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Monday, October 25, 2010

Are colleges and seminaries discussing the issue of orphans

Recently, I received the following email from a professor of pastoral ministry at one of the top seminaries.  I asked the professor this question.  Is the issue of orphans or the orphan crisis discussed at length in one of your courses?  Here is his reply
The short answer to your questions is, “no.”  There are no courses or major part of courses that are dedicated to the issue of the global crisis of orphans.  It will be a topic in certain courses that address the issues of social justice, but I would not say that it is a main topic.  There is much to be done in this area in churches, Christian colleges, and seminaries.
I will hasten to say that a great number of our students are aware of and sensitive to the world-wide dilemma.  Many students have traveled extensively and been exposed to the issue and are (at least rudimentarily) weighting adoption as an option.  However, many are also frustrated by the administrative hurdles/road blocks of various nations as well as the cost for foreign adoptions.  More accurate and accessible information would be most welcome.
There is so much to be impacted here, yet I would like to make the following observations:
·         There is very little being discussed on the issue of orphans and the orphan crises at the major seminaries.  From my discussion with professors, what this professor has written is highly typical.  The issue of orphans might be touched on during a discussion, yet nothing discussed in great detail.
·         Students do care about the issue of orphans when they have been exposed to them and the issue.  Many students have traveled extensively and seen the orphan crises first hand.
·         Graduating seminary students do need assistance with the costs of adoption.  Many who have graduated might be very open to adopting a child, yet the costs of adoption along with the costs of seminary make this a near impossibility.  Yet, if the denominations could assist graduating students in adopting children, then their churches would see the impact on their pastor’s family.
It is my opinion that the church will never truly solve the orphan crises without major assistance from the seminaries.  There are so many wonderful organizations and alliances trying to help the orphans and expose the orphan crises to the world, yet I question how much time they are spending on college and seminary campuses.  The church will not solve the orphan crises unless the next generation of pastors truly understands it.    Let’s hope and pray that this is an area were we will see major changes in the next year.

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