24 November 2009

Ministerial Formation - why do we have a "one size fits all" approach?

There have been some recent blog coversations about Unitarian Universalist ministerial formation on PolityWonk ("How UU Ministry Got to Be So Expensive"), iMinister ("The Cost of Ministerial Formation," "The cost of Ministerial Formation II"), and Rev. Cyn ("Ministerial Formation").

I wonder if our current "one size fits all" ministerial formation process is part of the problem.

Currently, Unitarian Universalists who wish to become ministers must complete the following milestones:
  • bachelor's degree
  • graduate degree at seminary
  • clinical pastoral education
  • career assessment
  • internship
  • Regional Subcommittee approval
  • Ministerial Fellowship Committee approval
However, the "one size fits all" model isn't used with Unitarian Universalist religious educators in their professional development.

The "Religious Education Credentialing" program has three levels of religious educator credentialing with varying amounts of education and study.

Having multiple levels of credentialing would allow for Unitarian Universalist ministers to enter a ministry career with less student loan debt.

A ministerial formation path without the excessive student loan debt would allow for more entrepreneurial risk-taking with less economic risk. Greater entrepreneurial risk-taking would allow us to experiment more in how we plant congregations and how we grow congregations. Perhaps even "emergent" Unitarian Universalist congregations?

This multi-tier credentialing system is OK for the religious professionals who work with our children and youth.

What do you think?

17 November 2009

"Deepity" and Modern Theology

Does anyone think that a "Sokal Affair" experiment with modern theological scholarship is overdue?

I suggested a theological "Sokal Affair" experiment on my blog back in 2007 .

The section where Daniel Dennett talks about "deepity" in theological thought happens at 30:25 in his talk.