R.R. Reno Ranks Grad Programs in Theology for 2012

In First Things, RR Reno offers his third list of theology grad program rankings (first in 2006, then 2009, now 2012). Duke and Notre Dame top the list, and a thumbs up is given to Catholic University, Wycliffe College/Toronto School of Theology, Boston College, Princeton Seminary, Perkins School of Theology, Yale, Marquette, and Univ of Dayton.

Reno also mentions that, for evangelicals, he would recommend Wheaton and TEDS. Interestingly, he mentions that Princeton would be a good choice for evangelicals because it “claim[s] aspects of that heritage” – really??? Somebody explain this to me!

One should note that Reno especially appreciates schools where students do more than historical criticism. Thus, Duke is promoted because it flourishes with “a fresh, postliberal conviction that in today’s academic culture we need to focus on renewing and deepening the traditional and apostolic character of theology.”

So, it was sad for me to see that (again?) Reno did not include any institutions in the UK. For the same reasons Reno sends students to Duke, I encourage students to consider places like Durham and St. Andrews, where it is not only OK to be a Christian, but some faculty are actually ordained (or even former Bishops!).

Still, for a place to start, Reno’s list is noteworthy. I would have added Fuller and Emory, but I am thinking specifically of New Testament studies (and not “theology” more broadly conceived).


One thought on “R.R. Reno Ranks Grad Programs in Theology for 2012

  1. I see what he means by Princeton Theological Seminary and evangelicalism: consider for example in New Testament Ross Wagner who is United Methodist so it is not uniformly Presbyterian Church (USA). I’m not sure how one would characterize Beverly Gaventa’s approach. Reno also has a description of why he recommends Princeton Theological Seminary earlier in the article: “#6: Princeton Theological Seminary. This is undoubtedly the best place to study Karl Barth, whether in the style of George Hunsinger or Bruce McCormack. But it’s more than that. Ellen Charry and John Bowlin provide alternatives. The doctoral programs are run through the seminary. This provides a Church-focused environment that prevents theology from becoming an academic game.” You are right though to think that his article reflects his own views and to recommend other places. The Theology Studio had lots of comments: http://www.facebook.com/groups/136703486462365/permalink/226955780770468/ and http://www.facebook.com/groups/136703486462365/permalink/227309267401786/ Here’s a quote: Ry Owen Siggelkow: “I have compiled a satirical alternative to Reno’s “top ten” graduate programs in theology. Let me preface this by saying that this is my way of laughing, as it were, in the face of what can only be called a piece of propaganda on behalf of the white male theological establishment in this country. Reno’s list is not only laughable though; it is really quite shameful. And it is the product of a problem that is systemic in many, if not most, of our institutions of theological education.”

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