moral Philosophy of the Curriculum

Book Chapter by Philip H. Phenix

Leisure is no longer the privilege of a select few; science and invention have been a great support to democracy. Thus the average worker has been so far released from wearing toil that the privileges of “aristocrats” and “ordinary people” have been exchanged. The pleasure principle, which is commonly taken for granted as appropriate in recreation, has influenced the whole of educational practice. The “fun principle” inherent in recreation has infected liberal education and this problem is discussed in detail.

Choosing the Impossible: Seminary Students Speak Out

Article by A Roundtable

The seminaries that train future clergy, and the churches that employ them, dominate most discussions about theological education. Too often missing from the analysis of postgraduate preparation for ministry are the students themselves. What do they think about their experiences and their future? To find some answers, The Christian Century invited students from ten Chicago-area …

Christian Colleges: A Dying Light or a New Refraction?

Article by Mark U. Edwards, Jr.

As a president of a church-related college, I find much criticism of church-related higher education to be well-intentioned but wistful nostalgia. Critics such as James Burtchaell, whose book The Dying of the Light was reviewed in these pages by Ralph C. Wood (February 3-10), have simply not indicated realistically how, in the face of massive …

Christianity and Academic Soul-searching

Article by Mark R. Schwehn and Dorothy Bass

With the boom times in higher education over, colleges and universities have been working to renew and sometimes redefine their identities and missions. Within the past few years almost all Christian colleges and universities have sought fresh ways to articulate their religious identity. Simultaneously, large and vocal elements within the secular academy have begun to …

Class Issues

Article by Lillian Daniel

At the opening gathering during my first year at Yale Divinity School, the new students met in the beautiful chapel, with its tall ceilings and clear congregational-style windows. Someone smartly bearded told us how lucky we were to be there. Meanwhile, in the old refectory with its paintings of various dignitaries on the walls, the …

Education and Economism

Article by John B. Cobb, Jr.

As a creature of an historicistic education, I understand myself, our institutions, and our society only as I set them in some sweeping overview of history, knowing that this is only one of many possible overviews. As a theologian I am preoccupied with the history of faith, or basic orientation, or controlling commitment. This has …

Education and the Common Good: A Moral Philosophy of the Curriculum

Book by Philip H. Phenix

(ENTIRE BOOK) Professor Phenix purposes a new curriculum centered around the concepts of intelligence, creativity, conscience, and reverence. There is a distinction between the life of desire, self-satisfaction narrowly conceived, and the life of worth, goodness and excellence, conceived in terms of a moral commitment. Around these concepts come the human characteristics and values essential for a sound education.

Embarrassed by the Church: Congregations and the Seminary

Article by Stanley Hauerwas and W. Willimon

Though seminary faculties like to affirm, in principle, a relationship between Christian theology and the life of the church, academic theology tends to view the ministering congregation as an addendum to the really interesting issues of ethics, philosophical and political theology, or social policy. The most pressing issue for seminary faculties is usually how to …

Emphasizing the Congregation: New Directions for Seminaries

Article by Christopher Walters-Bugbee

Dissatisfaction with curriculum is nothing new to the world of theological education, where “seminary faculty get as passionate about revising curricula as Jesse Helms does about cutting food stamps,” as one seminary trustee has observed. But the discussion has taken on new substance of late with the critique advanced by Edward Farley, professor of theology …

Epilogue  in  To Understand God Truly

Book Chapter by David Kelsey

In his epilogue the author suggests that discussions of theological schooling and proposals to reform it might get further if some of the assumptions and many of the terms conventionally used were changed. He then presents the beginning of “a budget of questions” for critical reflection

Faith in Learning: Integrative Education and Incarnational Theology

Article by Jerry H. Gill

The integration of faith and learning is the raison d’être of Christian higher education. On this point most people involved with Christian and/or church-related colleges agree. On the mode of this integration, however, there is a good deal of disagreement. Setting aside those persons who would insist, whether explicitly or implicitly, on a choice between …

Fit For Ministry?

Article by Barbara G. Wheeler

The changing profile of seminary students has been much remarked upon. Whereas 50 years ago almost all seminarians in North America were white men who had recently graduated from college, today women are a major presence in seminary classrooms, as are (to varying degrees) ethnic and minority groups. Today’s students are also substantially older by …

Formed for Ministry: A Program in Spiritual Formation

Article by L. Gregory Jones and Willie J. Jennings

"I want my seminary experience to form me as a person of prayer." We had never heard a student state this desire so eloquently and succinctly. We sensed in this comment something much more than a first-year student’s desire for greater piety in the school environment. This student had done extremely well at a college …

Higher Education and the Periodization of History

Article by John B. Cobb, Jr.

