I have a post over at the Acts 29 blog on the body of letters including 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus that are often referred to by the label “The Pastoral Epistles.” Given my work in pastoral training, I have found that these letters also serve to guide people like me in our work training up young pastors for faithful ministry in actual churches. These have become for me Paul’s “Seminary Epistles.”
Sometime over the last few years, I started referring to Paul’s letters to Timothy and Titus as the Seminary Epistles. I knew that this short three-book series is, of course, usually called the Pastoral Epistles, but I also noticed that, while Paul’s tone and content are clearly “pastoral” in the broad sense of that word, he is nevertheless dealing with the work of training and equipping young pastors to serve congregations.
Sounds like seminary to me.
At our campus, we have been working through these unique letters by Paul during our staff meetings, and we have rarely struggled to find application of Paul’s teaching in the life of the seminary.
Oddly, the distance between Paul’s day and today seems diminished when reading these letters. For instance, he warns Timothy against speculative theology that confuses faith (think freshman year religion classes at the state university), and he cautions against idle theological chatter (1 Tim 1:6; 4:29; 2 Tim 2:16; Titus 3:9), as if he is glancing at his twitter feed as he writes (*apostolic smh*).
So how do I as a seminary president take Paul’s teaching let it form the way I prepare my students for their pastoral callings? Here are just a few ways.
Read the rest here.