Churches, Before You Say “We Want a Seminary Graduate,” Read This!!!!

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by Rhetorician, Aug 26, 2011.

  1. Rhetorician

    Rhetorician
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    To all who do(not) believe in an "educated clergy":

    You have to read this post. Makes some good points overall. Points that ought be considered.

    But is a "slam" on the other hand for those of us who have been through the "system" and staked our lives on it.

    This is a must read for all who frequent the Colleges/Seminaries section of the BB. Please get back to me with feedback and observations.

    http://sbcvoices.com/churches-before-you-say-we-want-a-seminary-graduate-read-this/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+SbcVoices+%28SBC+Voices%29

    Really good stuff! :applause:

    This is posted FYI.

    "That is all!"
     
    #1 Rhetorician, Aug 26, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 26, 2011
  2. preachinjesus

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    As a quick comment, before I have to run off, I think the author has some excellent points.

    I've often said one of the biggest challenges to a seminary education is that it is developed and run by academics. It is easy to get bogged down in academic discussions and miss the essentials for running a local NT church.

    Good thoughts, I'm gonna recommend it to some people. I still think seminary is invaluable.
     
  3. exscentric

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    "Your eyes will glaze over the moment he speaks of eschatology, systematic theology, etc. " In his less than humble opinion, I do not think he has been in a country church lately. People are teaching systematic theology in Sunday school classes and many pastors are preaching Dan/Rev. And, I might add, at the request of the congregation. Come on, this author has been sequestered where and for how long?

    IF the people have been listening, and I find many are, the average pew warmer may only have a high school education, but he has probably been under pastors - hopefully training, not blowing wind - for a couple hours a week. Doesn't take long to add up to a college level time in class for a BA and concentrated in Bible.

    No, not the same but these folks are not dunces waiting for their savior from seminary either! I've been in sessions when the old farmer could make better points than the preacher.

    On top of the pew sitting many are sitting at home in the Word surrounded by libraries better than most I've been pleased to own.

    Because you use "academic terms" in seminary does not REQUIRE you to use the same terminology in the pastorate. The idea that people try to learn your terms is foolish if not arrogant. Use a level adequate for your people, you are not forced by your degree to use only an "academic" lingo.

    KNOWING something does not automatically REQUIRE that you use it! I know how to fix television sets but I have no idea how I would use that to speak to a group of people in a church, though after church I have given much advice relating to tv :).

    Coming from a seminary does not make you a dunce nor a professor. Coming from a Bible college does not make you a dunce nor a professor. Coming from your education to communicate with your people makes you God's man for the moment. If you find your folks knowing more than you, study harder, if you are way above them adjust your approach.

    Does common sense make sense any more?

    I might add that the high school diploma for those that put some work into it today is far and above the high school diploma many of us old timers know about.

    Many churches look for seminarians because they desire the depth of teaching that they should be able to gain from one.

    The author is right on when he says "A seminary education guarantees very little, if anything concerning faithfulness, godliness, holiness, etc." In fact nothing "guarantees" those things except the man of God following His Lord and doing the very best that he can.

    Yes, some church folks are on automatic pilot and in non-listening mode the moment the exit their car in the church parking lot, but do not make the mistake that they all are in that mode. Ministers are there to prepare the saints for the work of the Lord and they are responsible to do that the best they can with the education they have been given.

    The author has SOME good points considering how deeply his head is in the sand. :) IMNSHO. (in my not so humble opinion ;-)
     
  4. Jim1999

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    Find the young child in congregation and preach to him. The doctor, the lawyer, the professor will also understand. The old kiss policy; keep it simple, stupid!

    I never allowed my local churches to advertise my degrees. Pastor was the only degree I needed.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  5. Siberian

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    I think these thoughts are better suited as a challenge to pastors than to search committees. While he does make some good points; He is actually encouraging churches to look for uneducated pastors.

    One point he really falls short on though. A good pastor will use the wealth of knowledge that he learned in Seminary to be a great help to the brethren (even rural brethren), not speak over their heads with it. I am fairly strong in the Greek language and do okay in the Hebrew - and that really helps me when I study the Bible and prepare sermons. But, since the majority of the congregation does not understand the originals, I never mention a foreign-language word or grammar item from the pulpit (I might have on a rare occasion when it was actually helpful). Still, what I learned in Seminary helps me to better go deep in the Word, and in turn that helps me to explain the Scriptures - and helps big time.

