Theological education has always been vital to the Church's life and mission; yet today it is in crisis, lacking focus, direction, but also resources and even students.
In the early Church, there is no doubt that to lead worship one had to be able to read and interpret the Bible. In order to lead, it was necessary to know at least something about the history of Israel and the work of God in the Gospels, and interpret that history, making it relevant to daily living.
Quickly the Church developed schools for its teachers, whether lay or clergy. A catechetical system was organized through which candidates prepared for baptism were given a basic form of theological education. Hence to be a Christian meant persons knew what and why they believed. But over the years, theological education has come to mean education for clergy and church professionals. It has drifted, seeking new moorings.