Disciplines of a godly theological student

The title of this post is a play on the title of a popular book – not a comment on my own character. The more weeks of college I attend the more I realise that training for ministry is a multistrand process… theological education includes elements of the following (that I can think of):

  • Ancient History (Understanding the culture and context of the Old and New Testaments)
  • Modern History (Church history, understanding the context of different commentators etc)
  • Philosophy (Understanding how different ideas interact)
  • Linguistics (Greek and Hebrew)
  • Literary criticism (understanding genre, intended audience, etc)
  • Counselling (pastoral stuff – though this seems to come mostly from “on the job” training)
  • Communication (preaching, essay writing, etc)
  • Theology (studying God via doctrine and the Bible)
  • Mysticism (studying other religions from history)
  • Sociology (understanding the nature of human relationships throughout time)

Have I missed any? No wonder our principal doesn’t want us pretending to be studying business and mareketing principles. We’ve just got no time. And no wonder my head hurts.


Stuart Heath says:

For my second list, let me draw up a list of competencies and character traits required for pastoring…

P.S. A nitpick: perhaps QTC does things differently, but the two colleges I know in Sydney don’t really do linguistics, they just do language (well, at a certain level). I’d argue that you actually need linguistics (and philosophy of language more broadly) more than you need the languages themselves, but that’s another story.

Nathan says:

Hey Stuart,

We do do ethics, I should add that. I guess I'm thinking that the introduction to phonetics and grammar that comes with learning the languages counts as basic linguistics.

Stuart Heath says:

Oh, and do you not do any ethics?