"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