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The End of Theological Education
PAPERBACK; Coming Soon: 5/26/2023
ISBN: 978-0-8028-7887-8
Price: $ 19.99
239 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 5.5 x 8.5
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Series: Theological Education between the Times

How to envision theological education in this time between the times

 The dominant model of theological education is coming to an end—but Ted A. Smith looks to its ultimate ends as sources of hope and renewal.

Smith locates the crisis facing theological education today in a sweeping history of religion in the United States, from the standing orders of the colonial period to the voluntary associations of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He then connects today’s challenges to shifts in contemporary society, including declining religious affiliation, individualization, rising desires for authenticity, and the unraveling of professions.

Smith refuses to tell the story as one of progress or decline. Instead, he puts theological education in eschatological perspective, understanding it in relation to its ultimate purpose: “knowledge of God. . . so deep, so intimate, that it requires and accomplishes our transformation.” This knowledge is not restricted to a professional clerical class but is given for the salvation of all. Seeing by the light of this hope, Smith calls readers to reimagine church, ministry, and theological education for this time between the times.

Table of Contents

A Parable   
1. Consolidation   
2. Individualization   
3. Unraveling   
The End   
4. Renunciations   
5. Affordances   
Instead of an Altar Call: For Further Action and Reflection