Wednesday, April 16, 2008

United Methodist Seminary's -- ouch! What direction are they going?

The United Methodist Church has 13 seminary's that feed pastor's into their churches. The UMC has become very liberal over the years and have strayed quite far from John Wesley's teachings and especially from the Bible itself! some of the seminary's do a better job of presenting their mission statement and others are so far removed from being truly Christian as to be scary!

The purpose of the Boston University School of Theology is to pursue knowledge of God, to cultivate leaders for communities of faith, to enrich the academy, and to seek peace with justice in a diverse and interconnected world. As the founding school of Boston University and the oldest United Methodist seminary in North America, we are a professional school within a cosmopolitan research university that is itself committed to “learning, virtue, and piety.” Rooted in the Wesleyan traditions and drawing from the Christian traditions of the world, we strive to equip ministries and vocations whose aim is both personal and social transformation, whose orientation is diverse and global, and whose vision expands the prophetic legacy of this historic School of Theology.

Candler School of Theology is grounded in the Christian faith and shaped by the Wesleyan tradition of evangelical piety, ecumenical openness, and social concern. Its mission is to educate—through scholarship, teaching, and service—faithful and creative leaders for the church’s ministries in the world.

An ecumenical and interfaith institution, Claremont School of Theology seeks to instill students with the ethical integrity, religious intelligence, and intercultural understanding necessary to become effective in thought and action as spiritual leaders in the increasingly diverse, multi-faith world of the 21st century.

The Mission of Drew Theological School Center for Continuing Education is to:
Equip clergy and lay leaders to effectively address emerging and ongoing issues in ministry by providing relevant leadership education programs, including courses developed in partnership with Annual Conferences and agencies of The United Methodist Church. Provide advanced theological education beyond the structure of degree programs by opening some graduate courses to non-degree participants, and partnering with Annual Conferences and local churches to provide alternative educational opportunities that embrace multiple learning styles. Strengthen the spiritual lives of all people through deep Christian study and reflection that is characterized by a commitment to justice, ecumenism, and respect for the integrity of creation, and is supported by theology that is responsible to the complex social realities of our interconnected world.

Duke Divinity School’s mission is to engage in spiritually disciplined and academically rigorous education in service and witness to the Triune God in the midst of the church, the academy, and the world. We strive to cultivate a vibrant community through theological education on Scripture, engagement with the living Christian tradition, and attention to and reflection on contemporary contexts in order to form leaders for faithful Christian ministries.

The mission of Gammon Theological Seminary, a historically African American institution, in partnership with The Interdenominational Theological Center, is to recruit, support, and educate pastors and leaders for The United Methodist Church.

The core purpose of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary is to know God in Christ and, through preparing spiritual leaders, to help others know God in Christ.
The seminary enacts its mission through:
Preparing women and men for ordained and lay ministries;
Preparing qualified students for seminary, church-related college, and university teaching in the theological disciplines;
Providing theological research and reflection for the church.

The Iliff School of Theology is a graduate theological school of the United Methodist Church. Its central mission is the education of persons for effective ministry in Christian churches and other religious communities, for academic leadership, and for the cultivation of justice and peace in local and global contexts.
Iliff affirms its United Methodist identity and its liberal Christian heritage, grounded in scriptures and traditions, critical thinking, and openness to emerging truths, including those derived from science, experience, and other faith traditions. In a world fragmented by religious and ideological conflicts, Iliff promotes theological scholarship and dialogue to foster transformative possibilities for humanity and nature.

Methodist Theological School in Ohio provides a vibrant learning environment for the preparation of skilled, passionate transformational leaders for churches, religious institutions, emerging faith communities and the wider world. We attend to the theological, spiritual, and vocational formation of a diverse group of students involved in a wide range of pursuits. Expecting active participation in our community of learning, we maintain an atmosphere of mutual respect and openness, teaching how to engage in conversation with the past and with others so that new and faithful perspectives may emerge. Our graduates demonstrate a deep understanding of the heritage disciplines of religious study, are highly competent in areas of practical theology, and show evidence of thoughtful reflection. We take seriously our responsibility for stewardship of the intellectual life of the church and our commitment to a just and sustainable world.

The primary mission of Perkins School of Theology, as a community devoted to theological study and teaching in the service of the church of Jesus Christ, is to prepare women and men for faithful leadership in Christian ministry.
Perkins School of Theology affirms its relationships to the community of learning that is Southern Methodist University, to the universal church (inclusive, ecumenical, and global), the The United Methodist Church specifically, and to its particular geographical and cultural setting in the southwestern United States.
These relationships are sources of strength and avenues of service for the school as it pursues its twin tasks of theological reflection and theological education to the glory of God.

Rooted in the Wesleyan tradition
and committed to inspiring passion for ministry
in diverse Christian bodies,
Saint Paul School of Theology
educates leaders
to make disciples for Jesus Christ,
renew the church,and transform the world.

United Theological Seminary is a Christ-centered graduate school of The United Methodist Church that equips leaders for the church in a pluralistic world through the nurture of piety, the love of learning, and the pursuit of justice.

The mission of Wesley Theological Seminary is to prepare persons for Christian ministry, to foster theological scholarship, and to provide leadership on issues facing the church and the world. Our aim is to nourish a critical understanding of Christian faith, cultivate disciplined spiritual lives, and promote a just and compassionate engagement in the mission of the church to the world.

