Sorry about the Presbyterian shoptalk, but I just heard something quite distressing.
Is it true that only forty percent of students who take all four ordination exams actually pass? It’s so hard to get the pass/fail rate on these. And why is that?
Aren’t seminarians supposed to be taking their ords in their senior year? Does that mean sixty percent of our graduates are not supposed to be looking for jobs? Does that mean that many of them gave up their careers, their homes, their lives in order to go to seminary, and over half of them are not going to be able to look for churches? We all know how long it takes to find a call. Many of these people have families depending on them. And even if they don’t… we have churches that need pastors.
What are we doing? Saying goodbye to our seminarians, letting them work at Starbucks, while forty percent of our congregations flounder, without pastors? These are people who have Masters’ degrees. They have worked very, very hard. Isn’t this a huge waste of our resources? Can’t we be a little smarter about all of this?
Now… I’ll admit, there may have been one or two people in our seminary class who were not really fit to be pastors, but the ord exams didn’t weed them out. And there is no way that I would say over half of my class was not fit.
Why do we bother with recruitment? Why do we even encourage people to enter the process if they only have a forty percent chance of making it?
Really now. If only 40 percent are passing, how can that possibly be fair? This hazing process has gone way too far. Is anyone willing to consider that it just might be the Ordination exams themselves that are failing?