Europe

Seminaries in Peril

Government evaluation threatens training of Swedish pastors.

A recent evaluation by the Swedish government threatens theological education throughout the Scandinavian country.

The Swedish National Agency for Higher Education reported in June that state-supported schools must favor religious studies over theological education. Schools that aim to train ministers for church service must shift resources toward general religious studies. This move may leave prospective pastors unprepared for church ministry.

This shift in focus means several theological schools currently training pastors fail to meet the new standards for accreditation.

These demands were not clearly stated before government inspections this past March, according to Pekka Mellergård, president of Örebro School of Theology. Should Örebro fail to placate the agency, it will lose the right to grant recognized bachelor's degrees in theology.

Örebro, which educates 200 full-time and 160 part-time students from a variety of denominations, has already halted efforts to earn ...

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