I do not believe that it is necessary to get bogged down in the minutia of the organisation and running of the Finkenwalde Seminary...and its adjacent Brethren House, brought into existence for graduate pastors. That would lead us inevitably into all kinds of copy-cat scenarios and the consequent quenching of present-day creativity, as well as legalism and pettiness. What we should focus our attention upon and search out is a broad-brush, liberal overview of this completely prophetic, seminal seminary and event.
(1) Dietrich Bonhoeffer "saw" vividly the need to build community and fellowship, in opposition to the intimidation of totalitarian evil. He recognized the need for "spiritual havens" and "places of refuge" where Christians (and especially their leaders) would be inwardly strengthened to resist antichrist persecution and go out repeatedly to serve God...even unto martyrdom.
(2) He understood that "we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against...the world rulers of this present darkness" (Eph 6.12), and that therefore our spiritual strength and health is at least as important as our doctrine and theology. Praying the Psalms together - as the prayers of the whole Church - became increasingly vital for the whole Finkenwalde Community. One student later testified that he was pleased to have learnt this while at the seminary, "for I was able to practise it later in a Gestapo prison"!
(3) Dietrich Bonhoeffer lived according to The Cross (5)), and incarnated the uncomfortable reality that the status quo will never suffice, when all around us alters and goes awry. He had opportunities created for him to stay out of Germany, and thus quite legitimately avoid the head-on collision with antichrist and his subsequent martyrdom. He believed that the evil of Nazism could only finally be beaten when Germany itself was defeated in war. To qualify to be a part of his country's resurrection, he believed absolutely in his duty to share in his own people's sufferings. Having closed the door of escape upon himself, he then fervently set to work, searching for "a quite new and binding form" of Christian life. This he did...but not in a quiet, book-lined study in a state-approved theology faculty. He forged it while living in the midst of his brethren in an "underground" seminary, training "illegal" pastors.
It seems to me that we (in the Western Body of Christ) are presently afflicted by a peculiar kind of delusion...that we will be able to live through the Last Days with our beloved religious and spiritual status quo's, traditions and mores, un-molested and unaltered.
In the days that lie immediately before us, as we plunge more and more deeply into great tribulation, it is going to become increasingly evident that (as for Dietrich Bonhoeffer) there is going to be no "escape hatch" opened for the Church to avoid the looming conflict's inevitable escalation and crisis. How are we to be Church and how are we to live as faithful servants of our true and soon-coming King during such a time? These are pressing and ultimate questions which we must address sooner rather than later...in fact right now!