In the various conversations and discussions I’ve been in over the last few years I’ve found it common for pastors to speak about the valuable role their seminary education played in their formation and then also state their opinion about its lack of importance for other people serving at their church in a pastoral role.
This feeling I had of a double standard was backed up by a Christian Post article which shared a number of statistics that showed a similar story.
“Of pastors who attended seminary, 83 percent strongly agree the training and experience was worth the time and money…Only 10 percent of Protestant pastors say they would require a candidate to have a seminary degree and instead place emphasis on other qualifications, such as experience and beliefs.”
In other words, pastors value seminary for themselves, but don’t see it as vital for future pastors.
Does that not make sense to anyone other than me?
I hear many people complain about the Biblical illiteracy of upcoming generations, but I rarely hear a call from pastors to push these upcoming generations to become more fully qualified for future Christian ministry.
It is God who calls and prepares people for Christian ministry, but we also must do our part to be as prepared as possible and seminary is often a major part of that process. I truly believe that for many (and most) pastors, part of God’s preparing is the seminary journey.
I hate to see it become devalued by pastors who had their lives changed by their seminary experiences.