Monastery or Seminary?

“The rise of urban monasteries and abbeys will add a much-needed residential element to education. Ministerial training will be reconnected to gardening, hospitality, cooking and entrepreneurship. Associations of monasteries and seminaries will form “trails” open to student-pilgrims.” Andrew Jones, Christian Century, 2006

An article I wrote for Christian Century in 2006 has surfaced online. Good! It was originally only available in paper form. The title is not good and not what I intended to say. I spoke about interactive video gaming which got edited down to “videos” and that had the opposite effect of what I wanted to say. But the rest of the article, which deals with how I see ministry training happening in 2050, is still worth reading. Especially the part about monasteries which I am seeing as one of the preferred training options for the emerging generation over a traditional seminary or Bible College.

I am writing from one of those “monasteries” right now. Mount of Oaks was started recently by 20-something Europeans to provide a place to discover God and his community, learn to live sustainably on His earth, and launch out into his mission. It is influenced by Protestant and Catholic streams, and currently has two guys who were part of a Christian Ashram in India named Delhi House[now named Sewa Ashram]. This gives it a different feel than more structured monasteries like those seen in the West. It is, however, quite rural, unlike most new postmodern monasteries in Europe that generally spring up in the urban centres.

Previously on Tallskinnykiwi: Monasticism in the 21st Century

Technorati Tags: ,


Andrew Jones launched his first internet space in 1997 and has been teaching on related issues for the past 20 years. He travels all the time but lives between Wellington, San Francisco and a hobbit home in Prague.


  • I love you blog Andrew – just visited it – you a wild man!!! I love you traveling with your family in that tank. Nikki and I need a plane – been passing over you a lot in and out of the Middle-East – I pray for Europe everytime I fly over it – next time (a couple of weeks) when I fly over I’ll watch for your big truck. I LOVE Portugal and the Portugese people – I’ve wound up working with some of them lately on some global issues. I’m glad your family is with you. That’s always been a priority of mine as well – rock on Andyman!!!!!!!

  • andrew says:

    you calling ME crazy????

  • Andrew,
    Thanks for your post and helping stretch my thinking regarding training.
    Good hearing from you and I am glad you pray for Europe every time you fly over it. I bet that is quite a lot. It is a great place. We need believers who pray for the peoples of this great place. Hope you stop in some time and give us a visit here.

  • Thanks Andrew and family for your visit at Mount of Oaks. Thanks for mentioning Sewa Ashram, (it was named Delhi House 10 years ago.)
    peace and love

  • Zach Riley says:

    Thanks for the link to the article. Great stuff as always. Been thinking about the appropriateness of missional/monastic apprenticeship type ministerial formation over tired old Englightenment “professional” degree mills (that’s a bit harsh on my part). Yale’s David Kelsey has an interesting overview of how we got to where we are with “Between Athens And Berlin: The Theological Education Debate” . It seems time for new wines skins, just want to know how to participate in this. Any ideas? (1st year seminary student, Duke Div)
    Grace and Peace,

Leave a Reply