Thursday, April 25, 2019

Behind the Prejudice Against Educated Clergy

Among Quakers (many congregations of which refuse to record ministers), some evangelical congregations, and other faiths such as Baha'i (which does not have a clergy), there seems to be an underlying anti-intellectual bias regarding ministers educated in theology and ministry. I think the prejudice is out of anger, whose root is the errant assumption that knowledge, even in faith seeking understanding, causes the educated person to think he or she is better than others. Relatedly, expertise is assumed, falsely again, to bring with it a more general elitism.These flawed assumptions give rise to the prejudice that being educated in theology and ministry are not of much value, as being uneducated or self-educated in the field are actually preferred qualities in cases in which ministers are used (e.g., many evangelical congregations). All this is a slap on the face to those of faith who have spent years of their lives in seminary or university, and such passive aggression goes against Jesus's message on how to treat others.

The full essay is at "Prejudice against Educated Clergy