There is no one correct way to divide Western history into periods. But periodizing can nevertheless be illuminating. My proposal is to periodize in terms of what people are most devoted to, individually, but also, and especially, collectively. I will briefly explain the periodization that results and then discuss its relation to higher education, and …

Making Theology Central in Theological Education

Article by Ronald F. Thiemann

Theology has been in a state of disarray since the passing of the theological giants of the so-called neo-orthodox movement. The discipline has been characterized by a dizzying diversity, and practitioners of the craft have too often been attracted to fleeting intellectual fads. There has been little agreement among theologians about the sources, norms and …

Reorientation and Retrieval in Systematic Theology

Article by Gabriel Fackre

Are seminary professors churchless agnostics? Purveyors of the culture’s latest fads and fancies? More evidence of the decadence of mainline churches? Some recent media reports on the molders of student minds have painted this picture. But 115 syllabi of basic courses in theology from schools around the country tell a different story. They are part …

Revitalizing College Ministry: the ‘Church-on-Campus’ Model

Article by John N. Brittain

Campus ministry is once again a respectable topic of discussion in the mainline churches. Perhaps this is because a wide spectrum of people especially those of typical college-age are turning increasingly to higher education both to meet their educational and developmental needs and to aid them in times of transition. Campus ministry’s increasing respectability can …

Seminary Education Tested by Praxis

Article by Janet F. Fishburn and Neill Q. Hamilton

How well does theological education prepare seminary graduates for the practice of ministry? Curiosity about the answer to that question led us to take a careful look at a Drew University Theological School class three years beyond graduation. The results were arresting. Although we had expected challenges to theological education, there were implications for denomination …

Spread Too Thin

Article by William C. Placher

Book Review: Theological Literacy for the Twenty-First Century Edited by Rodney L. Petersen with Nancy M. Rourke. Eerdmans, 445 pp. Reading this long book on theological literacy has left me mightily discouraged. The discouragement does not come from the book itself, which is excellent. Rodney L. Petersen, its editor, is executive director of the Boston …

Teaching Theology in a New Cultural Environment

Article by Peter Horsfield

Characteristics of the culture in which the gospel is expressed have long been recognized as an essential component in the theological task. Theologian Paul Tillich, for example, suggests that theological thought continually moves in a dialectical tension between two poles – "the eternal truth of its foundations and the temporal situation in which the eternal …

The Church-Based University

Article by Ronald A. Wells

Book Review: Conflicting allegiances: The Church-Based University in a Liberal Democratic Society. Edited by Michael L. Budde and John Wright. Brazos. Can Hope endure? A Case Study in Christian Higher Education. By James C. Kennedy and Caroline J. Simon. Eerdmans, 249 pp. Can a church-related college reinvigorate its Christian identity while maintaining academic quality? That …

The Faith of the Scholars

Article by Daniel L. Pals

Review: The Politics of Religious Studies, by Donald Wiebe, St. Martin’s, 332 pp. $49.95. The gradual dilution of sustained religious catechism in churches and synagogues means that young people often make their first serious contact with the claims of religion not in the presence or a committed pastor, rabbi or parish priest, but in the …

The Future We Shan’t See: Evelyn Underhill”s Pacificism

Article by Robert Gail Woods

Although most libraries have copies of some of her books — the two celebrated ones are Mysticism and Worship — Evelyn Underhill (1875-1941) is but a name to many people, even among the theologically informed. Imagine my consternation a few years ago when, my dissertation on her concept of worship just completed, I talked with …

The Listening Point

Article by Lloyd Steffen

A friend, called upon to bless a family gathering, misspoke his way into wisdom: “God, keep us needful of the minds of others.” Although the need for the minds of others is obvious, much of what human beings strive for — success, power, self-fulfillment — seeks to avoid the transformative influence of other minds. Resisting …

The Value of a Theological Education: Is It Worth It?

Article by John Dart

DANIEL ALESHIRE has been executive director of the Association of Theological Schools since 1998. The Pittsburgh-based association is the accrediting and program agency for graduate theological education in North America. The ATS has 244 Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox member schools. Before joining the ATS staff in 1990, Aleshire, an ordained minister with a Ph.D. in …

Theological Publishing: In Need of a Mandate

Article by Barbara G. Wheeler

There is a widespread tendency to take book publishing for granted. People assume that the publishing of serious books — unlike other cultural activities such as serious music, dance, theater, art and even television and film, all of which are widely acknowledged to require philanthropic support — will happen more or less automatically, the natural …

To Understand God Truly

Book by David Kelsey

(ENTIRE BOOK) This is a book addressed to those who have felt the pinch of a misfit between their expectations of theological education and the realities of a theological school. Theologically speaking, what ought to be the purposes and nature of theological education? What theological commitments ought to be decisive criteria for assessing and reshaping the ethos and polity of a theological school? The readers he has in mind include: perhaps a student starting her second year of study, or an academic who has just joined a theological school faculty and has never herself been previously involved in theological education, or a person newly appointed to the board of trustees of a theological school.

Virtual Seminary

Article by Jason Byassee

For people unable to attend seminary, seminary can come to them, thanks to a new project from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington , D.C. The Wesley Ministry Network (WMN) enables people to sit in on the seminary lecture ball (via DVD), chat with other students and even the professor (over the Internet), and read the …

What Students Crave

Article by Jennifer E. Copeland

Book Review: Religion on Campus By Conrad Cherry, Betty A. DeBerg and Amanda Porterfield. University of North Carolina Press. 316 pp,. College is a crucible in which opinions are formed, challenged and reformed; beliefs are redefined or perhaps defined for the first time, and attitudes become more resolute. That this is so life-shaping a time …

Why Seminaries Don’t Change: A Reflection on Faculty Specialization

Article by Edward Farley

During the past 15 years, theological education has been the subject of intense inquiry. Research arising from social-scientific, theological, historical, feminist and curricular concerns has generated reams of paper and resulted in a significant literature of description and assessment. We probably now know more about theological education than we ever have. While this literature offers …