“A Tale of Three Seminaries”…A Reappraisal

As a progressive post-fundamentalist evangelical at Bethel Seminary – having began in 2008, but having served 2 elca congregations as well since ’08 i totally agree with what Sara has outlined here. I didn’t have the insider scoop she has, but when i read Tony’s blog i thought, come on dude, you’re better than that. We desperately need all 3 schools in the Twin Cities, and the world. All 3 have important parts to play and they are succeeding and failing to the degree they are supported by the rise or fall of their home bases. Lots of re-imagining to do… Don’t give up.

PS – Sara is the reason I was at Bethel in the first place, she was an amazing honest admissions person – and she is the reason i stayed when I knew my political and theological ideology didn’t match the school’s mission 100%. It is a very ecumenical school, it’s not marketed as such, and i still would highly recommend it – loudly, over Luther – any day.

Sara Wilhelm Garbers


This post has been a long time in coming. Since 2008, like many of you, I’ve witnessed the conversations about the future of theological education online, in print, and in person…and specifically, have seen a lot of recent talk about the three Protestant seminaries of the Twin Cities (esp. on FB). Much of the discussion is doomsday, and I’ve wanted to counter it because I think it’s misguided (and maddening), but I haven’t taken the time. My reticence to say something changed the moment I read Tony Jones’s 9/9 post on Patheos, entitled “A Tale of Three Seminaries” … and so I decided it was time to speak up.

My Connection to this Conversation

I’m joining this conversation because I love Luther, Bethel, and United. I am a M.Div. graduate from Bethel Seminary (2011), and during my time there I took three classes at United Theological Seminary. Additionally…

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