Last night a small collection of individuals--students, faculty, staff, administrators, board members--gathered at the site where our new seminary building is already under construction and prayed for the days to come. The station where I was prayed for the students, present and future, onsite and online, in English-Spanish and whatever may come, here-there-and-maybe everywhere.
It occurred to me as we prayed what an amazing thing seems to be unfolding before our very eyes. One thing about training ministers who are already in ministry is that they already know stuff. This is far from some venture where the faculty and curriculum are filling up some blank slate. The students teach each other and, often, I suspect the professors. Imagine having a pastor of a church of a 1000 in your class!
More than that, we are coming into increasing contact with teaching churches that are already training informally but without accreditation. What opportunities to wed the best of formal ministerial training with some of the incredible insights of teaching churches and vibrant church planting communities! And then through in the connections to vibrant Hispanic ministries who have incredible gifts and expertise but again are not connected to accredited, formal ministerial training.
The thought occurred to me that this was "body of Christ" education. This is not just competent and faithful professors transmitting knowledge. This is a corporate effort, with students teaching students, churches teaching seminary, and seminary bringing formal expertise to bear. It's like riding a whirlwind!