Dave Black offers his views on the role of seminary today (Wednesday, February 10, 2010 at 6:20 pm):
The denominational seminary has a vital role to play today. It can either reflect and teach a one-man ministry pastorate, or it can reflect and teach that pastors/elders are equippers and strategists and catalysts seeking to revive the ministry of the so-called laity so that North American Christians can carry on a peoples ministry as seen in the book of Acts. Title, formalities, and traditions often hinder the latter approach. But in fact many seminary professors are leading the charge in recovering the priesthood teaching of the New Testament. They do not call into question the existence of elders in the New Testament. They do, however, challenge the elders in their classes to work toward a more strategic use of their pastoral skills in the deployment of the entire congregation for the fuller exercise of every believer’s God-given priesthood. In my opinion, this should be the blueprint for education whether in the seminary or in the local church. Unless elders take seriously their charge of equipping, the church (and the seminary) will retain a much too exclusive concentration on the church as a clerical and sacramental institution.
If we really want to be like Jesus we’re going to have to insist on full participation of all Christians in the edification and evangelism ministries of the church. No pastor can fulfill the responsibility Christ gave to each believer. This gives our generation the gigantic task of continuous reorientation.
Hmmm… a seminary that trains the entire church to serve (minister). That sounds like my kind of seminary.