Ordination and Verifiable Education

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by Osage Bluestem, Feb 17, 2011.

  1. Osage Bluestem

    Osage Bluestem
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    Do you believe that a man must have a verifiable college degree before he can be ordained as a pastor?
     
  2. Ruiz

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    I lean against ordination anyway, but education is not a requirement to be a Pastor. I Timothy 3 nor Titus 1 requires any amount of formal education. Not that the people should be stupid, they should still be avid students of God's Word and able to rightly divide the Word of God.
     
  3. glfredrick

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    I do not care about ordination or education either -- as a "requirement" for being a pastor.

    But... I think it is wise to have some form of credentials that demonstrate that one is of sound mind, doctrinally, and have some form of education, lest many mistakes be made (or repeated, transmitted, etc.) from the pulpit or in pastoral counseling.

    I have watched (and coached/discipled/mentored) struggling pastors who have the BIGGEST hearts for God, but who cannot do the work of a pastor because they are simply not equipped for the task. It is truly sad to see these, otherwise good men, broken by trying to minister without the education and credentials needed.

    Oh, and I were one of those men before I followed God's leadership and calling to set aside life for a bit while I prepared for a fuller and more fruitful ministry. I was already in ministry, leading a church and leading the men's ministry across an entire state convention when I realized just how limited I was without either ordination or education, so at age 39, I sold my home, my "stuff" and moved what we needed to live to Louisville where I accomplished much.
     
  4. preachinjesus

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    As a set rule...absolutely not.

    One must know the man and his circumstances first. To make a carte blanc rule for all churches and all pastors is not wise here.

    Do I think it is the best route for the vast majority of men called to be a pastor? Absolutely I do.
     
  5. menageriekeeper

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    No, but if he lists it on his resume he'd better be able to prove he actually earned the degree/was ordained.

    Ya know?
     
  6. StefanM

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    I generally agree with the posts above, but I would qualify some statements. "Formal" education is not a requirement, but education definitely is.
     
  7. Baptist Believer

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    Requirement? Nope.

    Is it wise? Definitely.

    Is it the New Testament pattern? Yes, it seems to be.

    Jesus trained the 12 in a very intensive 24-hour environment for three years or so. Even then, one of them was an utter failure and the other 11 struggled mightily with their faith, especially after the arrest of Jesus.

    Paul already had a theological education before he was confronted by Jesus, yet he went away for a few years to rework his theology in light of meeting the risen Christ.

    We still have Jesus available to train us (although, in a different manner than before), but I think one should get training from a seasoned and godly minister for an extended time before taking on the role of a senior (or sole) pastor.

    Please note that I am not necessarily talking about going to seminary or earning a theological degree, but it is foolish to forsake a good formal disciplined biblical education if that is available to you.
     
  8. gb93433

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    If one does not have the tools necesssary for ministry it will be verified by the results. A sharp education coupled with a man of prayer cuts through a lot quickly and keeps the antagonists from fooling people into thinking they know everything.
     
  9. Ruiz

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    What results?
     
  10. gb93433

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    Ministry is all about reaching people. If you do not have the tools to reach people you will not be reaching people. Those tools will depend on the people you are surrounded by and what they need.
     
  11. Ruiz

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    In 40 years of ministry, Jeremiah never saw a convert. Was he equipped for ministry? The crowds left Jesus when he preached a tough sermon in John 6. At the crucifixion Jesus only had a few who remained faithful.

    Ministry is about rightly dividing the Word of God, living a Godly life and preaching faithfully God's Word. There will be times of "in season" and "out of season" (II Timothy 4:1-2). God never made people responsible for the results, but He did call them to meet certain qualifications.

    The litmus for a successful ministry is the number of people, but faithfulness to Scriptures in life, preaching, and study.
     
  12. gb93433

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    I agree 100%. I believe that if you do not ever have any antagonists then you probably are not preaching and teaching the Bible much.
     
  13. Jim1999

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    Poor Mr. Spurgeon, and others, who were never ordained. Learning does not come by any school, but from one's own application of learning.

    In some 60 years of preaching, want to know how many times I have had to quote Greek, Hebrew or any other language???? Right, with a congregation of 350 or so, nary a one understood those languages anyway. In English, however, they all could test me and see if I was preaching His word.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  14. Dr. Bob

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    The first and last character trait of an elder is
    • Above reproach, without blame from the Church
    • Highly-regarded from the community at large
    It would be a very rare exception today to have a man "pastor" who was not ordained by a church (showing approval/acceptance and that he is academically and experientially qualified to do the battle we call ministry)

    Also rare would be any community that would give 2 cents for a "pastor" whoi was a cretin or under-educated hick. He might not have a doctorate, but he sure better have some training (tangible evidence of basic competence).

    People always bring 19th Century exceptions - Moody, Spurgeon - as if they were the example. Both men knew the value of education and both men started schools to formally train ministers. THAT is the example to follow.
     
  15. glfredrick

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    Dr. Bob, have you been reading the same posts on this board that I have? :laugh: Might be some uneducated pastors out there that fit your apt description! :love2:
     
  16. gb93433

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    • Where do you believe that minimal proven leadership in making disciples comes in when it comes to testing and being proven? My opinion is that precedes all the qualifications listed.
     
  17. glfredrick

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    But, does the text say that? We've had this discussion before. Making disciples is key and critical, but not the be-all and end-all of church work! WHO makes the disciples is equally as important, and the texts that deal with that must precede the actual making of disciples, lest we have unqualified or un-biblical persons doing harm instead of God's work in our congregations. Is that not part of what you have discovered in your own ministry?
     
  18. Baptist Believer

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    I'm sure Paul assumes that the people he is writing to are familiar with the gospel of Christ (he is writing to Christians involved in a church).

    Matthew 28:19-20
    Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.

    It's a fundamental command to all believers.

    Gotta disagree here. While it's not everything that a church should do, it is fundamental. If the church isn't making disciples, it isn't fulfilling it's primary role.

    Even if we grant this premise, it does not mean that a church should call a pastor who has no experience or history of making disciples. It seems to be a fundamental qualification, part of spiritual maturity.
     
  19. gb93433

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    The text does not say that but it would certainly be implied. After all how were churches planted and people grow if they were not led by those making disciples. I would think that Jesus did not give the command in Mt. 28:19, 20 for nothing. Imagine a church leader ignoring that!

    In countries under persecution making disciples is especially critical.

    I am now on my third church and each time started with making disciples. That is the very thing that has turned each dead church around. My focus is to get the people to a point where they can feed themselves and lead others with their focus on Christ.

    If one is not making any disciples how does that qualify one for leadership? How does that prove anything about the person's ability to lead anyone? I am unable to see how anyone who cannot lead at least one person is fit for leadership.

    Of course it is critical who makes the disciples. It is even more critical who the disciple follows. We would never want disciples of Satan. I call some of those disciples antagonists.

    I would think that Mt. 5:19 would certainly be one that we would want to practice and see in practice among prospective leaders.
     
  20. David Lamb

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    If a man has a university or college degree, then yes, it should be verifiable. (Osage, did the fact that you said, "verifiable degree" and not simply "degree" mean that you think potential pastors might pretend to have a degree?)

    But as to the question of whether a degree is a requirement in a pastor, I would answer no.
     

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