Because of what I've been writing about my internship woes, someone else has been emailing me privately about her seminary-finding woes. This gal went to a conservative Christian school for undergrad and after graduating she came out. Now she feels called to seminary, to be able to get a PhD and teach eventually.
Here's what she says:
My biggest problem has been finding a conservative school that I could make it through. Schools that welcome gay students are too "off the deep end," as you say, and schools that have a solid, Biblically based program don't welcome gay students. It's quite the dilemma.
Which is why, with the options that have been presented me, I'm more readily considering a school that has a more conservative bent... even if they don't want me. :) I want a school with a good program, solid Biblical teaching and a good reputation.
She's willing to hide and pretend to be what she is not just so she can learn about Jesus from people who believe in him.
What will we do with these GLBT Christians who seek authentic Christian teaching? They don't want to go to a liberal school...they are still evangelical, even. But they're gay, so they're out of the club. Where can they go? This is going to become more and more an issue. The evangelical church cannot hide forever from the hurting same-sex oriented in their midst.
Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom)
I wonder if she isn't being a bit closed-minded regarding non-evangelical seminaries. Sure, there are some ultra-liberal seminaries out there, but there are also schools with a good mix of professors from a broad range of theological perspectives where she could live openly and find theological kindred spirits among the faculty and student body. It seems rather judgemental to say that if you aren't at a conservative school "you won't be learning about Jesus from people who believe in him." But maybe her main frustration is that she would not be welcome at the conservative schools that would otherwise be her first choice.
ven if they don't want me. :) I want a school with a good program, solid Biblical teaching and a good reputation.
If they're not welcoming to gay students, they're not practicing good Christianity, no matter how "solid" their "biblical teaching" might seem.
Are we allowed to put in a plug for our own institutions? Has she considered PTS?
I'm wondering what's so off the wall about, say, our ELCA or ECUSA seminaries. What is your friend's theological line in the sand, so to speak?
Cosmicdancer: Good point.
Yes please post your institution or ones you like. And purechristian, the line you quoted was mine, not hers. It was a dig at the Jesus seminar types.
Good Scholarship and an accepting community can be found at a number of the schools of the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley--three Roman Catholic, Lutheran (ELCA)Presbyterian, UCC, American Baptist, Unitarian, Methodist, as well as member institutions for Jewish studies, Theology and Natural sciences, women and religion. don't let Berkeley scare you away--there is solid scholarship, access to a great thelogical library, access to cross registration at the Univesity of California Berkeley campus (which is just to the south of the GTU hub) Some of the schools are considered somewhat less theologically mainstream, but have respected programs. www.gtu.edu
I second the praise for GTU -- she could choose which seminary to affiliate with. I'd also suggest Yale Divinity: great Bible scholars, ecumenical (I'd venture to call it mainstream, with a bunch of different kinds of faithful Christians), and LGBT accepting.
While there are some individual profs who are a bit far out, the GTU offers a solid curriculum with a lot of good offerings in Bible. SFTS (the Presby seminary at the GTU) and the Jesuit school both have awesome Bible professors. The GTU also offers on-campus housing for same-sex couples and is genuinely welcoming to GLBT students.I really wouldn't be so quick to dismiss non-evangelical seminaries. My theology is pretty orthodox and so far have found little to set my teeth on edge.
here's a plug for Saint Paul School of Theology, Kansas City, MO. It's not a big school with lots of bucks behind it but we have some great professors--Warren Carter is an amazing New Testament scholar--amazing! It's worth checking out.
You might also suggest some of the Boston area schools - BU (Methodist) and Andover-Newton (Baptist/UCC) come to mind. BC is also a really great theology department in a Jesuit institution. Best of all, Boston has the best theological consortium arrangement in the country (so someone at AN or BU could take classes from people at places like Harvard, if desired).
Post a Comment