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:
- A monastic model where the seminarians are formed into a particular tradition
- A pedagogical model where they learn how to do a liturgy or liturgies
- A parish model that replicates where the students came from and where they will go
- 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…?