I am at Asbury Theological Seminary this week for a gathering of the Alumni Leadership Community. I attended Asbury from 1985-89, when I graduated with an M.Div. degree. Those four years were among the most important in my life in forming me and preparing me for ministry.
I found the academics challenging, the worship energizing, and the community healing and supportive.
You can imagine my dismay at hearing that there are “leaders” in the Central Texas Conference of The United Methodist Church who tell ministerial candidates that “if you go to Asbury you will never get a good church in this conference.”
Would you “leaders” like to tell the churches to which I have been appointed they are not considered good churches? Would you at least explain to me, and to my face, why it is you say such things?
Ironically, it is often Asbury alumni who are accused of being exclusive and narrow-minded.
It is truly amazing to me to see, hear and observe the tolerant practice in-tolerance. They are open minded and inclusive to those who they agree with, but when they encounter someone who they don’t agree with (conservatives), they will try to use censure, black balling, loud shrills and the courts to surpress the views or others. I remind them of it constantly.
Surely there was some sort of context from which that ridiculous statement was drawn. I am speechless that any leader would say such a thing.
As a future seminary student, I’ve often wondered if “leaders” were predisposed to favor one seminary over another.
I hope some leader views your blog and answers your concerns.
I heard a similar comment back when I was in seminary. I was talking to a DS and when it came up that I was an Asbury student he said, “If you don’t go to Perkins you’ll never make it anywhere in this conference.” – or something along those lines. He’s retired now, and as far as I can tell, none of those now in authority hold this kind of opinion anymore. I confess I did get the idea that diversity was fine, as long as it was diversity with an official UM label on it.
I remember one Garrett-Evangelical student who told me that her mentor had told her that if she went to Iliff that she would never be ordained.
She was from the Houston area. I don’t know what Conference that is.
Houston is Texas Conference. I know things I’ve heard out of Iliff sound pretty wild, but I’ve never heard any negative comments about it here. I know we have at least one Iliff grad – about 20 miles down the road from me – and he hasn’t seemed to suffer for his alma mater.