Well, I think, personally — and I’m sticking my neck out here — that we should stop having a department of pastoral theology or ministry that is somehow disjunct from or separable from the central pillars in the curriculum.
There, of course, is still a necessity to learn particular skills. But I don’t think they should be, as it were, dislocated from the hard, intellectual, interdisciplinary effort of making these points of connection.
In my view, the best way to learn those skills is actually alongside very demanding interdisciplinary courses which look at the institutions of, say, jails, and look at how they were themselves founded on theological principles in the early modern period but have lost their moorings and become secularized — yet theological questions are still implicit in what they do.
So training people in an interdisciplinary way alongside students from law school or the public policy school strikes me as the way to change the future here out in the field.
Ministry is not easier and more dumb than doing theology. It’s actually more demanding, because you need all your systematic theological inputs plus all these other interdisciplinary connections.