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Dissertation Abstract

The Compatibility of Practices in American Protestant Seminaries with a Biblical Model of Theological Education

Gerald P. Franz
Regent University

American Protestant seminaries struggle to balance academics, ministry skills, and spiritual formation. This dissertation surveyed theological education through church history, revealing the dynamics behind this struggle, and surveyed current literature on theological education, demonstrating that many seminaries are attempting to restore this balance by integrating spiritual formation through their academic and ministry programs. The dissertation proposed a model of theological education, based on the lives and teachings of Jesus Christ and the apostle Paul, and this model was compared with the practices of American Protestant seminaries, leading to recommendations in the following areas of theological education: (a) mentoring, (b) small groups, (c) integrating theological education into the context of ministry, (d) integrating spirituality meaningfully with academic and ministry skills' emphases, and (e) adopting a comprehensive strategy for preparing students in light of an articulated graduate profile. Seminaries were showcased that have achieved significant success in some of these five areas.