Enrollment at accredited Protestant seminaries in the United States and Canada totaled 20,622 on October 1, compared with 20,727 on the same date in 1962. Release of the new figure by the American Association of Theological Schools was accompanied by an expression of concern. Said Dr. Jesse H. Ziegler, associate director of AATS:
“The total theological educational enterprise feels no comfort in an enrollment that has not changed significantly in the last seven years. All other educational and ecclesiastical indices are rising. There is widespread concern for an adequate supply of men for the ministries of the church.”
The statistics failed to reflect any upward trend which might logically be expected as a result of the World War II baby crop.
Ziegler’s analysis of fall seminary enrollment made the following points:
—Student enrollment in programs oriented to the parish is reduced 391 from 1962; enrollment of students preparing for teaching increased by 286.
—Number of students enrolled in the B. D. program or its equivalent decreased by 2.6 per cent while enrollment in Christian-education degree programs increased by 7.6 per cent.
—Denominations (with at least 100 students) showing the largest increase of enrollment in their schools were the Anglican Church of Canada with an increase of 15.8 per cent, the Christian Reformed with an increase of 10.7 per cent, and the Missouri Synod Lutheran with an increase of 8.3 per cent.
—Denominations (with at least 100 students) that show a continuing decline in number of students enrolled are Southern Baptist, Church of the Nazarene, Disciples of Christ, Evangelical United Brethren, while the two major Presbyterian bodies stand at 91 per cent of their 1956 enrollment.
The AATS does not release ...1
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