Seminary is not difficult in any denomination. Sometimes I see it listed as "graduate school" in the autobiographies of pastors. I doubt whether any university would agree. Al Gore flunked out of divinity school, but very few can make that claim. If they do, they were probably smoking as much weed as Al was.
No wonder these MDivs gravitate toward DMins, where liberal transfer policies allow them to pose as "Dr." in order to deceive congregations - and themselves. The Shrinkers love their DMins. In WELS, a DMin is prima facie evidence of belonging to the Church Growth cult. Paul Calvin Kelm is the only one who has a DMin from a nominal Lutheran school.
The Reformation was based upon scholarship. Although Luther earned his doctorate at a Catholic university, he still garnered respect for his advanced studies. In contrast, the founders of Church Growth Enthusiasm--Zwingli and Calvin--were do-it-yourself theologians who did not have PhDs in theology. Zwingli was an immoral priest and Calvin was trained in law. Calvin was an intellectual, but his rationalism kept him from grasping the essentials of Christian theology--the efficacy of the Word and the Means of Grace--which may explain his appeal to Church Growthers today.
Calvin was never ordained.
I am not sure where the anti-intellectualism of the American synods came from. Pietism is probably a good guess. They claim to have a "heart religion" as opposed to a "head religion," but their formula requires some thinking, no? It may be confused thinking, but it does involve a little more than the heart.
America is also known for anti-intellectualism, apart from any religious movements. American presidential candidates never let on that they have doctorates. Name a president and a famous candidate with earned PhDs. I thought so. That does not register in our media coverage.
The issue is not whether someone has a specific degree but whether the visible is run by theologians or politicians. I know scholarly MDivs and lazy-brain PhDs.
The trouble is that political MDivs devote themselves to getting cushy positions where they can avoid the labor of parish work. They spend so much time traveling "to serve the synod" that they come home tired from all the plane travel, coffee, and danish. They read position papers and reports, so they have no time for theological reading. Most importantly, they get their freebies from being political and keep their freebies by staying political.
MDivs who grab leadership positions simply repeat slogans from seminary or adopt the latest fad. A discerning view of their published opinions will show that their argumentation is locked at the sophomore stage of seminary education, often called the middler year. Their logical fallacies are never diluted by scholarship, quotations, or citations. They cannot even muster the courage to say what they really believe or cite what they genuinely oppose. Their slogans prove they are safe, secure, plump little church capons.
Two illustrations will suffice for now. The UOJ fanatics in WELS will say, "Have you read the WELS essays on this topic?" That is their Holy of Holies, papers written by MDivs, one who is an avowed atheist - but he was for Church Growth.
In Missouri, the same reverence is shown for synodical theses, such as the ambiguous ones on justification, to dishonor an anniversary of the Reformation. Lutherans have a habit of doing something ridiculous to mark a Reformation anniversary. We should all dread 2017. That may be when the first lesbian Synod President comes out of the closet and quits to become a priest.