Pittsburgh in -7 degrees is a tad chilly. I am attending the Council of Deans meeting at Ambridge, PA. We are being hosted by Trinity School of Ministry. It is an opportunity for the leadership of the seminaries to compare notes. Our agenda is rich. Bishop Andy Doyle of Texas is attending; his idea of the seminaries getting more involved in the raising up of vocations is going to be discussed. Mr. Gary Shilling, the founder of the Episcopal Preaching Foundation, is here. Our concern is the same: how can we get this holy work for the future of the church?
Predictions of the demise of seminaries are widespread. However, in truth, the seminaries are much more robust than the critics imagine. Almost everything that commentators in the Church would like to see the seminaries do is happening; we have distance options; we have intensives; we have partnerships with counseling degrees; and we have opportunities to study abroad. There is plenty of innovation embedded in the seminaries.
It is good to connect with my fellow deans. We are all trying our best. They are friends in ministry: we all trust and hope that God will take our labors and use them to God's glory.
The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D. Dean and President