Seminary as a melting pot

You’ve signed up for your first seminary class to be a mainline protestant minister and you enter the room to find . . .

not a pentecostal, not a independent fundamental but a Muslim or a rabbi seeking to further his education. Actually, it’s cross-training, not full degree programs.

The experimental approach is intended to create U.S. religious leaders who not only preach tolerance in an era of religious strife but who have lived it themselves by rubbing shoulders with those in other Abrahamic faiths.

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But organizers have not been able to avoid acrimony entirely. Some more conservative elements in the Christian and Jewish communities have pushed back, worried the approach may dilute their own faiths.

I’m just trying to picture how this is going to work.  I’m all for us living civilly in the same areas and learning about each other to help make that happen, but the purpose of a seminary is to train men and women for their ministry areas – to make sure they have a thorough understanding of their own faiths, creeds, Scriptures.  I think the concern over dilution is terribly valid.

California Theology School To Meld Studies of Different Faiths


4 thoughts on “Seminary as a melting pot

  1. This is already happening in departments of religious studies, now seminaries? I don’t think this is good for faith-building either. It forces Christians to water-down our faith, which is perhaps what they want.

  2. I don’t see any way that this kind of program can keep high standards of teaching what are uniquely Christian.

    Yep, “uniquely Christian” and also faithfulness to the gospel is the main thing here. I’m all for inter-church/denominational discussions and stuff. I also like to discuss religious and faith issues with people of other religions, but when we are talking about where people are trained for real ministry, a seminary setting is just not the proper setting.

  3. I agree. I like the discussion, but there are so many avenues in which that can occur – not the entire training ground. I have to wonder how well grounded this seminary’s program was in the first place.

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