Absolutely not, says Sarah Coakley.
Coakley is a celebrated academic theologian. She is also a committed churchwoman, ordained as a priest in the Church of England.
Recently she sat down with Duke’s Faith & Leadership blog for an interview later titled, provocatively, “Ministry Is Not Easier than Theology.” In it she confronts the worrisome gulf — hardwired, she argues, in how modern seminaries are structured — between pastoral (or practical) theology on the one hand and other theological disciplines, like systematics and biblical studies, on the other.
It highlights a larger conversation that is ongoing in the evangelical world about what a seminary education should look like in the first place.
I invite you to peruse the interview and then tell us what you think. In your experience, is Coakley right? Is pastoral theology devalued in seminary?