from Norman Jameson, Baptist News Global:
Institutions living between the death throes of the old and the birth pangs of the new must navigate a murky landscape.
As old churches shrink, merge and close, and as new churches crop up in schools, strip malls, living rooms and multi-family housing complexes, the theological institutions on which the old model depended to produce its leaders are themselves tapping their way through the future, white canes extended.
Daniel Aleshire, executive director of the Association of Theological Schools since 1998 and author of Earthen Vessels: Hopeful Reflections on the Work and Future of Theological Schools, sees theological education occupying the shifting sand of an era that has left the old but has not yet arrived at the new.
Add rigid degree requirements, accelerating costs, crushing student debt, fewer decent paying church jobs and a decreasing potential student pool, and the mix of ingredients is a cauldron of potential disaster.
On the other hand Aleshire's perspective from a lifetime involved in theological education keeps him from seeing disaster around the corner. Instead, he sees theological education in transition between its historical support mechanisms and whatever will eventually develop.
The entire story can be read here.