Alternative Visions of Theological Education for Mainline Protestant Seminaries

Project Number: 
Start Date: 
Wed, 10/01/1986

Parker Palmer, director of the St. Benedict Center, generated a series of alternative visions of theological education for mainline Protestant seminaries. There was a clear need to encourage such alternatives to the prevailing and conventional understanding of theological education that then dominated many mainline Protestant institutions. Palmer devoted a good portion of his time over three years to the project. He critically assessed the strengths and limits of the currently dominant visions of the aims of theological education. He then explored possible new perspectives and reported on the results of his reflections in articles, monographs, and a book. With his colleagues at the Center, Palmer further sponsored several conferences in which his findings were critically evaluated. Palmer stimulated some theological educators to question their present understanding of the aims of theological education, to recognize the need for genuinely different visions of the aims of seminaries, and to commit themselves to testing new possibilities. (KA)