By L. Putnam
What tool does Christian and Missionary Alliance Theological Seminary dean suggest as a great tech tool to help pastors deal with pressures in today’s church? The very unsettling “Unseminary” podcast: “Ron Walborn Provides Help to Leaders Dealing with the Pressures of Today’s Church”–an interview between Pastor Rich Birch and Dean Ronald Walborn– gives the dean’s thoughts in his own words. http://www.unseminary.com/ronwalborn/
Note: As you listen, or read note the interview highlights as listed at the site; also note the “Lightning Round Highlights” where Birch asks Walborn’s personal recommendations on various topics. Also pay careful attention to Ron’s full length answers to the Lightning Round questions which can be heard on “the audio only” at the very end of the program.
History of ATS:
The dean starts off the podcast interview with Birch by detailing a little of the past history of the seminary. He then follows this with an overview of the three year “Master of Divinity Program” with its heavy emphasis on spiritual formation. Walborn says, “In every year they have to do spiritual formation.” The first year is an initiation into spiritual formation where they are quickly gotten into counseling, if needed. The second year there is more formation, and required counseling. The third year ends with “the capstone course.” Besides, emphasizes Walborn, during the entire three years there is constant mentoring from spiritual directors.
Ron’s Personal Spiritual Formation Series:
Ron goes on to describe his very own podcast series — updated materials from part of the original series Ron did at Delta Lake Conference which in 2005-2007 when he introduced the spiritual discipline of “centering prayer” to unsuspecting campers at Delta Lake Camp. And just as he did at Delta, Ron is still strongly advocating the use of the book of former Roman Catholic priest, and contemplative Henri Nouwen.
Lightning Round Highlights:
* Helpful Tech Tools: Rich asks Ron for his personal recommendation of a tech tool that might help a pastor better lead. Ron answer begins this way, “I’m good friends with a guy named Bill Johnson from out in northern California. We used to fish together when I was out in Redding (Ron pastored at CMA Risen King Community Church, Redding.) pastoring. As often as I can I listen to Bill. I don’t always agree one hundred percent with him, but he feeds my soul, he feeds my spirit. And so when I walk, and when I exercise I listen to Bethel.” Birch replies, “Very cool!” Click here to continue reading.
To see a list of Christian colleges that are promoting Spiritual Formation (contemplative spirituality), click here. As of this writing all CMA and all Nazarene colleges and universities in the U.S. are promoting SF.