If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task. ... He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. If anyone does not know now to manage his own family how can he take care of God's church? He must not be a recent convert or he may become conceited ... (excerpts from I Timothy 3, which is worth reading in full)And again
the husband of but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. (from Titus 1, again worth reading at length)
Typically, the "recruit through school" approach brings a very young group into the pastoral position; it's a position for which not quite all of them are really ready. Often the "assistant pastor" approach is open for the new pastor to be mentored, or other mentoring schemes are set up until the pastor gets his feet under him, and this is a good thing. But it leaves open a very real problem: what if someone becomes a pastor who, upon maturing, really doesn't belong in that line of work at all? At one time I belonged to a church whose pastor was unable to lead his own family, whose children were "open to the charge of being wild and disobedient" to say the least. When the pastor's job called for preaching he could preach a sermon. But when the pastor's job called for mature leadership, he simply could not deliver. (Yes, his sermons did suffer from "the leadership vacuum" as well; they tended to be very educational but not very edifying.) More than that, in our church body (and many others, from what I gather) the amount of education required for a pastorship includes extensive knowledge of both Greek and Hebrew before entering the Master's program. While this makes for admirably well-educated pastors, it also means it is rarely practical for someone to obtain that education after becoming mature, having children, and demonstrating humble, trustworthy, and effective Christian leadership.
The problems are both dealing with pastors who simply do not meet the Biblical requirements for church leadership despite having their degree, and clearing the path for those who meet the Biblical requirements but are not likely candidates for the church's official Master's program (though they may require some additional training). I have in mind a few possibilities, but would be curious if anyone else has seen this also and has thoughts on it. I'll hold off posting my own thoughts about solutions until after the next Christian Carnival.