Theological Education between the Times
Series Editior: Ted Smith

Theological education is between the times. A long-established model that stresses preparation for ordained ministry as a full-time job is showing many signs of strain. Some venerable schools have closed. Others have embedded themselves in larger institutions, sold their campuses, or taken other dramatic steps to extend their lives. This new reality cuts across lines of denomination, race, politics, and region. The whole ecology of theological education as preparation for professional ministry is groaning under intense pressure. But the story is not simply one of decline. New possibilities are already emerging.

This series attempts to provoke smart, richly plural conversations about the highest ends of theological education that may be able to help readers understand and imagine what might come next—what might be born out of this time of transition.

Each book in the series brings a particularity that reflects the distinct contexts and commitments of its author. And while the books are practical in the deepest sense, they are not a sequence of slides in the deck of a consultant’s presentation. Nor do they link arms to march together in a movement for reform. The books rather come together as a cluster of thoughtful, faithful conversations about the meanings and purposes of theological education in this time between the times.

Proposals to tweak present systems are not adequate to the moment. We need something more than a little austerity coupled with a better marketing plan. These books speak to a need for deeper reimagining of the structures and practices of theological education—for the new possibilities that will emerge.

“At once visionary and realistic, the books in this series offer fresh, short, and very different answers to the question, ‘What is theological education for?’ Studies of that question have appeared every couple of decades and seem to assume that ‘one-size-fits-all’ answers are possible. What’s new and groundbreaking here is that a group of theological educators from a broad array of very different religious traditions address the question in conversation with one another and in light of the changing place of faith communities in contemporary culture.”

David H. Kelsey
Yale Divinity School

“The authors of this series invite us into an exercise of the imagination—to let loose of the theological school models we know so well and instead craft ways that we teach and learn as if we are living in the new Jerusalem. This is daring work. Will we have the will to grasp it? I encourage you to read and see.”
— Emilie M. Townes
Vanderbilt University Divinity School

“I would be hard-pressed to name any other resource that even approaches this series in its visionary outlook and wide perspective on the challenges and opportunities currently facing theological education. The authors represent an unparalleled selection of leaders in theological education whose views and experiences point to different paths into the future, all leading to true excellence and relevance in theological education.”
— Justo L. González
author of The History of Theological Education

“At a time of massive changes in churches and theological schools, as well as in society generally, the twelve-book series Theological Education between the Times presents an indispensable resource. Many people, especially younger generations, question as never before the necessity of religious practice or even belonging to a congregation. In this new context, the repercussions for theological education are many: What adjustments must leaders make to maintain support? How can faculty modify programs to meet the demands of modern times? What message will attract prospective students? Astute theological educators from diverse backgrounds prayed together and engaged in conversations that contributed to the authorship of this lucid and compelling series intended for anyone concerned about the fate of religion in society.”
— Katarina Schuth, OSF
Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity
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By Mark D Jordan
ISBN: 978-0-8028-7903-5
ISBN: 978-0-8028-7842-7
ISBN: 978-0-8028-7840-3
By Willie James Jennings
Paperback, Published 2020
ISBN: 978-0-8028-7844-1
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