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Books: Why Evangelicals Have the Biggest Seminaries
THEOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES ON CHRISTIAN EDUCATION: A READER ON THEOLOGY AND CHRISTIAN EDUCATION, edited by Jeff Astley, Leslie J. Francis, and Colin Crowder (Eerdmans, 464 pp.; $34, paper)
CHANGING THE WAY SEMINARIES TEACH: GLOBALIZATION AND THEOLOGICAL EDUCATION, by David A. Roozen, Alice Frazer Evans, and Robert A. Evans (Hartford Seminary Center for Social and Religious Research/ Plowshares Institute, 206 pp.; $13, paper)
THEOLOGICAL EDUCATION IN THE EVANGELICAL TRADITION, edited by D. G. Hart and R. Albert Mohler, Jr. (Baker Book House, 320 pp.; $24.99, paper). Reviewed by Robert W. Patterson, a frequent contributor to CHRISTIANITY TODAY.
In his autobiography, Kenneth Taylor, the man who gave life to the Living Bible, recalls his first semester as a student at Dallas Theological Seminary in the fall of 1940. To his astonishment, his Greek professor could not remember all the letters of the Greek alphabet the first day of class, another professor simply read from the class textbook, and a third teacher hounded his students with outlines to memorize. This half-hearted approach to theological education, Taylor says, led several of his classmates to transfer to Princeton Theological Seminary at the end of the semester.
That was then. Today, Ken Taylor's classmates would have no educational reason to transfer to a mainline seminary. Dallas Seminary is the sixth-largest institution accredited by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS). Its standard curriculum for students preparing for the ordained ministry is in many respects the most rigorous of any seminary in the country, demanding four years of graduate study (not three years as most other seminaries require), including three years of Greek, two years of Hebrew, and ...1