I spent three years at seminary, and I was invited to eat in the houses of exactly three professors: Bob Guelich, Nancey Murphy, and Jim McClendon. I played intramural softball with a couple other professors. But none — other than Guelich, with whom my parents had been friends for years — did I establish a deep relationship. The only seminary professor I’ve ever seen in his pajamas is Miroslav Volf, who invited me to stay with him when he taught in Croatia in 1993. (That’s a story for another day.) In the past week, all ten DMin students in Christian Spirituality cohort have seen me in my pajamas. They’ve thrown sticks for my dog, and they’ve broken bread with my spouse. They’ve gotten to know me, and I them. The professor-student relationship has been recast, and the barriers inherent in those roles have — I hope —been at least partially torn down.
Amen. I had a couple college professors like this, but nothing even close in seminary.