Christian Post columnist R. Albert Mohler, Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, compares business schools and theological seminaries, which are both “tempted to redefine their mission in strictly academic terms.”
In explicating a recent study published in the Harvard Business Review, Mohler passes on the conclusions about the trend among business schools, “Today, it is possible to find tenured professors of management who have never set foot inside a real business, except as customers.”
Mohler writes of a similar threat to theological schools,
It should be unthinkable that the faculty in a theological seminary would include professors of such limited experience in church life. And yet, I have interviewed applicants for faculty positions who, when asked about their church involvement and ministry experience, have virtually nothing to offer. The task of seminary leaders is to make certain that persons of such minimal church experience and commitment are not offered faculty positions in our schools.
With all due respect to Dr. Mohler, my experience with seminary theological traning is that it is becoming less academically rigorous, not more. True systematic theology, for example, is often viewed by ministerial candidates as too difficult and not practical enough, so instead of reading Louis Berkhof’s Systematic Theology or Herman Bavinck’s Reformed Dogmatics, students might read Philip Yancey’s What’s So Amazing about Grace?