Rethinking the Purpose of a Seminary Education

Thursday, I got into a wide ranging discussion which drifted over to question of how we welcome people who are different from ourselves. I brought up the book Radical Welcome by the Rev. Stephanie Spellers, which is on my seminary reading list. It has been a very important book to me which I expect to come back to often. In our discussion, we spoke a little bit about praying for President Trump as well as for Steve Bannon. We moved on to talking about what we need to do to truly welcome homeless people into our churches. It was a great discussion, and at the end, a friend commented to me that I needed to keep in mind was that the reading list is not for me, but for the communities I am part of.

To a certain extent, I feel a little selfish in my seminary studies. It is something I am enjoying greatly and I could easily fall into the idea that I’m doing it for myself, and my relationship with God. Yet we live in communities. My studies are also for the communities I’m part of, and not just in some future time when I become ordained or find more regular opportunities to preach, but right now.

So now, my mind is spinning with ideas about writing blog posts I might write, conversations I might have, this semester, right now, about ideas I am encountering. It is balanced with thoughts about the amount of reading and writing I have to get done for my classes. We shall see how much makes it to this blog. Stay tuned.

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