Jump directly to the Content

4 Surprising Benefits of Seminary

What I learned in a classroom that proved helpful in leading a church.
4 Surprising Benefits of Seminary
Image: Chris Bell Photo / lightstock.com

There’s a small printed card in the seminary cafeteria, in front of the apple basket: “Take only one apple. God is watching.” Another (hastily handwritten) card sits in front of the chocolate chip cookies. It reads: “Take as many as you want. God is watching the apples.”

That’s the way I heard the joke, anyway. And for a season in my life, that joke was how I thought about seminarians—they were witty, often used God in their witticisms, and loved to outsmart others.

The church where I spent most of my formative years didn’t have a high view of seminary. We thought it was for ivory-tower types who lacked the grit and urgency to do real-world ministry right now.

My views shifted during my undergrad years at a Christian liberal arts college and three years as a youth pastor working for a senior pastor with an M.Div. I vividly remember hearing a classmate in a biblical literature class say, “I don’t need to get grades. I’m going ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Related
C'mon Church, Take a Risk on Artists!
C'mon Church, Take a Risk on Artists!
Ministry requires a brave heart and attitude.
From the Magazine
Reading God’s Word like a Poem, Not an Instruction Manual
Reading God’s Word like a Poem, Not an Instruction Manual
The Bible teaches us, says Matthew Mullins, but its method of teaching always entails more than information and guidance.
Editor's Pick
Jesus’ Miracles Showcase More Than His Power. They Reveal His Pastoral Nature.
Jesus’ Miracles Showcase More Than His Power. They Reveal His Pastoral Nature.
Learning from the Good Shepherd’s gentle care.
close