Advice on Seminary

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by untangled, Jul 24, 2005.

  1. untangled

    untangled
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    Here's the story:

    I have recently accepted the pulpit at a Baptist church. I'm moving this week. However, I have not made up my mind on how I will finish my seminary. I still need about 60-65 sh. This ministry will take me another 30 or so miles in the other direction from SEBTS. Plus with the time constraints I do not know what the best option is.

    I see three options open:

    A. Try to transfer in some more DL credit to SE and drive my last year and stretch it out over two years.
    B. Transfer to LBTS
    C. Transfer to CBS (although it is not Baptist)

    Any suggestions? What would you do?

    In His Service

    Brooks
     
  2. Pipedude

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    More info would be helpful.

    1. What's the mileage after "another 30 or so miles" is added?

    2. What is the size of the church? Do they know that you want to go to school and pastor simultaneously?

    3. What is your degree program, and what have your grades been like?

    4. Who is "CBS"?
     
  3. TaterTot

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    If you were called to go to seminary first, then make that a priority. Both is doable.
     
  4. Humblesmith

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    uh......what is CBS?

    Can you give us a better idea of where you are?

    How many times a week are the classes? If option one is do-able.........why not?


    www.ses.edu
     
  5. PastorSBC1303

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    I agree that seminary should be a priority for you at this time. I have seen several guys get a ministry position and they back off seminary and they do not get back started and end up several years later wishing they had just stuck it out and made it a priority.

    During my MDiv at MBTS I never lived on campus. I lived almost 70 miles off campus and I commuted there 2-3 times a week, a couple semesters 4 times a week. I was a youth pastor for the first 2 years of this and then pastor for the last 2 years in this community. It was not easy, but I am very happy I did it that way. It gave me the best of both worlds. I had all the book learning from seminary added to all the real ministry experience in the church.

    I would advise you to stay with the program you are currently in and make it work. Get your degree while getting real ministry experience. I think in the long run you will be happy you did.
     
  6. Broadus

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    FWIW, I second PastorSBC1303's advice.

    Bill
     
  7. Martin

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    Brooks,

    Not sure but I believe Southeastern's classes are set up so that you would only need to be on campus once or twice a week. That would be a great option. I would not leave the program.

    Martin.
     
  8. untangled

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    Here's some more info:

    One way now is 115, so it will be around 130-145 miles.

    Driving twice a week is not too much of an option right now. I have also considered GCTS. I believe God called me to this church. Seminary is not the top priority, though it is something I must do. I'll finish it but I don't know where yet.

    By the way: CBS=Columbia Biblical Seminary /CIU
     
  9. TomVols

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    Seminary needs to be the priority. Far too many (I was one) sacrificed preparation by wanting to get into the trenches too quickly.

    However, I know you'll probably not heed my wisdom [​IMG]

    I need more info, though. How large is your church? What will they allow you to do?
    How far are you from CBS or LBTS and why are they options?

    Beware: many seminaries require a certain # of hours to be done on campus, and some of these have to be FINAL hours, so it may be a moot discussion. But share the info so we can help better. [​IMG]
     
  10. untangled

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    Hey Tom,

    My church has approximately 50 members + 10-20 children. The average age is 45. They know I am still in seminary and truly appreciate that fact.

    The reason GCTS, Liberty and Columbia Biblical Seminary are options is because the way I can get on campus hours. They have weekend courses where you travel there once a month for a Friday and Saturday for four to five Saturdays and also have one week modules.

    I already have a B.S. in Ministry but I feel that it is 100% necessary for me to finish my M.Div. The only thing about Liberty is that they do not have a modular format for their languages. They do have Greek Langauge tools online but I would like to take a full year of Greek atleast.

    I love SEBTS but after I finish my next five classes I will have to start driving possibly twice a week. That would be around 500 or so miles a week. I truly prayed about taking this church and feel it is where God has led me. I have been preparing academically and pratically for the past seven years. I'm just minus my M.Div. I know it is usually typical to have the M.Div first but I truly felt God's calling to this congregation.

    Any suggestions on which program you would choose if in my shoes???

    In Christ,

    Brooks
     
  11. Pipedude

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    I would say, do whatever it takes to stay with the program. That is, don't choose a situation where you wind up "laying out" for a semester. Those semesters can turn into a lifetime.
     
  12. Pipedude

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    I would say, do whatever it takes to stay with the program. That is, don't choose a situation where you wind up "laying out" for a semester. Those semesters can turn into a lifetime.
     
  13. Humblesmith

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    untangled:

    500 miles a week is a little stiff. I just checked at Southern Evangelical Seminary in Charlotte. They offer an MDiv externally, and have one-week modules for most classes. But the language classes are on-campus only. If that's possible, I'd encourage you to check them out.

    Otherwise, stretch it out to two years. A church will take up A LOT of your time.
     
  14. untangled

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    Thank you for your replies everyone.

    I want to stick with SEBTS but I don't think I can do so after the next couple of semesters. I'm not going to quit going but I will slow down for a semester to get used to pastoring.
     
  15. gb93433

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    Starting a degree program and finishing it not only gives you a degree but also shows that you started something and finished it.
     
  16. untangled

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    GB,

    I agree. It would show that I started and finished it. I just want to be able to finish there at SE but the drive twice a week would be too much. That would put me in the car around 12 hours a week. It would probably take about a tank to get up there and back (I drive an Explorer). So that would be an extra 90 to 100 bucks a week. I don't know. I still have a few more classes I can take online. I'll do that and be in my second year. The only thing is that I had advanced standing at Liberty. I've already taken one class I was exempt from at SE so I do not want to take any more that I would not have to take at LBTS.

    Brooks
     
  17. Rhetorician

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    Untangled,

    I know you probably do not want to hear any "old war stories," BUT:

    I was driving 375 miles from Memphis to Louisville one day per week for two semesters, with a 15 hr per week Church Planting job at a mega-church, working a full-time job, with a wife, with three children one of whom had many disabilities and special needs, taking a full-time MDiv load, and taught New Testament General Epistles one semester at a local college. Now, I feel tired just rehearsing the whole ordeal. But, that was what I had to do my whole educational life.

    So my exhoratation to you is:

    Suck it up, pay the price, and do the work. Then you will have your own "war stories." You will never do better and be closer than Southeastern for where you are in your life.

    And by the way, I was an old man at the time-45!

    You can do if you want to do it and God is in it!!

    sdg!

    rd
     
  18. untangled

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    Thanks for the advice RT.

    I appreciate it. I may reconsider that.
     
  19. PastorSBC1303

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    My thoughts exactly! I am glad I had men of God in my life that gave me similar counsel in my life and looking back I am sure thankful I followed their counsel.
     

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