Seminaries agree to drop the MDiv degree

Compiled from very high, executive level seminary leaders:

“We’ve agreed to drop the old gold standard ministerial training degree for a host of good reasons. It’s a Gospel issue and we wanted to be out in front of the churches and the convention on this.”

“We’ve decided to replace the MDiv with a cutting edge, ahead-of-the-curve program of education and training that will give students a degree in consultancy. The market is ripe for all manner of church consultants and we believe we can attract more students to this field than the traditional training for the pastorate. After all, most of the MDiv grads don’t last a career in the local church and only a tiny percentage get to the higher level of income and prestige to which students aspire.”

“There’s still a need for local church pastors, don’t misunderstand us here, but we think these can be better filled with local guys who like to make hospital and home visits, who don’t mind the grind-it-out, week-to-week business of dealing with laypeople, volunteers, budgets, conflicts and the like. Our MDiv grads tell us they aren’t too enthused about all that anyway. With all that Greek and Hebrew they feel unfulfilled unless they can be free of those routine pastoral duties in order to have enough time in the study, on the golf course with high-level contacts, or travelling to all the conferences they need to properly promote their latest self-published books.”

“We’re statisfied this is a ‘win-win’ deal for everyone.”

“Our degreed consultants breeze in, pick up their checks, and breeze out. Perfect. Plenty of time for family, hobbies, celeb conferences, and things like that.”

“We think the field of consultancy is a huge market. Just think of it – we could be training a multitude of evangelistic consultants, music consultants, and many others. In fact, we think any adjective ending in “-ic” can be an entire field if marketed properly: catalytic, strategic, soporific, generic, beatific…the list is endless. And we are well into the 21st century so we think it’s time to bring the churches along. They have seen that we’re not sending them MDivs that care a lot about evangelism or we would see more baptisms. A consultancy is the way to go, we think.”

“Look at the positives. No one complains about a consultant like they would about a pastor who can’t preach his way out of a paper bag. And who is to blame if the vision cast by the red hot consultant doesn’t happen? Can’t blame the consultant. He did his job. It’s the pastor or churches fault. The consultant moves along and does another gig. It’s a fool proof system, brother. And there are thousands of guys who desperately want to get out of the pastorate. There aren’t enough association or state jobs for them all; besides, they aren’t someone’s nephew or highly connected. We will get a tsunami of second career guys in these programs.”

“Sure, there may be a little pushback from those who believe God calls pastors. After all, we’ve been saying for all these decades that you should send God-called folks to us. But this business of calling is a bit subjective and we think we can transition from God-called pastors to God-called consultants. And the pay is a lot better.”

“We hope the convention will be on board with us on this. We are the experts, of course, but we would never assert that. If push comes to shove, the Cooperative Program is a steady one-third of our funding and it might not go up but we will still assert our political power to maintain our cut of that. Then, we just keep tuition up and ‘presto!’ there’s your funding stream.”

“If there is any difficulty, we have a process in place where the consultant is called ‘God’s Man’ and that should settle the matter.”

“Just one caveat, though. There is a recalcitrant, a particularly obstreperous bunch who insist that God called them to be the shepherd of a local congregation. We’ve tried to work with this type but they are insistent. We’ll maintain some rudimentary training for this crowd.”

“Trust us on this.”

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