What do pastoral leaders in flourishing congregations have to say to theological educators in theological schools or seminaries? The changing landscape of congregations and society as a whole has required pastoral leaders to speak out about the formational preparedness and ministry effectiveness of theological school graduates. Here are some ideas we’re working on for a forthcoming article.
It is in the best interest of theological educators to listen well to pastoral leaders by considering and making adjustments to the mission and curriculum in order to fulfill its primary purpose: to prepare religious professionals for ministry. From over 100 interviews and nine focus groups with pastoral leaders across Canada, these are some of the initial themes and questions that we have discovered:
Equipping the Saints
How do you train and identify lay leaders in the church and how do you categorize them?
How do you go about equipping the saints so that they can disciple and care for others and intentionally have them thinking reproduction?
Pastoral Leaders need to be trained as missiologists not just chaplains
How do you develop pastoral leaders that are not just leaders but learners?
How do you engage the community outside of the congregation/parish?
After conversion, now what?
How do you help people in the congregation/parish to continue to grow in their faith?
How do internships impact the development of potential pastoral leaders while they are in school?
What role does the seminary play in mentorship and helping students discern mentors?
The Flourishing Congregations Institute is still in the process of analyzing these themes and questions. Watch for our article on what pastoral leaders have to say to theological educators in theological schools or seminaries.