The old way of doing seminary simply will not succeed in a new and changing ecclesial landscape The church (the future church, not the church of the present or the past) must set the agenda for theological education. Ray Anderson has some tough words. He wrote: The captivity of the church’s theological agenda of so-called professional scholars in academic theological education is a charge often raised by pastors as they look back on their theological education (Ministry on the Fireline, p. 194). This indictment might be challenged, and it should be. But, this charge should also be examined as we consider new ways to do theological education.
David Bosch writes: Just as the church ceases to be church if it is not missionary, theology ceases to be theology if it loses its missionary character . The crucial question, then, is not simply or only or largely what church is or what mission is; it is also what theology is and is about. We are in need of a missiological agenda for theology rather than just a theological agenda for mission; for theology, rightly understood, has no reason to exist other than critically to accompany the missio Dei.(David J. Bosch . Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission (pp. 487-488).
I am committed to theological education. It is absolutely essential. We must be about the good and hard work of training ministry leaders for good theological reflection, competence in practice, and forming character as followers of Christ. Anything short of this leads to ministerial malpractice. But theological education must be re-imagined.
Here is an article I wrote on this topic for Patheos in 2011. This re-imagining is even more critical today. http://www.patheos.com/Resources/Additional-Resources/ReSourcing-the-Whole-Church-Kurt-Fredrickson-11-14-2011