Consultation with Church Leaders on Basic Issues in Theological Education

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Vanderbilt University Divinity School convened an interdenominational group of church leaders for a sustained conversation about the nature and purposes of theological education. The discussion provided these ministers an opportunity to benefit from previous work done on the topic by theologians and ethicists. The conference also widened the inquiry beyond the bounds of academe and brought to it the fresh insights and perspectives of practicing professionals. Twelve leaders were selected to attend a series of five two-day seminars. Together they engaged in a close reading of the previously published literature and then wrote essays of their own for publication. Concluding sessions of the seminar were devoted to some of the persistent political questions surrounding theological education. The consultations were scheduled with three leaders from the theological academy (Barbara G. Wheeler, Joseph C. Hough, Jr., and David Kelsey) and ten church participants representing five denominations. They were held in New York, April 1991; Nashville, TN, September, 1991; Los Angeles, January, 1992; and New York, October, 1992. (KA)