Author Topic: Orthodox seminary and pastoral education  (Read 1405 times)

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Offline Dart

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Orthodox seminary and pastoral education
« on: November 23, 2010, 05:08:39 PM »
What is the oldest Orthodox seminary?
I found two contenders. One in Serbia dating to 1794 and one in Kiev dating to 1819. Is this correct?

What is appropriate education for an Orthodox Priest?

Is the modern seminary the only method used today? Is it adequate and appropriate?

Does what is being taught in seminary shape the role a Priest plays in society ie psychotherapist, administrative manager, choir director, youth education, advocate of social issues, environment, marital counselor, bereavement specialist etc?

Offline Dart

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Re: Orthodox seminary and pastoral education
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2010, 05:44:59 PM »
There seems to be very little discussion anywhere on the forum in regards to seminary. I hope this is not a forbidden topic. Maybe it would be easier to talk about Protestant or Roman Catholic Seminaries rather than our own.

Allow me to perhaps seed the discussion with this quote in regards to theory versus practice as it applies to the seminary:

"Seminaries . . . give their graduates skills to study the Bible and theology but not skills to
lead the modern church. . . . The seminaries . . . continue to emphasize academics. . . .
Pastors believe seminary professors do not understand their need for ministry skills or
mentors. Professors often view pastors and the church as “anti-intellectual.” Seminaries often
turn a deaf ear to the needs of the local church and arrogantly defend scholarly education."

....from John Woodyard, Program Officer, The M .J. Murdock Charitable Trust Review of
Graduate Theological Education in the Pacific Northwest, “Executive Report.”

"This narrow focus on scholasticism in seminary education left no room for the Holy
Spirit to move or guide the learning process. From the very beginning at Harvard
there was explicit rejection of the Holy Spirit’s power and guidance as something
foreign to the structure of theological education and the related authority of Puritan

"When the Great Awakening revivalist, George Whitefield, criticized Harvard and
Yale for their spiritual decline in 1740, the leaders of Harvard and Yale criticized
Whitefield and rejected Whitefield’s position that the Holy Spirit could directly
guide and empower God’s people without the mediation of theologically trained

"In 1744, when Whitefield was back in New England, the Harvard faculty replied indignantly,
characterizing Whitefield as “an uncharitable, censorious and slanderous Man,” and, worst
of all, an “Enthusiast,” meaning he claimed direct guidance from the Spirit of God. . . .
Harvard professors and their clerical supporters correctly perceived that Whitefield was a
threat to their whole system of social authority." from Marsden, The Soul of the American University,
« Last Edit: November 24, 2010, 05:57:34 PM by Dart »

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Orthodox seminary and pastoral education
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2010, 06:38:35 PM »
I didn't say anything because I don't have any answer for ya ;) Fwiw, here's as close as I can come to at least giving thoughts on seminary education... I don't know how it is outside the states, but I'm pretty sure most jursidictions here in the US. strongly insist on a bachelors degree from an accredited school, followed by a masters degree at an Orthodox school/seminary (St. Vlads, St. Tikhons, Holy Cross, etc.). However, it is not necessarily like this across the board; for example, I think the Seminary of the Carpatho Russians will let you take Seminary courses with just a high school diploma (though getting a college degree first is encouraged). Not sure about the other Orthodox schools, like the one out in Berkeley or the one in Alaska.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2010, 06:39:39 PM by Asteriktos »