We must reaffirm and re-align the entire institution to its primary mission of forming church leaders in service to Jesus Christ. Essential to this process is reforming the M.Div. curriculum and strengthening the entire campus culture needed to support it.
Social and cultural changes are driving such swift and radical change in churches that demands for competence and vision from seminary graduates are greater than ever before. At Princeton Theological Seminary we have a distinctive obligation to equip our graduates with the foundations to become competent and visionary leaders of churches within today’s radically changing landscape. Every student who graduates must be able to articulate (and to help other Christians articulate) what Christ’s Gospel is, why we believe it, how it addresses the realties of the increasingly scientific culture of the 21st century world and how it engages individual and social problems of life in this world.
In addition to incorporating appropriate elements of emerging pedagogical methods, the content and balancing of the curriculum should be reviewed and re-‐imagined. The church itself will need to become a primary classroom through expanded field education opportunities and enriched chapel services that familiarize students with the breadth of Christian communities and their worship styles. Greater attention will be given to addressing gaps between the explicit curriculum and the implicit curriculum where student personal growth and integration occurs. Comprehensive student formation (academic, spiritual, personal, and professional) will become an integral component of formal and informal preparation for ministry. As a seminary committed to providing a residential community of learning, we also have a responsibility and a duty to foster a campus climate conducive to formation.
Forming leaders for changing churches requires a faculty that is diverse, flexible and eager to mentor students called to serve the church. The Board has already mandated that the Seminary reduce the faculty’s tenure rate to two-‐thirds within ten years. Reaching this goal will require new strategies, such as assistance in planning for retirement. By using term appointments at various levels, encouraging faculty exchanges, employing expert reflective-‐practitioners, and placing an emphasis on attracting faculty from diverse ecclesial and cultural contexts, the Seminary will be in a better position to prepare church leaders for the realities they will face in ministry while maintaining the quality for which PTS is justifiably renowned.