Is Seminary Necessary?
Pastoring a church is arguably the most challenging career imaginable. So many various disciplines are involved. The pastor must not only have a thorough knowledge of the Bible and theology, he must also be skilled in effectively communicating truth from God’s Word in the pulpit as well as interpersonally. In addition to biblical preaching and teaching, the pastor must know how to lead and inspire a group of people, how to counsel people with diverse problems and needs, and how to administrate a complex organization, including disciplines such as finances, communications, facility management, and human resources. It’s a difficult, albeit rewarding profession, and it’s one that demands thorough preparation at a seminary.
In addition to preparing men who are called to preach, seminary prepares individuals for all types of ministries—education, missions, counseling, and various church staff positions. Each of these ministry careers requires professional training which is best received from a seminary school like Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary.
Seminary school is a structured approach to preparation for ministry. In a seminary education, you are given the tools to thoughtfully examine all of the books of the Bible in their entirety and with the attention they deserve. No part of the Scripture can be ignored. This daily discipline of thorough study brings all of the major discussions within Christian theology to the forefront. Through this preparation, the student cultivates their understanding of Christian orthodoxy. Some theological seminary degrees include the study of languages. Knowing how to use Bible tools to properly read and interpret Hebrew and Greek texts helps deepen an understanding of God’s intent for each verse of Scripture. This rich insight into the intended meaning, through languages, will help you manifest teaching that is clear, biblically accurate, and transformative to the people of God.
Although seminary provides undistracted time, community support, lifelong friends, and resources, there are pitfalls to avoid, such as looking at the Bible as a textbook rather than as a wellspring of personal devotion with God. It is important to remember the goal of seminary is not to become a scholastic academic with knowledge; the goal is to magnify Christ through loving Him and translating that gratitude into serving His people. Studying the Bible is pointless unless it is accompanied by worship and action. If you maintain personal quiet time with the Lord, you will begin to see seminary studies as a tremendous blessing that will give you opportunities to worship as you learn.
Additionally, there may be a temptation to disconnect from your church body because of the extensive studies. During seminary studies, there is still a tremendous necessity to make sure that you and your family stay involved with a local church. The book of Hebrews talks very clearly about not forsaking the assembling of saints. During seminary, make sure you stay involved with the Christian church community by regularly worshipping, fellowshipping, and serving as God has equipped you to do. As you seek to be a blessing to the church following your studies, do not cease to be a blessing during studies. Isolation from the church body will bear negative consequences and render your overall seminary experience incomplete. Staying connected with the church body will give you access to counselors who can not only guide you in godly wisdom, but testify to your character as you pursue the high calling of ministering God’s Word.
If you desire the office of a vocational preacher, one of the most important questions you have to ask yourself is, “Will seminary help me achieve this goal?” Many churches require a theological education. That is because they have personally and regularly experienced the life-changing impact a good seminary education makes. One thing we’ve learned at Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary is that a teacher is only as fruitful as their study time. Dedicated studying produces inspired teaching. Seminary school provides the undistracted time, resources, and community support that future ministers need to skillfully teach the Word of God and satisfy man’s deepest need for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Registering to visit our campus is just one click away. To learn more about seminary school and the resources Mid-America can provide to your ministry, schedule a campus visit.