“Most ministers who want to engage the working world will find that their theological school left them unprepared,” argues Chris Armstrong in “The other 100,000 hours,” an article in the New Year 2013 issue of In Trust. He notes that this situation is in sharp contrast to earlier periods of church history, “when questions of work and vocation were actively studied in light of Scripture and tradition.”
Armstrong notes that William Messenger, editor of The Theology of Work Project, has found that “most businesspeople, though they may otherwise love their church and their pastor, feel their pastor simply does not understand their working world and its issues.” Other researchers have found that anti-business biases are common among clergy, and that these biases are often “inherited from seminary professors.”
Does your school convey -- whether consciously or unconsciously -- an anti-work, anti-business attitude to students? Do you have a message about issues of faith and work? Leaders and trustees who want to look more deeply into questions about a theology of work and their schools may want to read both this article and “Theology for workers in the pews,” Armstrong’s companion article in the Spring 2013 issue. The follow-up article delves a bit more deeply into the topic, and provides examples of what a theology of work looks like at several schools.