Is Seminary Necessary?
The seminary juice: Worth the squeeze?
Dr. Randy White, pastor of First Baptist Church of Katy, Texas and founder and CEO of Dispensational Publishing House, is not against seminary training for those preparing to enter vocational ministry. He himself has been trained in such institutions.
However, in this article, White does raise some good questions as to the practicality of such training in the current evangelical landscape, offers some cautions to those considering such education (or looking to hire someone for a pastoral position) by highlighting what he sees are poor assumptions as to what said education accomplishes, and proposes some alternatives moving forward.
He states his thesis plainly:
In denominational (and many independent) churches, a master’s level seminary education has been the de facto prerequisite for pastoral leadership for decades. Personally, I think it is time to question the assumption.
While I’m not as convinced as White that formal education is as unredeemable as he seems to think, I do appreciate his focus on the necessity—yes, absolute necessity—of a students’ involvement in a local church subsequent to theological training in the classroom.
To me, there is no valid excuse for a seminary student (or Bible college student, for that matter) to not be actively serving in a local church to which they belong as a member. No, you aren’t too busy with schoolwork. No, this isn’t a sabbatical of sort before you go into ministry full-time. Involvement in the ministry of a local expression of Christ’s church is vital.
Much more could be said, but I feel my blood-pressure rising. It’s time to hit “save” and take a nap.
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