What is a theology exam for, anyway?

In the midst of semester-end examinations I look for inspiration wherever possible (perhaps you find yourself in the same academic malaise). Here Barth gives a lovely account of the value and purpose of theological exams. I close my two semester, undergraduate theology cycle with oral exams for reasons similar to this:

When properly understood, an examination is a friendly conversation of older students of theology with younger ones, concerning certain themes in which they share a common interest. The purpose of this conversation is to give younger participants an opportunity to exhibit whether and to what extent they appear to give promise of doing so in the future. The real value of a doctorate, even when earned with the greatest distinction, is totally dependent on the degree to which its recipient has conducted and maintained himself as a learner. Its worth depends, as well, entirely on the extent to which he further conducts and maintains himself as such. Only by his qualification as a learner can he show himself qualified to become a teacher. Whoever studies theology does so because to study it is (quite apart from any personal aims of the student) necessary, good, and beautiful in relationship to the service to which he has been called. Theology must possess him so completely that he can be concerned with it only in the manner of a studiosus (Evangelical Theology, 172).


3 thoughts on “What is a theology exam for, anyway?

  1. Pingback: The Value of Theological Examinations and Doctorates « The Evangelical Calvinist

  2. Theology is no side of science. But in the Bible too much language like commands, promises, poetry, proverbs, the language of emotion. It states that theology can be categorized as a science but it is not only about science. Theology can not be regarded as a rigid science. Because knowledge is expressed that is received by faith does not belong to the category Necessary self-evident reason. Theology is not based on natural light and therefore there is no evidence of its object than the evidence of science (science) about the things that regular contingent. Because of that theology can not be said to be a rigid science.

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