Clergy Education in America

Date: March 16, 2021

It is true: If you want to understand the present, then you must understand the past. History is never just a curiosity: it is vital to the act of understanding the moment we are living in. Often puzzles about the present are resolved, when one tells the story about the past.

The Rev. Dr. Larry Golemon is the Executive Director of the Washington Theological Consortium. He is also an extraordinary scholar. Now available from the Oxford University Press is a rich, informed, learned study entitled Clergy Education in America: Religious Leadership and American Public Life, 1785 to 1935. As I read this study, I marveled. The scholarship underpinning every assertion is thorough: he is the master of the relevant literature. As we continue the task of “clergy education” in the present, this book illuminates a central question about our time.

The question is this: In what ways should the clergy address the civic issues of our time as a nation? Larry locates the question, reflects on the question, and explains how our modern predicament around this question is itself a result of a distinctive history. In truth, our Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish forebears understood that participating in civic culture of our country is part of the obligation of being a clergy person. Larry wants to see us recover this understanding. In this book, we encounter history as both a challenge and as an invitation. Buy this book and learn from it.

The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D.
Dean and President

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