Has attending a neo-evangelical school caused you grief?

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by sovgrace79, Aug 18, 2005.

  1. sovgrace79

    sovgrace79
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    I just joined the BB after lurking for a long time and reading many topics.

    I am looking for some advice.

    I graduated from Bible College in 2000, with a degree in Biblical Studies/Pastoral Ministries. I want to pastor/start a church in New England.

    After graduating, I stayed at the job I already had through Bible college (software/systems engineer job). I did that until 2003, when I felt like I needed to get more involved towards working towards ministry. I started my own consulting business, and that has been going well.

    Because of this, I can set my own hours (to some extent). I've leveraged this to attend pastor's fellowship meetings, and from that, I've been invited to fill pulpits other than my own church.

    Right now, I feel like my wife and I still need to gain experience before I jump into the ministry. I'm working with my pastor on that now.

    I'm also contemplating seminary, and was thinking about Gordon-Conwell. Mostly, it is due to my location (2hrs 15mins from my house), and their distance learning programs, that would allow me to complete a good percentage of my studies at home. Also, it is regionally accredited, which means that if I go back to my previous employer, they will completely pay for tuition and books. The only other option in this area that I know of (besides regional accreditation) is Hartford Seminary, which is too far to the left for me.
    Regional accreditation plays an important part of my decision, as well as not having to have the residency part of the degree program outside the New England area.

    I have heard people and pastors caution me that going to a non-fundamentalist school could cause others to look at me with great suspicion. I'm willing to fight this battle if necessary. I know my pastor is highly supportive of getting more education (he has an earned doctorate in history).

    Have any of you had to worry about this problem? What should I be aware of if I decide to attend a neo-evangelical school? My intentions are not to become neo-evangelical, but to broaden my knowledge of the ministry.
     
  2. Paul33

    Paul33
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    I would think that if your pastor supports you and can back you up, you will probably be ok.
     
  3. Broadus

    Broadus
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    Gordon-Conwell is an excellent choice. The fact that you live close enough to it to do on campus in addition to distance learning is a real boon.

    BTW, regardless of what school you attend, there is going to be someone who looks at you with suspicion!

    Blessings,
    Bill
     
  4. Johnv

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    I think those people are probably speaking from a point of ignorance.
     
  5. sovgrace79

    sovgrace79
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    Johnv,

    That may be true. I have never heard any actual cases where the "wrong" school caused a problem. I'd imagine when I'm ordained it may raise some eyebrows.

    I'm coming at this from the viewpoint of the "Dead Right" paper that Phil Johnson wrote. It seems like fundamental pastors have their "gossip networks", and all it takes is a rumor that you are a "liberal", and you end up having to prove otherwise.

    Of course, you can be labeled "liberal" for other things than the school you go to.

    I know that where you go to school and how much schooling is not much of a means to judge someone. I hardly have the academic credentials to do my secular job, and the school I went to for my BS was KJVO and non-Calvinist, and I take neither of those positions.
     
  6. Johnv

    Johnv
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    I think the rule for some is this:

    If you do 999 liberal things, but 1 conservative thing, you're a liberal.
    If you do 999 conservative things, but 1 liberal thing, you're a liberal.

    One of these days, I'll actually figure out other peoples' thinking. [​IMG]
     
  7. j_barner2000

    j_barner2000
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    I have had the pleasure and priviledge of having 2 former pastors and their wives attend the church where I pastor in this 10 months I have been here.

    One, who is KJVO has labeled me as liberal because I said " I can teach you the WORD and the principles found there, BUT it is the Holy Spirit who will convict you of the application of these principles." His other problem is that i preach from "one of those modern perversions."

    The other pastor heard the same sermon and was agreeing with each and every point. And He also agreed with the statement of "The best translation is the one you will read daily."

    I do not care what label is placed upon me as long as I know I am squarely in the Will and Word of our Savior and Father. I am responsible, first and foremost to Him.

    Pray and know where He leads you to go. Men will always find fault, so please our Lord.
     
  8. FundamentalDan

    FundamentalDan
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    Brother,

    If I were you, I would not spend too much time worrying what others think of you. I know that is easier said than done, but I am in a situation where about half the people I know think I am too conservative and the other half think I am "liberal", though they do not know what the term actually means. It matters very little. One day I will give an account to God alone. So, if you feel the Lord leading you to this school, go for it. Take everything and compare it with the Bible. It will probably do you good.
     
  9. El_Guero

    El_Guero
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    Sov,

    I agree with Fun Dan ... If someone doesn't like my being conservative ... oh well ... but I will have to account to God and Him alone.

    God bless
     
  10. sovgrace79

    sovgrace79
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    Thanks for the comments. I pretty much think the same thing about not worrying about it. I just don't want people to think that I'm arrogant, or that if I finish a master's degree that I'm better than them.

    I just want more education to be more fully prepared for the ministry.
     
  11. Convicted by the Spirit

    Convicted by the Spirit
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    What is neo-evangelical mean exactly?
     
  12. untangled

    untangled
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    Find a good conservative school and go... Don't need a fundamentalist school because I don't believe they exist anymore - they are usually legalistic, not fundamental... Just my opinion.

    GCTS may be fine if that's what you want.

    Liberty, CIU/CBS, SBTS etc...... They are all good in my opinion.

    IN Christ,

    Brooks
     
  13. Paul33

    Paul33
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    G-C would be great!

    Take Walter Kaiser for OT!
     
  14. sovgrace79

    sovgrace79
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    I hear he is really good. I have one of his books already... when I get some time I'm going to read it!
     
  15. Andy T.

    Andy T.
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    Isn't David Wells (author of No Place for Truth - Whatever Happened to Evangelical Theology) a prof at G-C, as well?
     
  16. Ed Edwards

    Ed Edwards
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    Sovgrace79: "My intentions are not to become neo-evangelical,
    but to broaden my knowledge of the ministry."

    IMHO this is one thing that makes you look liberal.

    I'm reminded of a Black Preacher that said something like:
    "Black blood is like the sweet precious Blood of Jesus -
    one drop will make you whole!" It seems that one
    'liberal' thought will also make you totally 'liberal'.

    I have not attempted here to express the ideal situation
    but my observation on reality.

    The ministry i'm called to is to help God's servants when
    i can. So i don't know anything to do but to lift you
    up in prayer.

    May all God's best blessings and best guidance be unto
    Brother Sovgrace79, his family, and his ministry.
    May this be done so that we might give all the more
    Honor and Glory unto our blessed Lord and
    Savior: Messiah Yeshua! Amen!
     
  17. sovgrace79

    sovgrace79
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    Andy,

    Yes, the catalog I have lists David Wells as being on the faculty there.
     
  18. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    I think that WHERE you go to school will most DEFINITELY affect your future ministry. And even the opportunity for ministry.

    Analogy in the mind of most: If one is going to work on "ford" cars, get your training in a "ford" garage.

    Going to be a Baptist pastor? A Baptist seminary would be a no-brainer.

    Maybe "no brainer" isn't the best term . . :rolleyes:
     
  19. untangled

    untangled
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    I agree with Dr. Bob. Baptist or Baptistic seminaries would be the way to go. The reason I say baptistic is that there are some that have mainly Baptist teachings that have gone multi-denominational.

    For me, I'm going back to Liberty (Baptist) Theological Seminary. I don't like the fact they changed their name but they are still Baptist.
     
  20. gb93433

    gb93433
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    If you get shot at from both sides like Jesus did then you are most likely at the right point.
     

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