Hey, Reverend! Hi! Nice to see you again!
Boy, was I surprised by the sudden wave of traffic my last post received. This blog is a pretty tiny, churchified niche of the Internet, where I tell you what to buy as an ordination gift or how to be a youth pastor if you’re not cool. Most of my posts are only read by desperate seminarians and two of my aunts. (Hi, Aunt Maureen and Aunt Peggy! Love you!)
But it turns out a LOT of us have strong feelings about where we went to seminary. I feel compelled to specify that I’m just a stranger on the Internet. I’m not on an ATS accreditation team or anything. If your school didn’t make the list, the reason is simple: I couldn’t think of a joke about it.
However, having received some helpful tips and corrective feedback, I have a few things I want to clear up:
What Your Seminary Says About You (abridged, with comments)
Virginia Theological Seminary
You are 27 years old and contemplating your first run for bishop.
No one disputed this.
You wanted to go to seminary but you also had other stuff to do, you know?
I was pleased to draw the attention of the former dean of Bexley Seabury, who wrote: “When I presented the revised low-residency curriculum to some people at our accrediting agency, they asked, ‘And who is your targeted audience?’ I actually said, ‘People who have stuff they need to do in addition to following their call.'”
Calvin Theological Seminary
Your last name begins with a V.
Again, no one disputed this.
Harvard Divinity School
You are Unitarian, or wish you were.
I heard from a handful of male HDS grads who patiently explained to me what a Unitarian is and what Harvard Divinity School is like, which in no way replicated any experiences I had while completing an M.Div. at Harvard Divinity School.
Berkeley Divinity School at Yale
You took great umbrage at the absence of a separate entry for Berkeley in the first draft of this post.
I heard from a LOT of BDS grads who wanted me to know that Berkeley is significantly more special than Yale, which in no way confirmed any of my stereotypes about Berkeley Divinity School.
Trinity School for Ministry
You totally are that kind of evangelical. WANNA FIGHT?!?!?!
One TSM grad politely offered to fight me. I considered it, but since in addition to being nearsighted I am also small, weak, and slow, I don’t like my chances here. I think my best bet is probably to yell something about being a “real Anglican” and then run.
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
You are a former InterVarsity staff worker and have the relentless enthusiasm to prove it.
I chose “relentless” because “grating” seemed unkind.
Candler School of Theology at Emory
You have thought long and hard about whether you are an Emily or an Amy.
Unless you are a Don.
School of Theology at Sewanee
You wonder if it would be in poor taste to wear a seersucker alb.
Several Sewanee graduates reached out to let me know that while a seersucker cassock is very practical for summer, a seersucker alb would be unthinkably gauche. I humbly accept this correction and regret the error.
McCormick Theological Seminary
You feel quietly superior to people who went to LSTC.
A number of McCormick graduates confirmed this, leading me to reconsider the “quietly” part.
Starr King School for the Ministry
You are offended when people assume you believe in God, but also offended when they assume you don’t.
Regardless of seminary affiliation, this appears to ring true for Unitarian Universalists everywhere.
Seminary of the Southwest
You spend a lot of time explaining that you went to a real seminary.
I can neither confirm nor deny that anyone has ever attended this school.
Fuller Theological Seminary
You own 18 pairs of flip-flops and an electric guitar.
Apologies to all the Fuller grads who clarified that they actually own acoustic guitars.
North Park Theological Seminary
You are Swedish.
As I now know, some of you are Norwegian.
Multnomah Biblical Seminary
You are not reading this post.
100 points to the sole Multnomah grad who let me know that he read it! For what it’s worth, he said I was probably right.
9 thoughts on “What Your Reaction to “What Your Seminary Says About You” Says About You: Errata, Elucidations and Updates”
You were surprised by your traffic? This was posted at a time we all need a chuckle. I’m not at all surprised this spread through the clergy community. This was well done and we all needed space for a quiet chuckle.
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Hi Catherine! Love from a faithful reader.
Love you and so well said as usual. Have enjoyed your writing since you taught yourself to read before entering kindergarten!
I went to Bexley Hall when it was still in Rochester, NY, before it married up with Seabury Western. What does that say about me?
At VTS for my Anglican studies year. Too old to ever be a Bishop. Darn!
Hey, never say never …
Still no Eden Theological Seminary from which I graduated. One’s three years there as an Episcopalian, by the way, made one realize one was not, in fact, a Protestant, and that one was REALLY tired of explaining what a “sacrament” is, including to many but thankfully not all of your faculty; that no, if y’all want an Episcopal-type Morning Prayer service the Creed is NOT optional; and also that some people go to seminary to work in parish ministry, so it might be nice to really learn about that.
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Noticed you didn’t have General. 😉
At Sewanee, we don’t have seersucker (sadly) and we aren’t supposed to have lace.
Oh, but I do — General is for the future vestment models! I will admit to having lace trim on my alb, but I’ve never seen an Anglican pull off a true Roman-style lace alb without looking … humorous … so Sewanee’s rule is probably for the best.