What Expectations do Pastors and Local Churches in the Former Soviet Union have of Higher Theological Education at the Beginning of the 21st Century?



The purpose of this article is to draw the attention of theological educators to the expectations and feelings of local church pastors concerning formal theological education in order to stimulate constructive dialogue on both sides. The article represents a general description of the results of a qualitative survey of seventy pastors from five regions of the former Soviet Union conducted by Donetsk Christian University from 2005-2007 as part of its strategic planning process. No statistics are given in order to direct the reader's attention specifically to the questions and expectations of pastors. In the process of interviewing each pastor, the following five questions were asked: (1) What is the basic purpose for the existence and functioning of a higher theological institution (2) What programs would the pastor like to see in a theological school? (3) What qualities would he like to see in a student? (4) What, in the pastor's opinion, should the graduate of a theological program be like? (5) What qualities should characterize an instructor in a higher theological institution?


Pastors: Higher Theological Education

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