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Being There
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This book offers a close-up look at theological education in the U.S. today. The authors' goal is to understand the way in which institutional culture affects the outcome of the educational process. To that end, they undertake ethnographic studies of two seminaries-one evangelical and one
mainline Protestant. These studies, written in a lively journalistic style, make up the first part of the book and offer fascinating portraits of two very different intellectual, religious, and social worlds.

The authors go on to analyze these disparate environments, and suggest how in each case corporate culture acts as an agent of educational change. They find two major consequences stemming from the culture of each school. First, each culture gives expression to a normative goal that aims at shaping
the way students understand themselves and from issues of ministry practice. Second, each provides a "cultural tool kit" of knowledge, practices, and skills that students use to construct strategies of action for the various problems and issues that will confront them as pastors or in other forms of
ministry. In the concluding chapters, the authors explore the implications of their findings for theories of institutional culture and professional socialization and for interpreting the state of religion in America. They identify some of the practical dilemmas that theological and other
professional schools currently face, and reflect on how their findings might contribute to their solution. This accessible, thought-provoking study will not only illuminate the structure and process by which culture educates and forms, but also provide invaluableinsights into important dynamics of
American religious life.
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About the Author

Jackson W. Carroll is Ruth W. and A. Morris Williams Jr. Professor of Religion and Society and Director of the J.M. Ormond Center for Research, Planning and Development at the Duke University Divinity School. Barbara G. Wheeler is President of the Auburn Theological Seminary. Daniel O. Aleshire is Associate Director of the Association of Theological Schools, and Penny Long Marler is Associate Professor of Religion at Samford University.

Reviews

"[This] superb study...will serve as a model for other studies of theological education in America and, conceivably, for other types of higher education as well....We have here what could easily become a paradigmatic scholarly approach to the synchronic interpretation of institutions of higher education."-Conrad Cherry, Indiana University The book ... presents a compelling analysis of each school's culture and its relationship to student formation ... This book will interest sociologists of culture, religion, organizations and education. * Mary Blair-Loy, Washington State University, American Journal of Sociology, March 1999 *

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