With seven years of study and thirty-five years of teaching in theological schools behind me, I can scarcely qualify as an unprejudiced witness. My limited perspective has nonetheless served to confirm the old saw: “As goes the seminary, so goes the church.” The intellectual vigor, moral earnestness, and spiritual commitment of students are reflected later in the spiritual life of the church. The serious minded churchman, therefore, must be deeply concerned over what is happening in the seminary (or Bible college) that produces pastors and other trained Christian teachers to serve in his fellowship.
In this issue, CHRISTIANITY TODAY takes a good look at the seminary. Paul Scotchmer surveys the students in one large theological complex on the West Coast and tells us where they are at. You may find his report disturbing—or comforting; but if you have any concern for the church, you ought to know what he has to say. James Boice summarizes why the church needs a seminary, but also points out what is sometimes forgotten—the seminary needs the church.
Lloyd Perry, who may well have taught more students how to preach than any man alive, reveals what makes a great preacher. And Vernon Grounds, who is a great preacher, gives us a sample.1
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