11. In light of (9) and (10), Christian colleges, seminaries, and churches should incorporate apologetics into their institutional/educational life, mission, and vision. Specifically, every Christian college, university, and seminary should require at least one class in apologetics for every degree in their curriculum. Moreover, every discipline should be taught from a Christian worldview, since all truth is GodÂs truth. This has significant apologetic value in and of itself. The Constructive Curmudgeon: Christian Apologetics Manifesto: Seventeen Theses
Groothiusraisedd an excellent point. As a seminarian who is getting ready to graduate with a Master of Divinity in Dec, I call on seminaries to strive for balance by teaching less theory and more skill. Teach seminarians how to do theology, apologetics, biblical exposition, etc. Too many disciplines outside of "practical theology" amount to mere indoctrination in the prof's or school's belief system. Yes, there is a place for learning facts and details. Readings in good, deep books, accompanied by summarizing, analyzing, and quizzing, will take care of this. Class time, though, should be at least 50% skill development. Seminarians should be taught to think critically and theologically about every subject they encounter on the curriculum chart. There is a reason pastors rarely crack open a theology book or lexicon--their seminary probably put very little effort into connecting the facts and details to real ministry life. Further, many pastors graduate with a skill set in one hand, facts in the other hand, and little (or no) practice in getting these together--let alone a real understanding that they are parts of the same thing.
Of course, changing curriculum in a seminary (or any school) is an often difficult process involving deans, curriculum committees, and Provosts. Given this, the call goes out to professors: If you are an apologist or a theologian (these two especially), somewhere in EVERY course teach students HOW you do what you do. Take down the wizard-of-Oz curtain and reveal the stuff behind the PowerPoint slides. And to students: ASK "how" questions and refuse to let the profs off the hook. Read. Develop skills. Learning is your job.
UPDATE 072005: Groothius responded to some questions (one asked by yours truly):
1. I do not place apologetics above theology. Apologetics is dependent on theology for what it defends. Moreover, rightly formulating doctrine (avoiding contradictions, imprecision, pedanticism) serves the apologetic cause. I rail quite abit against the lack of solid theology in Christianity today. See these books by David Wells: "No Place for Truth" and "God in the Wasteland."Well said.