Daily Archives: May 9, 2007

Cathedrals and Clergy Formation Revisited

AKMA writes on a visit and presentation by Bishop Neil Alexander on the purpose and point of worship in the seminary context. Apparently he listed four:

  1. A monastic model where the seminarians are formed into a particular tradition
  2. A pedagogical model where they learn how to do a liturgy or liturgies
  3. A parish model that replicates where the students came from and where they will go
  4. Creative worship where they freely explore liturgical possibilities without the expectation that it will be used in a parish

My seminary experiences were heavy on the last–and I hated it… The model I’ve experienced that worked the best is the first–the monastic model–as lived out at General. Once I encountered it, I knew that’s what I had been missing at my first two seminaries…

Reading this reminded me of my earlier thoughts on clergy formation wherein I was thinking out loud along with some others about what new models for clergy education could look like. Rather than centering the formative educational experience at an academic institution, I suggested basing it in an ecclesial institution: at cathedrals rather than seminaries. Academic environments are great for training academics. But what if we want to train priests…?