Letters to the Editor

Published December 1, 2000

‘Wasteland of mediocrity’ is remembered with affectionDear editor,

In my peripatetic retirement I seem to meet up with the Journal later every month. In the October issue I see that in the opinion of one of the luminaries of Regent College, Vancouver, most Anglican seminaries in Canada are “wastelands of mediocrity.”

Having taught in three of them, this gives me pause.

One of them, I must admit, was a wasteland – certainly not of mediocrity – but of conflict and acrimony. It was a setting hardly appropriate for preparation for Christian ministry; rather more for guerrilla warfare.

The other two were not perfect, but they were Christian communities where students and staff lived, worshipped and walked their pilgrimage together. There were teachers and students, but I believe all taught and all had a lot to learn. There were staff and students of varied social and religious backgrounds and convictions. Most of us realized that our outlook on an issue was precisely that – an outlook. No one, certainly among the staff, thought of their own point of view as Olympian and incontrovertible. In my mediocrity and naiveté I thought it quintessentially Anglican.

Both of these seminaries were affiliated with provincial universities and classes frequently had a leavening of university students. One such class presented me with a Bible, inscribed “With appreciation for your enthusiastic lectures and for your way of bringing life to the New Testament.” I remember that particular wasteland of mediocrity with great fondness.

Colin Proudman



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