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In the church of the 21st Century, there is a real need for clergy who are entrepreneurial and creative. They must be able to think outside the box and take some of the tradition that we’ve learned and been grounded in during seminary and then be able to reinterpret it in creative and life-giving ways for people in the congregations, especially people who come to us and as Episcopalians but also those from other denominations – people who come to us seeking an alternative, another way of being Christian, authentically Christian, in the world.
One of the things CDSP has really grounded me in is scripture and the history of our tradition so that I can both teach and creatively interpret them for the Church of the 21st Century.
I’m not sure that I did think studying church history would have that particular application. I think one of the things that seminaries do really well in addition to grounding you in the tradition, the scripture, and the history is to teach you how to think creatively and critically about those things. When you get into the “real” world, you find that you have to do a lot of very critical and creative thinking about how to reinterpret things for people. All of that comes into play, but not in the way that I probably thought about when I was sitting in my church history class.
Richard Burden (M.Div. ’09) serves as Priest-in-Charge of the Episcopal Church of our Savior in Madison County, Ky.