The Alternative Seminary

The Alternative Seminary is an informal program of biblical and theological study and reflection designed to foster an authentic biblical witness in the modern world.

Since 1993, various groups of Christians in the Philadelphia area have gathered for in-depth biblical study, blending serious scholarly work with personal experience and a concern for the connections between the biblical story and our contemporary society. Our study has been influenced by liberation theology and seeks to model new forms of biblical and theological study and a new vision of what it means to be the church in our culture.

“The practice of the Christian life consists of the discernment of the presence of the Word of God in the common life of the world.” -- William Stringfellow

“The matter is quite simple. The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand we are obliged to act accordingly. Take any words in the New Testament and forget everything except pledging yourself to act accordingly. My God, you will say, if I do that my whole life will be ruined. Herein lies the real place of Christian scholarship. Christian scholarship is the Church’s prodigious invention to defend itself against the Bible, to ensure that we can continue to be good Christians without the Bible coming too close. Dreadful it is to fall into the hands of the living God. Yes, it is even dreadful to be alone with the New Testament.” -- Soren Kierkegaard

The Alternative Seminary c/o Will O'Brien . 4715 Pulaski Avenue Rear . Philadelphia, PA 19144 . 215-842-1790