I just wrote about leaving seminary, and indeed I had. I wrote that I was losing my connection with God, that it was making me passive about racial justice because we were reading so much about it, and that it was also causing me to invest too much in my teachers, their work and their callings, rather than my own.
I am now returning to seminary, this time, with God, and not with relationships with my professors. I think that professors have their place as teachers, but not as exemplars anymore. The ability to be an academic that is not an adjunct is waning, and so it doesn’t make sense to look up to professors as if you will be one.
I think a lot of the teaching process leads students to look up to their teachers as exemplars. This is good with K-12 education, but as students get older, I think this should be discouraged.
For example, professors who are training students in a professional discipline, may not even be active practitioners in the work that they are preparing others for:
Business professors are not always business people, K-12 professors are often not also teaching K-12 students, and seminary professors aren’t always actually ministers – or at least aren’t often lead pastors.
The abstract nature of learning in higher education may, in these situations, actually be training people out of their natural giftedness for these fields.
I think my problem as a person in seminary has been that I have taken on the passive model of education where I’m expecting my classes to be church, and my professors as being spiritual healers and leaders. I need to change my mindset, focus and priorities.
An MDiv will help me be a spiritual writer who uses theological frameworks that don’t cause harm. Staying in the game will be crucial, I just don’t need to try to get A’s anymore. A degree is a degree.
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