Spring 1969

Page 29

Is there a crisis of faith in the seminary today? I do not think so. There is a problem certainly; but to label it a c1·isis of faith is to miss the central problem and preclude any effective solution. What we are seeing is a crisis of growth. The same phenomenon is apparent on campuses across the nation. In the special environment of the seminary, however, it takes on a specification that has been described, badly, I think. as a crisis of faith.

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~minaJians. Is thae a c1-i.•is of faith or a crisiB of opportunity m today' s serninary?

Religious psychologists have long ago pointed to the impact ·that a growth crisis, that of adolescence for instance, can have on faith. The more precise our knowledge of the GEORGE J. DYER <levelopmental process, therefore, the more accurate can be our theological response to the crisis. And here we return to our seminary problem. If I am not mistaken, we are witnessing a new stage in human personal development-a plateau between the adolescent and the adult that Kenneth Keniston has calle<l youth (The Young Radicals).

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If the adult is psychologically and sociologically mature, and the adolescent is neither, the youth stands somewhere between these two poles. The youth has achieved psychological but not 29