Sunday, 1 July 2007

The Cry of A Seminarian

Over the past couple of weeks, there has been much discussion on the relationship between the quality of theological education and spiritual formation/character building (for previous discussion, see my posts on "Another 'Sick Project'" and Follow-Up on 'Another Sick Project: Character Formation and Theological Education"; and also see the post on "Does Theological Education Produces Character?" by Alex Tang).

I have offered my views as a seminary lecturer, but I wonder what would be the persepctive of a seminary student? What is the experiece or expectation of a seminary student as far as his/her theological education in relation to spiritual formation is concerned?

I think it is important also to listen to the voice of a seminary student. After all, as a theological educator, my ultimate concern should not simply be my personal career development, my research interests and the publication of my scholarly discoveries (although all these are important and I must qualify that I am not discounting any of these), but also the education, equipping and empowerment of the students for whatever Christian vocation that they might be called to.

So I thought it would be good to read some of our students' blogs. This does not disappoint me, and I did not have to go far in my quest, as one seminary student blogged a very penetrating and soul-searching article on The Cry of A Seminarian.

In her post, Rccnlj pours out her heart as she struggles as a seminarian, reflects on her journey in her theological education, raises many questions concerning the various aspects of spiritual formation in theological education, and expresses her desires for lecturers to journey alongside her as she is being equipped for Christian ministry. This captures the essence of the questions I raised earlier on whether we could balance excellence in scholarship and spiritual formation in theological education.

Reading the post of Rccnlj set me thinking and reflecting on my role as a seminary lecturer and the expectation placed by the students. I think I will pick up this issue in next week's Tuesday chapel where it will be my turn to speak, or perhaps I will provide a response later.


blogpastor said...

I can identify with the struggles of the seminarian you linked,particularly when she said,"I struggle with the workload - and wonder at the end of the day if all the work I'm doing is worth it in the long run." I remembered how I had to resort to "survival tactics" to get around all the reading and research assignments.

rccnlj said...

Thanks for your support Mr lecturer. Look forward to what you have to say on tuesday - and it better have a point (unlike Saturday's discussion)... *cheeky grin*

rccnlj said...

Thank you for your sharing in chapel today. I thought it was an excellent response to the post that I wrote. Could you somehow post it up?
That way we could keep you accountable. *cheeky grin* up to the challenge?

Kar Yong said...

the chapel message is now posted already - read it here: