Friday, February 22, 2008

Is seminary important?

The longer I'm in pastoral ministry, the more thankful I am for my college and seminary education. At times, it felt like an endless journey of one semester after another. The classes, reading assignments, papers, and exams never seemed to let up, and there was no end in sight. But just like driving across the Great Plains of the Midwest, if you persevere by the grace of God, you do eventually arrive on the other side. It was a total of ten years from the time I started college and sensed God's call into ministry, until the time I actually finished seminary and began serving full-time. But I don't regret it for one minute. It was an investment that reaps daily dividends.

If you're wondering whether you should pursue further theological education, which seminary to attend, what degree to get, how to prepare, and how to survive, then here are some articles that will prove very helpful:

Owen Strachan, Seasons of a Seminarian

B. B. Warfield, The Religious Life of Theological Students (1911)

Helmut Thielicke, A Little Exercise for Young Theologians (1962)

John Frame, Learning at Jesus’ Feet: A Case for Seminary Training

John Frame, Studying Theology as a Servant of Jesus

Reformed Theological Seminary’s pre-seminary reading list (short version and extended version)

Irvin Busenitz, "Training for Pastoral Ministry," ch. 7 in Pastoral Ministry, edited by John MacArthur (click here
to open in Libronix)

There is also a blog called designed to give practical wisdom on this subject, and to help students avoid burnout and finish well.

Some of these would make very good devotional reading. And since every pastor is a life-long student, it wouldn't hurt any of us to go back and read these articles from time to time.

(HT: Justin Taylor)

1 comment:

Nancy said...

Stephen and Natalie, very happy for you, and praising God with you that everyone is healthy and well, give Dylan a kiss for us.
Nancy and Mike Ayala