I believe that seminary class is a lab in which our faith and scholarly work come together on equal levels; any lecture or debate not emerging from one’s faith makes it hollow, and any endeavor to keep one’s doctrinal or dogmatic stance not allowing a critical evaluation makes it irrelevant to today’s multifaceted world. Today’s world asks us more desperately than any time before to have open minds, love, and tolerance toward those who are different from our own in culture and faith tradition. Seminary education is an opportunity in which we learn together to grow both in faith and academic discipline to meet the needs of such a desperate world. A United Methodist preacher for 20 years, I enjoy the privilege of being in a pulpit; I cannot imagine myself not in the pulpit each Sunday. But this holy office of preaching always comes to me as something new and challenging.
As pastor of a local church, I consider my class teaching as a part of my ministry with an understanding that this is a highly academic training. I would like my students to broaden their understanding of preaching and improve their practical skills of exegesis and sermon development in a variety of contexts.