New President....New Dean?
With Gary Walter nominated to be the candidate for the presidency of the Covenant, what will happen to the progress in finding a new Dean of the Seminary? Does it go "on-hold" until Gary's official election in June. What will be the relationship and accountability between the denomination and the seminary for the next chapter of the Covenant's life? It reminds me of Tertullian's question:"What does Athens have to do with Jerusalem?" If Athens is the academy of learning and Jerusalem is the locus of congregational piety, where do they intersect? Obviously the seminary trains pastors for ministry. But beyond that, how does the seminary stay in touch with pastors other than seminars at the Midwinter and articles published at a distance?
In a post-denominational age, the question to the seminary is very similar as that to denominational leaders: What relevance do you have for day-to-day life in a congregation? Answer: very little unless you bring value to the congregation. My email, and snail mail is filled with intriguing and exciting offerings to resource the congregation and pastoral staff. The offerings this year in San Diego at the National Pastors' Conference really tempted me to forgo the trip to Chicago for the Midwinter (some of our staff had no problem with that choice).
All this is to say that there is a new day ahead of us to grow the relationship between Chicago and the churches, but it must be real and mutual. I'm excited about what Gary can bring to the table. I wonder if the Seminary will move in the same way?