Given all the kerfuffle at General Theological Seminary, articles like http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/religion/the-rise-and-fall-of-the-american-seminary-commentary/2014/10/07/9c43911c-4e39-11e4-877c-335b53ffe736_story.html are appearing. What I said a while back is even more important now.
It’s nothing new, this concern over the shrinking job opportunities for full-time, stipended ordained ministry, and the growing problem of student debt accumulated by those studying for it. People were yakking about this when I started seminary over 20 years ago. Strangely, although the problem was recognized, nothing was actually done about it, except to try to raise money to defray some of the cost of going to seminary.
Obviously, it hasn’t addressed the bigger problem, and neither really does this article from the Atlantic.
It barely even acknowledges that there is a bigger problem–or maybe more than one problem that is bigger than fewer clergy jobs and more student debt for would-be clergy. And there are.
The first “bigger problem” is that the church refuses to acknowledge that society (at least in the US) has changed so much that there may not be a need for full-time paid…
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