    To say that because he knows so much he is going to be unhelpful is silly and anti-intellectual. It should remind us who do pulpit ministry to make sure we are communicating clearly, but does nothing to help search committees in selecting a pastor.
     
  6. TomVols

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    I think there are a lot of sweeping generalities, strawmen, and outright bromides in the article (not to mention the author did not even get the title of the degree right - it's called a Master of Divinity, not Master's of Divinity).

    Of course there are good folks who haven't gone to seminary and bad ones who have. And there are great ones who did and horrible ones who didn't. No one would dispute that. All in all, this blog post is terribly unhelpful to...well, almost anyone.
     
  7. Tom Butler

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    I'm thinking that about two hours a a day here on the Baptist Board ought to be worth a few credit hours. Not so much in homiletics, but in apologetics, at least.
     
  8. preacher4truth

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    I would have to agree with TomVols on this one. The article was horribly written, and had a negative agenda to say the least.

    The article will help no one whatsoever, unless a person is looking for a reason to be cynical towards those who hold a Seminary degree.
     
  9. RG2

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    One major flaw in all of this guy's arguments is it seems to imply that just because you know the big words that you have to use them. In my experience often it's the people without the formal education that feel the need to try and impress others with big words.

    The more I read this, it seems more cynical toward bad churches than seminary. It seems to say "Why would you require a seminary degree, if you just want someone to tickle your ears." Like TomVols said he starts with an obvious point, yes some people learn some don't. It seems though as he starts to go into a rant more about the lack of education of churches and how they don't pay enough, they don't want to deal with the sin within their congregations, and that they don't want to learn or benefit from a seminary education. I can't figure out if this all is coming from a guy who has been passed over because he doesn't have seminary, or a guy who has dealt with churches unwilling to learn. The only "educational institution" he mentions is Trinity College of the Bible (not to be confused with Trinity Evangelical Divinity School), which is a non accredited distance learning school. Now while I'm not interested in getting into any arguments about accreditation vs non, I can say that I took some classes from there about 7 years ago when they were touting they were in the process of trying to obtain regional accreditation (which they ceased shortly after without warning). I must say that a lot of their classes were more like home bible studies than university classes.
     
    #9 RG2, Aug 27, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 27, 2011
  10. revmwc

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    WOW what Academic Arrogance is being seen in these post. Those who think an education is EVERYTHING and those who don't have one are ignorant and have no doctrinal truth to preach.
    The article was showing just that, how our society has become so engrossed in the Seminary training that those who are gifted to preach and can do as 2 Timothy 2:15 states "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." are not qualified to preach because they don't have a formal seminary education.
    I have been a member of churches with both Seminary trained and non-seminary trained Pastors. Most of the time because he dedicated himself to study and finding the truth of the scripture the Pastor without a seminary education or a man who started and then went to seminary was more knowledgeable about applying scripture than the one who followed his academia.
    Many small rural churches who need a pastor who will be bivocational seek a pator with a seminary degree when the church is so small that it is more of a bible study crowd than a church, but where 2 or three are gathered Christ will be in their midst. Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. So they can be a church with 2 or thousands. But do the two require a seminary trqained pastor? Yet many small churches seek one who has been to seminary? Why because that is now the norm instead of the exception to the rule.
    The first pastor I remember and I was saved in his church had a Doctorate and every Sunday the message was 3 points and poem on being saved, Sunday night and Wednesday nught were the same. When dad made the decision to change churches we went to a church where every Service was a verse by verse, boojk by book expository message by a man with no formal seminary training, and he used words like Soteriology and Pnuematology and taught their meanings. He brought out the greek and hebrew tenses of words and yet had no formal degree, but he knew the book and studied to show himself approved of God a workman that needed not be ashamed.
    So before you go practicing Academic Arrogance looking atthings because you think everyone MUST have at least a thM ( Master of Theology) before they can preach, look back at the pastors of the 50 and 60's and you will find many great men of God who were great pastor and knew the word of God without formal seminary training. As a not the pastor I speak of that I grew up under recommended to many men who surrendered to preach to go and get their formal degree, but of the 10 or more men who surrendered to the ministry under his preaching only 2 or 4 went to seminary, the others pastored for many years and had succesful ministries. Two of the ones who went to seminary are no longer in the ministry and never found success, so the seminary training is not always the best route. Sometimes it is but many times it is not.
     
  11. StefanM

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    In another post: http://sbcvoices.com/go-to-seminary...g-to-missions-impossible-you-say-think-again/ . . .

    he mentions that he has an MAR from Liberty and an MDiv from SBTS.
     
  12. RG2

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