Online theological education

Gordon-Conwell, one of the more sensible Evangelical seminaries, has a free online “seminary level” theological education program which can lead to a certificate.  Very interesting for many reasons, not the least of which is that it gives unsure learners a better idea if seminary is the right path. Or it fills a need for higher-level congregational theological education. It doesn’t hurt Gordon-Conwell’s reputation either.

Hattip: Tensegrities, where she goes in more depth into what the mainline hasn’t done with online theological education.

By Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 46, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.


  1. Interesting! However, I looked up the school’s Statement of Faith, and had some pretty serious concerns. I can agree to disagree with orthodox Trinitarianism, and/or understand it as one among several useful figurative models for trying to describe the indescribable, but if I were otherwise curious these articles would be for me non-starters:

    I. The sixty-six canonical books of the Bible as originally written were inspired of God, hence free from error. They constitute the only infallible guide in faith and practice. … [emphasis added]

    IV. The eternally pre-existent Son became incarnate without human father, by being born of the virgin Mary. … To effect salvation, He lived a sinless life and died on the cross as the sinner’s substitute, shedding His blood for the remission of sins. …

    I would also chafe under this one, since I suspect they mean this a lot more literally/factually than I would be willing to understand it:

    III. Man, created in the image of God, through disobedience fell from his sinless state at the suggestion of Satan. This fall plunged man into a state of sin and spiritual death, and brought upon the entire race the sentence of eternal death.

    My objections concerning their views of Scriptural hermeneutics, human nature, and atonement and soteriology, and their narrow advocacy of those views to the exclusion of others, are very much consistent with those of the 19th-century Unitarians (before the Transcendentalists muddied the waters further with the Second Unitarian Controversy).

    I expect their views would so permeate their teaching that it would be difficult for someone who approaches the material with other beginning premises would be able to make much use of it.

  2. But you’ll find that theological statement in any number of schools. The opportunity for online learning at this level, less so, and which of the liberal or mainline churches are doing it? That’s my point.

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