Why I Still Go To Seminary

I’m a Lead Pastor.

I’m a seminary student.

I’m not crazy.

Why in the world am I chasing a Masters in Divinity, one/two classes a semester—for nearly 4 years and more to come—when it is not going to land me a ministry position?

Great question. If you are in my shoes, you probably think the same thing every October and March.

Vintage Classroom

My answer is so simple, it might drive you nuts.

I keep going to seminary because the Apostle Paul makes me. He wants me to. And therefore, I want to. I’ll probably get my Ph.D, you know, Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise.

“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15 ESV)

Seminary Isn’t for a Gig.

I’m bound by God’s word to do my best in the service of King Jesus. I want to handle the word of God in a skilled, careful, measured, powerful, helpful, serious and scholarly-fun kind of way.

Seminary is one way, a big way, I am learning to do my best.

Yes, there are hundreds of other ways and we are all different, but for me, the training I get at Southern Seminary is a part of becoming all that I can be in the Lord’s army.

Pastors, we don’t go to seminary to land a gig. We go to be trained by faithful men, so that we may be faithful servants for God’s people.

Seminary credentials are cool, but who cares where you went to school when the Eschaton comes crashing down. Those letters might be made out of wood and hay.

Seminary is Spiritual Protein Powder.

I go to Southern Seminary so I can serve Redeemer Church better. Distance Education makes it possible for guys like you and me to stay at our post and get trained.

Sure, I could just read the books. And my doctor could just read the books too. No thanks.

Learning from Dr. Jim Hamilton, Dr. Thomas Schreiner, and the likes of Dr. Russell Moore isn’t a fun exercise of the brain; this is iron sharpening my use of the sword of the Spirit. I’m learning to hold the shepherd’s staff.

Seminary isn’t easy. It takes a lot of work, time, effort. But you know what? It’s worth it. It’s for the church of Jesus Christ—not my brain. Seminary doesn’t end with me; it’s end is the glory of God and the good of His people.

If I have the opportunity to rub shoulders (and hearts) with some of the best teachers of our time—why in the world would I waste that opportunity?

Brothers, don’t waste your seminary!

I need my views challenged. My assumptions to be assassinated. My theological framework, exegesis, comprehensive Bible knowledge, logic, quick-on-my-feet-ness, needs refinement to the max.

Seminary is jump shot after jump shot. Greek jump shots are a pain. And it’s all for any given Sunday, counseling room, elder meeting, church discipline mess, and hospital visit.

Suit up. Show up. Put in the time. Look ahead to the future. I don’t want to be 50 and wish I had gone to seminary.

Whatever helps you rightly handle the Word—do it. It is required of you.

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A Corinthianized Gospel

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