Theological Education: A Paradigm Shift

“From Doctrinal to Pastoral Curriculum Orientation”

Survey: This study was conducted on the basis of information, provided on the websites of the institutions, analyzed in this data-based assessment of the size of faculty and the number of faculty teaching in the field of pastoral care and counseling.

Purpose: The intent of this study of the top dozen theological schools in the U.S. was to determine the place of pastoral care and counseling within the full curricular context of theological education as determined by each institution studied.

Caveat: Though the focus was specifically upon the teaching field of Pastoral Care and Counseling, sub-sets within each are noted including categories of Pastoral Care (PC), Practical Theology, Care and Counseling (PT, C & C), Preaching and Pastoral Care (P & PC) and Practical Theology and Care (PT & C).

Observation: Given the documented national trends which are indicating a decline in interest in the traditional fields of Scripture, Theology, and Church History with, on the other hand, a growing interest in the field of Pastoral Care and Counseling, it should prove interesting to observe how seminary curricular development responds to this apparent shift from a doctrinal orientation to a pastoral one.

INSTITUTION                                     # of Faculty         # in PC & C                    #in Sub-Set
Harvard Divinity School                                  44                           1
Duke Divinity School                                       60                           0                             1 (Psychiatry & PT)
Columbia Theological Seminary                   30                           1                              1 (PT & C)
Claremont School of Theology                       30                           0                             2 (PT, C & C)
Catholic Theological Union                             27                           0
Virginia Theological Seminary                       25                           0
Yale Divinity School                                         39                           3
Vanderbilt Divinity School                                38                        0
Union Theological Seminary                         74                           0                               1 (P & PC)
Princeton Theological Seminary                  43                           0
Pittsburgh Theological Seminary                 18                           0                               1 (PC)
SMU Perkins School of Theology                39                           0                               1 (PC)

theological education JHM photoThis survey was conducted by Dr. John H. Morgan, Karl Mannheim Professor of the History and Philosophy of the Social Sciences at the GTF.


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