The Pastor as Theologian

by Richard on March 22, 2013

Allan Bevere writes

In my almost thirty years of ministry I have listened to pastoral colleagues speak disparagingly of the discipline of theology and on a dozen occasions throughout the years people questioning why a pastor, like myself, would go through all the trouble of such rigorous studies. When I was asking for an appointment to study (I’m a United Methodist pastor. I’m not allowed to do anything unless the bishop appoints me to it.) some pastors on the committee who interviewed me could not understand the point of a Ph.D Pastor.

But pastors are the resident theologians of their congregations. This is a critical role that must not be casually dismissed. Does this mean that all pastors have to have Ph.Ds. Of course not. That isn’t the point. The point is that the work of theology is an important work of every pastor. One does not need the formal training, but one needs to pursue the life-long learning that assists the pastor in theologically articulating the Christian faith that has been once and for all delivered to the saints.

Can’t argue with that.

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1

Kim 03.23.13 at 7:52 am

One can’t argue strenuously enough for it. “Resident theologian”, “theological resource person”, “community tutor in testing the church’s speech” - it’s intrinsic to the ministerial vocation. Pastors who pooh-pooh it shouldn’t be pastors.

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