To listen to David M. Mellott say it, the field of theological education is in a period of "tremendous change".

The student population is becoming more diverse, with more black students and Latinx. Fewer students enroll in Divinity Great Teacher Programs, in favor of the shortest (and less expensive) grades. The labor market for graduates is changing, with more ministerial positions that are part-time. The support of many denominations for students to complete the m.div. it is decreasing.

"Everyone is challenged when you think about the fact that we are going to ask someone to make a title that can take them Anywhere from three to six years to complete, it will come out with some student debt maybe A large amount of student debt, and then enters a ministerial task that is part-time, "said Mellott, president of the Christian theological seminary in Indiana.

What's more, the seminars have faced their account challenges, many of them financial. At least 32 theological schools have merged and 11 have closed since the great recession of 2008-09, according to the Association of Theological Schools, an organization of members and accreditors.

A new podcast series produced by the Christian theological seminar is exploring the impact of these demographic and economic trends in theological institutions.

"The change in the racial diversity of the seminar, which has been really good, has also increased the expectation of seminars to really rethink" teach theology and what they teach and the narrative of Christianity who say " , said Mellott, who is co-housing the podcast. "There is a lot of pressure and change that occurs when it comes to the real content of theological education. Then add Education online.

"Students are changing, the classrooms are changing, the financial structure is changing," he said. "I would say that even the social context in which we do theological education is changing, we are in a very politicized environment where there is a greater awareness about racial injustice, injustice against people who are Lgbtqia, greater anti-Semitism. All these realities , I think they are really creating a different or greater context for the work of theology. I am not grateful for the problems, but I am grateful that the seminars are really fighting with the way we are going to take this seriously and, this is My comment, to what extent Christianity has truly contributed to the problem? "

In the six-part series, which will be launched every Tuesday until the end of February, Mellott joins Deborah Mullen, the teacher Emerit in the Theological Seminary of Columbia, in Georgia, in the organization of talks with leaders in theological education about a range of topics, including the diversity of students, inter-education Eligious, the training of the faculty, changing the religious affiliations of the Americans and the recently reviewed regulations of accreditation.

"Schools are in a period at this time where they really have to innovate," said Frank Yamada, the president of ATS and a guest in one of the episodes. "They must attend this with the kind of quality we expect from the accreditation side, but they have to innovate and change what they do because the environment is changing, not only the environment of ED superior, but the environment, the Church, if You are in a Christian tradition. "

Yamada said that registration in ATS institutions has been decreasing or plan since 2005.

"That is a snapshot of our industry," he said. "Many people are blaming Cuvid in many things, threats to enrollment or finance, but the reality of it is that this type of falls have been happening for a long time."


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