A Center for Adult Mystagogia? (2)

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Starving Christians

Christians (and Episcopalians in particular) are hungry for teaching of the sort that Bishop Augustine gave his flock. Clergy are just as needy for teaching of the sort that Bishop Augustine gave his clergy and monks. They are caught in a double bind created by the pressures of a changing society on seminaries, which must, more and more, train competent CEOs of NGOs rather than form priests who lead congregations into the life of the Holy Trinity. As a result, theological schools become loci for remedial catechesis even when they little time for in-depth theological inquiry.

Teachers, but no classrooms

At the same time of the impending failure of the North American higher educational system and the descent of the Episcopal seminary system, there are many dedicated lay persons and clergy who have committed themselves to advanced study in theology and its associated disciplines, but who, at best, can find only limited employment for their skills.

There also is substantial interest in organizations of concerned leaders like the Scholar-Priest Initiative, which seek to “bring theology home” to parish life.

A little over five years ago, the idea of Massively Open Online Courses entered the awareness of the general population. While it seems that much energy in this area is dissipating in the sands of the bloated administrations of the educational-industrial complex that is the modern American university, what remains active in the MOOC world is a vision of virtualized learning and a corpus of practice and software out of which the church might build the new monasteries—communities of tradition and learning—for the twenty-first century.

The new cathedral nave >>