What is Professional Theology?
Folk Theology – Every living being that seeks answers about God or forms an opinion about His things is participating in folk theology. The Internet is crammed full of folk theologists who present their spiritual ideas to the world that stretch from urban myths, angelic encounters, supernatural events, and even a few out-of-body trips stirred by favorite drugs that offer extra insight into the deeper things in life. But, folk theology is not limited to the ethereal thinkers, but is practiced by almost every being on this planet at one time or another as a connection is made to the difference between the body and the soul, and the connection between one’s own actions and God’s movement.
Lay Theology – Initiated by Christians as spiritual maturity drives them to seek deeper answers from the Word of God. Every believer that is growing in the Word of God becomes a Lay Theologist. By the very nature of their spiritual growth, a seeking heart and an inquisitive mind associate theological ideas in life with Scripture in ever-increasing depth and revelation from God. It is the time when new believers began questioning the spiritual things that are expressed in their church and their life and they begin joining concepts of personal belief in a system that helps them understand. No longer satisfied with blind or rote participation in worship tradition, they seek answers with their search for a more intimate knowledge of God.
Ministerial Theology – This type of theology defines a significant effort toward connecting the things God has revealed to mankind to human life and existence. Explanations that are sought for difficult times are carefully answered by Ministerial Theologists who offer comfort and reassurance that God is in control. Ministerial theology is practiced by ministers and pastors, as well as by Christian parents, who participate in life by sharing the things of God with others to uphold, sustain, and encourage growth toward Him as common life and the mundane, as well as life assist with difficulties and support celebrations toward God and His things.
Professional Theology – Hard questions concerning God’s movement and revelation often require systematic ordering with a careful contemplation of His Word. Professional Theologists are the Programmers, Professors, Writers, and Teachers that apply detailed study to the things of God in an effort to fully express His will and ways to others. It is a serious commitment to connect revelations that God has given mankind to lay people in an ordered way that gives them support to live their lives as willed by Him within the marketplaces of the world. The tools of trade for Ministerial Theologists are the Bible and altars to lead parishioners, and for the Academic Theologists the textbooks and the lectern tools are used to lead students. The Professional Theologists' tools of trade are Bibles, computers, books, movies, films, television, and textbooks with real life applications to lead others closer to God according to His will.
Academic Theology – This type of theology is not connected by God’s moving as much as it is connected to man’s efforts to form systematic ideas that reflect their educational efforts that are built upon others. More often than not, Academic Theology is practiced by an elite group of educated thinkers who awe each other with ever-increasing understanding of very specific, limited ideas, usually in a philosophical, rather than a spiritual, sense. Academic Theologists are less concerned about God, but more interested in the discipline and concepts of belief. Discussion and scholarship in Academic Theology does not rely upon Scripture; it favors textbooks, journal articles, and lectures to advance its field.
Why is a Seminary-Like Education Needed for the Study of Professional Theology?
Seminaries embrace specific doctrines connected to the churches they represent. For instance, Dallas Baptist Seminary teaches the things of Baptists, and Southwestern University teaches the things of Methodists. Graduates of seminaries supported by denominational doctrines do well in the Ministerial Theology fields as they are trained specifically to religious doctrine to guide those placed in their care. Academic theologians also benefit from seminary education because of the educational focus and presentation of modern-day belief that develops with educational excellence encouraging a look at religion without first-level Scripture influence.
Both Ministerial and Academic Theology is important, and there is a need for both. But, there is also a great need for the skill set of professional theologians that can understand, navigate, and teach the developments of higher level beliefs and doctrines that are formulated at the academic level, and the ministerial needs of common Christians that look to Scripture for answers. Professional Theologists are the go-between Bible Teachers that confront academic teachings and faith-based beliefs in a harmonizing effort that guides Christians to deeper belief and encourages scholars to open their Bibles and make application of new ideas with a solid Scripture base.
There are few, if any remaining Seminary programs offering a Professional Theology Masters of Divinity degree. It is a difficult field, because when it is done correctly, training requires teaching both the liberal and conservative views of Christianity, with a deliberate seeking of God's will according to Scripture regardless of denomination views. That type of Seminary teaching requires a step away from religious doctrinal position and absolute academic adherence with reference to the inerrant Word of God.
So here we are. Becker Professional Theology Academy hopes to be that place where those chosen by God to do the important work of professional theologians can be prepared with a seminary-like education that prepares them with unique training that equips and credentials their works for God.
What Type of Classes Will Be Offered at Becker Professional Theology Academy?
Great question! Our classes are going to be significantly and noticeably different from Seminary classes for Ministerial and Academic Theology.
First, there will be twice as many textbooks, at least, as every side of issues are examined then conformed to Scripture. At the end of each course it is our goal that students are well-informed of all issues and able to express God's will in the matter. Our Professors, Leaders, and Course Creators will be writing the books that support and develop the new theological field of Professional Theology, and every course will have that unique perspective infused within the course content.
But, there is more to being a Professional Theologist than just knowledge. Ministerial Theologists preach in Churches; Academic Theologists teach in schools. Professional Theologists teach in the marketplaces utilizing different opportunities to spread the Word of God to modern-day Christians in appropriate and enlightening ways. Those different modes requires training; just as a minister will be trained in hermeneutics so the sermons ring with God's Truth, and scholars stand confidently behind the lectern teaching in-depth the things they know, Professional Theologists need training so they can write the books, develop the meetings, speak to audiences, and create the apps, websites, and programs that Christians can use to improve their walk with Christ. Already we have contracted with some leading computer geniuses that are writing cutting-edge classes to teach every skill needed to advance Professional Theologists efforts to the farthest reaching places in the world.
Becker Professional Theology Academy is dedicated to not only giving knowledge but creating jobs with confident, educated, and chosen men and women of God to advance their field and provide Christ's path to others when it seems unclear. And that is just the beginning...how we will fully blossom can only be known after we begin to plant, and nurture growth for fruit production through God's direct touch and movement!