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Is Seminary Old School?

4 pastors weigh the pros and cons of higher education.

Q: Is Seminary Old School? How important is a degree for today's church leaders?

Forcing Contemplation

Ken Fong, Evergreen Baptist Church of Los Angeles, California.

Sometimes I'm tempted to think that requiring all would-be ministers to go through seminary is sort of like hazing—I had to suffer through it, so everyone else should too! But I'm really not that cynical.

Earning both my seminary degrees put me through a rigorous, focused theological process. I read, wrote, and contemplated ideas I never would have touched if left to my own devices. So even though there are things that clearly need updating in order to equip missional leader-servants for the 21st century, most future ministers would benefit greatly if they did what I did.

Does seminary guarantee competence in the trenches? Absolutely not. Would it be richer and more helpful if it were culturally more comprehensive? You bet. Is it for everyone? No, especially those who aren't cut out for graduate level studying. ...

May/June
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