I ask and am often asked the question, “What
matters to Lutherans?” The responses are rich and varied. A frequent
answer is, “Theological education matters.”
Why does theological education matter? It matters because the life of the church is centered in the word. At the heart of the church is a centuries-long conversation in which we are joined with Christians throughout the world in listening carefully to the word and in thinking together about what it means to proclaim that gospel message today in our own words and actions in the world. Theological education equips us to participate in carrying that conversation forward. (See "More than just 'preacher factories'.")
Central to the reforming activity of Martin Luther and other leaders was the renewal of theological education, both for those with pastoral responsibility and for all the baptized. For this reason Luther wrote both a Large Catechism aimed particularly at those with teaching and leadership responsibilities and a Small Catechism for all the baptized. Theological education in the ELCA continues to have the same depth and reach.
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