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date: 17 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Theological education in the United States has developed as a function of religious practice, American culture, and conventions of higher education. It began with the general study of classics in colleges and universities during the colonial period and the early decades of nationhood. It developed through a process of specialization that involved the founding of freestanding theological schools and seminaries and the development of a specialized curriculum and theological disciplines and patterns of scholarly work. By the mid-twentieth century, the education of ministers had developed into a normative form of graduate, professional education for which post-baccalaureate degrees were granted. Because theological education is embedded in religious, cultural, and higher education conventions, it changes as they change, and all three are changing in ways that will impact the future forms and practices of education for ministry.

Keywords: seminaries, divinity schools, theological education, education of ministers, professional education, theological schools, theological disciplines, Protestant, Roman Catholic, Master of Divinity

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