The Way of Wisdom: Faculty Voices - Prof. Clair McPherson

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The Way of Wisdom is a major initiative at The General Theological Seminary to integrate all the disciplines of formation in seminary education. Rather than separating education, formation and experience, The Way of Wisdom requires a complete blending of each. To read more about The Way of Wisdom, including Dean Kurt H. Dunkle's article, "Diving into the Deep End," go to www.gts.edu/wisdom. Each month GTS News is featuring one faculty member's reflection on The Way of Wisdom.

 

The Rev. Dr. Clair McPherson

Professor of Ascetical Theology

The revision of the Book of Common Prayer, the Ordination of women to the Priesthood and Episcopacy, the increased celebration of the Holy Eucharist on the Lord’s Day, increased consciousness of the social implications of the Gospel and a revised relationship to the secular world: Our era has seen the most comprehensive changes in the Church since the sixteenth century. In many ways, these changes may amount to a second phase of Reformation. This is simultaneously painful, challenging, and glorious.

The Way of Wisdom, a comprehensive approach to theological formation, is a responsible and creative response to this seismic shift, crafted to produce creative, responsible leaders for the contemporary Church. Wisdom involves much more than the accumulation of knowledge; it involves its assimilation and its application within that Church. Therefore, it involves a complete re-tooling of the curriculum and a complete recreation of the Seminary’s self-understanding: from an academically modeled, graduate school-like dispenser of Clergy to a living community dedicated to theological formation.

Theological formation—that phrase means much, much more than the study of ideas about God. It means the catechesis of leaders at every level, lay and clergy alike, in expressing and in living a life centered in God. That is why we have Christened it a Way of Wisdom. We still will uphold the highest standards in preparing clergy—we are after all a seminary. But we know that our vocation as a seminary is to prepare leadership for the entire Church (which is what it really means to be General). And we keep prayer, Chapel, reflection, fellowship—alongside the highest academic standards—at the center of our lives at our beloved GTS. After all, Theology is our middle name.