For some clergy, professionalism is their way of compensating for a sense of being an anachronism as a cleric.
So skills in parish administration — skills in this, skills in that — are all part of “I matter because I have these skills,” as opposed to “I have internalized the theology I’ve been taught in such a way that it gives me a ground to stand on and a sense of self that I can confidently act out of as a priest.”
It’s the professionalization of ministry at the cost of theology. That may be harsh, but that kind of integration is essential — making those connections so that you are formed as a theological person and not just possessing some theological information that you can’t translate because it doesn’t meet you at some deep place.
People are hungry for meaning. Meaning making is a primary function of a religious leader, and it comes out of how they’ve appropriated their tradition and connected it with what is going on in the world.
(Frank Griswold in interview)