The Future of Pastoral Education

Frederick Schmidt writes about theological education in the article:Is It Time to Write the Eulogy?: The Future of Seminary Education. It contains various interesting and important topics, but this part caught my attention.

In the ’60s, seminaries prepared a generation of seminarians that rightly attended to issues of social justice. That was fair enough—sin has its corporate dimensions. … In the ’70s and ’80s, this trend gave way to the importance of pastoral counseling. … But, as with other excesses spawned by trends in theological education, the net result was a generation of clergy who practiced unlicensed therapy.

Now the trend is leadership … There has never been any doubt that the church needs to be better led, but one has to wonder how much spiritual guidance there is to be had at the hands of clergy who think of themselves as ecclesiastical managers.

Frederick indicates that the problem of the narrow focus can be found in the academia, I on the other hand think that the ultimate issue is the lack of pastoral self-understanding and a better ecclesiology, not only among the pastors but in the whole church. What is the role of the pastor in the church and why?

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