As a former pastor with the UMC, I left when we had our annual conference and they had to call for a vote on whether to allow homosexual marriages and homosexual pastors. Besides the fact that the Bible says homosexuality is a sin that without repentance will lead to hell, it all came down to how much money one church in particular would lose if his members all left his church. The Bishops have failed to stand up for God's Word and have become more and more like the world. They want to be inclusive. This explains their need to not just say, "God the Father" but also to say, "God the Mother." It is not just, "He said..." it is now, "He or She said..." They do not want to offend women so they have changed much of their language that is found in the Bible. So when Jesus Himself says, God the Father, who are we to change the meaning. When the UMC came out with their new hymnals over 10 years ago, they made sure to have songs that were inclusive in language.

These are examples only from the Methodist Seminary's. I am thinking about doing a thorough research on seminary's from each of the major denominations. I know there are good seminary's out there such as the Master's Seminary in California. Unfortunately, many more poor ones are out there than are good ones. If you are interested in attending a seminary, it is important to look at their mission statement. Do they promote Jesus and the Word of God? Do they say that they want to train up pastor's who will diligently exposit the Word of God? Or, are they more concerned with training up more emergent leaders who are scared to preach the whole gospel?

If you are a pastor...

what kind of training did you receive from your seminary? Emergent or Christian?


Joseph A. said...

I'm in a bit of a dilemma because I'm about to start college up again, and I wanted to eventually at least take some courses from a seminary, if not just to enrich and deepen my knowledge in certain areas of my Christian faith. These types of schools do not interest me, such as the one you listed, and others such as Fuller Theological Seminary, who have had individuals like Rob Bell speak there, which makes me a bit uneasy. Are there any schools/seminaries that appear to be quite solid in their following of Christian biblical principles and teachings that you know of?

I'm in Georgia, so I suppose pursuing a school outside the state, I'd try and rely on any online courses they had available.

pastorbrianculver said...

Master's Seminary is from John MacArthur, it is excellent!
I have heard that Moody Bible Institute is good also (and I believe they do have online available). I'll check into some others for you and post them here.

Toby said...

Good words. I took one class at Perkins and I never will again. It was supposed to be a church history class, but our instructor spent the whole class trying to disprove substitutionary atonement. It was tiresome to say the least. I am not Methodist, and knew little about the school before I took the class. Chock that one up to a learning experience. The good news is that I was able to spend a lot of time in class undoing the heresy of the professor so that hopefully other students in the class didn't swallow it whole.


pastorbrianculver said...

Thanks Toby! Isn't it sad that a person has to spend so much money on seminary only to find out that the things they teach are not biblical? Glad to see you stood up for the Truth, there are many people who will listen to the professors and just assume that they are teaching the "gospel" truth!

Anonymous said...

As a former Methodist I concur with your observations 100%. I left over similar convictions. On my blog I have complied some resources for conflicted Methodists to consider:


pastorbrianculver said...

Thank you tony!
I would encourage everyone to check out the link you have posted here in the comments!

Anonymous said...

How nauseating! I feel like I need to take a shower after reading those wimpy, politically correct po-mo statements.

I still attend a Methodist church, but we have orthodox pastors and our conference in general seems to be orthodox. They think things are moving in the right direction. We'll see how the general assembly goes.

I'm disappointed that our Bishop (Janice Riggle Huie - that's part of the problem right there!) says we just need to keep dialogue going. Nonsense. We just give them more encouragement and ammo when we take them seriously.

Treat them with dignity and respect? Sure. But take heresies seriously? No.

Anonymous said...

Are there ANY good Methodist seminaries or are they all now an extension of Bolshevism?

These pinko freaks who masquerade as pastors need to quit wasting our time and stay home! Dialogue with these Maoists needs to end - they must be purged out of the church in order for Methodism to regain the respect it received when REAL men of God such as Wesley and Asbury led the way.

My blood boils when I think about these communists. My wife, however, loves our Methodist church, and there are MANY conservatives in our church. However, I feel if I am to stay in this church, I must become a rabble-rouser. So PLEASE tell me of any conservative Methodist seminaries.

pastorbrianculver said...

conservative methodist seminaries?? Wow, Not any that I can think of! John Wesley would be so ashamed of the direction the church is going. Women leading as Bishops and preaching behind the pulpits, inclusive language being brought into the preaching such as He said or she said (in reference to Jesus). It is enough to make a person sick. Unfortunately, it is not the church members who error. It is their leaders, the Bishops, the District Superintendents. It is all about the money baby!!!

Anonymous said...

Asbury in Kentucky, although not a United Methodist Seminary, has Wesleyan roots and has been a more conservative and evangelical option for Methodists wanting to go into the ministry. I have heard that Duke has hired several new conservative faculty members...maybe they are on the track to orthodoxy. We can cross our fingers!

pastorbrianculver said...

thanks for the comment. I hope they are on that path. It is disappointing to see how liberal many of these seminaries have become.

Jeff said...

It's sad how far the Methodist church has fallen away. There is so much potential there if only there were strong leaders committed to preaching the Bible. But alas, whole congregations are being led astray thanks to the teaching ministers have received at liberal seminaries and are passing on to their congregations. I'm a professional musician for a Methodist church but am now leaving the denomination due to the increasingly hostile environment (at least in my geographical area) towards Bible-believing Christians.

tim said...

To see a brief essay on the lack of faithfulness to the Biblical mission at Southern Methodist University, visit

Anonymous said...

Yes, there are UM seminaries that are following bibilical principles. Take a look at United Theological Seminary at and review this aricle about direction in United Methodist Seminary by Dr. Watson and Dr Vickers