Over at StandFirm, they linked to this article from the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona about “How to Get More Young People in Church.” This is the liberal TEC diocese that I found so attractive that for the six months I lived in Arizona about five years ago, I worshiped in a Lutheran church. (But, of course, I’m not a young person.) Anyway, the article prompted me to think about how one might go about not attracting young people, and it occurred to me that where I teach has figured that one out just about right.
How NOT to attract young people:
1. Build a seminary in a rundown former steel town outside Pittsburgh. This will discourage the hip and trendy.
2. Design a curriculum that is centered around biblical theology and creedal orthodoxy. This will discourage the progressive and relevant.
3. Require every faculty member and incoming seminarian to sign a doctrinal statement affirming the essentials of creedal orthodoxy. Make sure the statement is detailed enough that it is impossible to fudge. This will discourage the open-minded.
4. Require every incoming seminarian to learn the basics of biblical Hebrew and Greek their very first semester. This will discourage those who hate hard work. (more…)