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Any recommendations for liberal/progressive Christian theological seminaries?

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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-12-10 12:10 AM
Original message
Any recommendations for liberal/progressive Christian theological seminaries?
I was just wondering if anyone knew of any Christian theological seminaries with a liberal/progressive philosophy? I am beginning to feel called to consider it. That or law school; talk about being torn in different directions, lol. There's a seminary near me, but it's conservative Baptist, so it goes without saying that that is out, out, out. Thing is, I'm in my forties, so it would be a bit different experience for me.

Also, anyone else have experience in attending seminary as an older, "non-traditional" student?
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supernova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-12-10 02:50 PM
Response to Original message
1. Couple of recs
My last minister, a woman, went to Duke in her late 40s, early 50s. Duke is loosely associated with the Methodist Church and is very grounded in intellectual rigor.

My friend from college went to Vanderbilt to get her M Div right after we graduated in 1984. She is now and ordained minister with Disciples of Christ, which is very liberal and non creedal.
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RevCheesehead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-12-10 03:16 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Actually, Duke Divinity School IS a United Methodist Seminary.
Proud member of the class of '95, also a second career person. :hi:

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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-12-10 06:23 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. Duke is closely related to the UMC,
Edited on Fri Mar-12-10 06:30 PM by Critters2
and these days, I think it's a stretch to call anything related to the UMC liberal. I'm becoming quite irritated with the UMC's "we're liberal, we just hate gay people" position. It's time to call 'em on it.
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Kat45 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-12-10 03:25 PM
Response to Original message
3. I know some folks who went to Andover-Newton Theological School
Edited on Fri Mar-12-10 03:26 PM by Kat45
It's in Newton, Mass. They told me that a lot of the students there were women in their forties (as were some of those I knew who went there).

Edited to add: this was sometime in the last 10 years.
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-12-10 06:24 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. That's where I went. I think I qualify as liberal/progressive. :) nt
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-12-10 06:22 PM
Response to Original message
4. If you're in SD, you're (relatively) near a progressive seminary--
Edited on Fri Mar-12-10 06:29 PM by Critters2
United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. My brother did his MA there, and he's to the left of me (he's a liberationist, I'm a Girardian). It's a UCC seminary. Here's a link:

http://www.unitedseminary.edu /


edit: I went to seminary right out of college, so can't speak to the experience of non-traditional students, except to say that there are a lot of them at any mainline seminary. You won't be alone, and many seminaries go out of their way to meet the needs of older students.
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rug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-13-10 08:58 PM
Response to Original message
7. Don't know liberal it is but Wake Forest has a JD/MDiv program.
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-14-10 12:44 AM
Response to Original message
8. Thanks to all of you for your help
and suggestions, I appreciate it! Will check out the suggestions, although the closer the better, from a practical point of view.
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kwassa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-15-10 09:58 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Virginia Theological Seminary
I have no idea where you live, so I don't know if this is practical. This is for the Episcopal Church.

http://www.vts.edu/default.aspx

I am in the very very liberal Washington Diocese of the Episcopal Church, and all our seminarians come out of here, and some are women, some are gay, some are career changers in mid-life, or all of the above.
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-16-10 11:44 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. Then UTS is your best bet. It's about as liberal as you can get, too. nt
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-16-10 04:32 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Thank you, I'll certainly check it out!
The twin cities is about six or so hours away, give or take. That's not too bad, although there would be a lot of logistic and financial details to deal with. And hubby likely wouldn't want to leave his job here, I know. Problem is, we live less than two hours away from the one seminary in the state, but it's conservative Baptist. NO. WAY. I doubt I'd be accepted there anyway, even if I could stomach the doctrine, which I couldn't.
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-17-10 12:19 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. I looked at the site for the Baptist seminary in Sioux Falls, out of curiosity.
It says they can choose not to accept students based on theology, or something like that. It sounds like you have to agree to a faith statement, and not one most Progressives could affirm. I still think the Twin Cities is the best you can do. You might want to look at the Lutheran seminary in St. Paul (I think), too.
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-20-10 12:54 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. I know, that's why I know I wouldn't be accepted
at the Sioux Falls Seminary even if I could stomach the doctrine. There's no way I could agree to that statement. I like what I'm seeing about United, so I'll give that a serious look-see.
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-11-10 10:20 PM
Response to Reply #10
17. I'm strongly leaning toward applying
there. I believe God has shown me that I'm not meant to go to law school, that maybe this is what I'm meant to do instead. Of course, I can't be entirely sure of that, but that's certainly the way that it's looking. I'd thought he'd wanted me to use my legal skills and knowledge of the past fifteen years to help others, as I'd been doing, but things have happened to change that belief. Maybe that's what I wanted and not what he wanted. And I've been thinking about seminary for twenty years now, almost went to one after college graduation but had my son intead. Maybe it's time to "come home" and do what he's wanted me to do all along. And United seems perfectly suited to my beliefs, philosophy and purpose.

Sioux Falls Seminary would be much closer, obviously, but I just can't see myself submitting to their required conservative doctrinal pledge or their philosophy.
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Rabrrrrrr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-30-10 05:53 PM
Response to Original message
14. Well, of course, if you want the best, you'll consider Union in New York City.
If you want great runner ups, you'll consider Princeton, Harvard, Yale, Duke, Andover-Newton, Graduate Theological Union (I think that's the name) in Berkeley (San Francisco area), Eden (St. Louis - a UCC one), Chicago Seminary (another UCC one) and then the next tier of UCC ones are United (Twin Cities), and Lancaster (PA).

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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-01-10 08:21 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. Oh, I could, indeed, consider them. But the problem
would be two-fold, logistics and money. I ain't twenty any more, I'm in my mid-forties with obligations and responsibilities. I'm seriously considering United, though, and excited about it.
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-03-10 01:56 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. Princeton's not really all that progressive.
Not sure I'd call United and Lancaster "second tier". United is a fine school. I haven't been in touch with any from Lancaster in a long time, so can't speak to it. I personally am not impressed with the academics at Chicago Theological Seminary, and would put Vanderbilt in your list somewhere.
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-03-10 07:52 PM
Response to Original message
18. Well, I didn't get into law school despite being a paralegal
for fifteen years (and a damned good one, too!); and I'm taking that as a sign. I'd asked God to choose for me what he wanted me to do with the rest of my life, since I was torn between law school and what I also felt as a call to seminary. It's been very difficult emotionally dealing with not getting into law school, but I believe it's for a reason that I will someday know and when one door is shut, another is opened.

So now I'm really getting serious about looking at seminaries and figuring out how to do it at my age and with my responsibilies (and also living in the sticks, which would make the finances of any seminary particularly tricky). Sioux Falls Seminary is less than two hours away, but it's just waaaay too conservative for me and I just couldn't go there. I doubt I'd even be accepted, since I wouldn't be able to swear to and adhere to its doctrinal pledge requirement.
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