Posted by: johnnyp1978 | March 24, 2008

Reflections on Seminary

Reflections of a Seminary Grad

 

If I had to do seminary all over again I would do things a bit different. I have some suggestions for those in seminary and those considering seminary:

 

1.)    Pray, pray, pray, pray about it. Don’t rush into seminary, seek guidance from the Lord.

2.)    Talk with your elders/pastor. Ask them if they think it would be wise for you to go to seminary.

3.)    Did I mention prayer? I can’t over emphasize the need of prayer over this step in life.

4.)    Just because you love Jesus and like theology doesn’t necessarily mean the next step should be seminary. There is plenty of theology you can learn outside of seminary that isn’t as time consuming and is much, much cheaper. Richard Pratt’s ministry IIIM (http://www.thirdmill.org/) offers free material online and you can acquire DVD’s which are at a seminary level of education for very cheap. You don’t need to pay someone bunches of money to give you a reading list… ask your pastor for a reading list of books he recommends for such and such a topic.

5.)    Married men don’t have a 3+ years of separation from your wife. Too many married men spend way too much time on their studies and pay very little attention to their wife and children; which leads me to number 6.

6.)    Seminary is time consuming, so consider whether you can give it the time it needs. It is a little less time consuming if you don’t overload your semesters. There is no biblical mandate that seminary has to be all done in 3 years. If need, take your time. By taking your time you are allowing more time for family.

7.)    Seminary is NOT college part 2. Seminary should not be used as a way to extend your college years. Too many students live life at seminary like they did in college… even doing keg stands on the weekends. A special warning to the single folk… you shouldn’t just be sharpening your intellectual skills through your seminary years but also your ethical lifestyle which means making out and such should probably be avoided at all cost. I wouldn’t say that dating can’t be done in seminary, but don’t forget why you are at seminary.

8.)    If you are in seminary simply to get a husband/wife that is an awful lot of money you are spending… eharmony is cheaper.

9.)    Just graduated from college? Why don’t you work some in the real world before going off to seminary? It’ll help you better understand what the real world is like because college students typically live in isolation for 4 years. You also need a break from the academic rigors of school. It will also give you some time to do that thing that I said in point 1: PRAY. Give your self time to evaluate whether seminary is the right step for you. A general rule I would give is that a seminary student shouldn’t be younger than 25 when starting. Why’s that? I think you still have a little more maturing to do after college. This is just a generalization. I mean if you finished college at 20 years old and feel wise enough for seminary by no means should you stop, but as our culture is I would say too many college students lack the discipline seminary requires.

10.) Make sure to have a church behind you all the way. You need the prayers of your elders/deacons/pastor behind you along with the prayer of the Body. You need accountability. Make sure a church leader is checking up on you constantly and helping keep you accountable to the reason why you are in seminary.

11.) No lone rangers in seminary. Don’t live your seminary career in isolation. You need fellow seminarians for support and some of the best education happens outside of the classroom in discussion with your peers.

12.) Pray!

13.) Don’t go into debt over seminary. I wouldn’t suggest taking out loans unless absolutely necessary. Seek support from church, family, and friends. If you must pay for seminary consider taking less classes and working a job that will allow you to take classes and work.

14.) Don’t rush seminary. Too many of us get to the point where we are just working for a piece of paper and not the valuable education that comes with seminary.

15.) Lastly, make sure you have the support of your elders/pastor behind you and don’t forget to PRAY.

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Responses

  1. Very good advice. I felt the need to enter seminary after college, but decided to wait a few years. During that time of living in the world, and praying, I have now come back to the conclusion that seminary is right for me. I do have a nagging feeling that I’ve wasted 4 years, but like you said, I’ve matured and grown much since college.


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