Seminary Choices

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by FlyForFun, Aug 13, 2009.

  1. FlyForFun

    FlyForFun
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    I've been seriously considering seminary for about ten years -- but only recently have the circumstances supported the call.

    I've listened to hundreds of hours of seminary lectures from Covenant and RTS on iTunes U during my one hour each way commute to work (car and motorcycle).

    My wife Janet and I have been married for 28 years. The youngest of our 3 children will be leaving for Army and school (ROTC) in a few days. we have an empty nest!

    I'm well read, have a BA in History, taught High School 5 years, have taught adult sunday school classes for many years, retired from the Army after 21 years of service, work as a Senior Engineer, and am completing an MS in Legal Studies: Homeland Security this Spring ('10).

    Janet was an SBC PK and my dad did prison ministry for years so we know the life.

    I'd prefer to avoid the uprooting required to attend a resident seminary. I'd really rather be bi-vocational while taking classes (I've been a guest preacher at our home church several times and want to continue minsitering in that way, as well as teaching).

    There are a few SBC churches in our area -- all are very small, and the nearest is all about Liberty, which is fine, but my theology leans towards the Founders.

    We've endured some of the theological shakiness in the ABC in order to be salt and light within the church we've felt called for the last 6 years (through one pastor resigning, one LONG interim, and now a 2 year stint with a focus on counselling -- not preaching. :-( )

    Anyway, after a try on another board that claimed to be reformed, I cannot shake my overall affinity and conviction for Baptist message. So Baptists we'll remain!

    So...any suggestions from the more experienced types here who may have followed a similar path?
     
  2. Rhetorician

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    Dear "Fly,"

    If I wanted a credential, probably the easiest to get from home would be the MAR of Liberty. But if you go that route you will have to endure the anti-Calvinism.

    But if you just want "more learnin'" then check out the Founders Online Academy. I am one of the "listed mentors" and would be glad to help you any way that I can.

    I have not looked at your profile, where do you reside? It might help some here to know what to tell you if we knew a bit more.

    A second option is to do a "Master of Theology" from the South African Theological Seminary. If you qualify, it can be done via thesis option alone.

    Let me know via PM if you want to talk or I can help in the least manner.

    "That is all!"
     
  3. Pastor Larry

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    Unless you are just dying to have a title, I would stick with the online classes you are listening to from RTS and Covenant. I think Westminster has some classes online as well. It is not the same as having classroom interaction, but online isn't either.

    You can probably follow the degree program by listening to classes, save the money, and take a trip somewhere. You will have all the knowledge without the title.

    BTW, I wouldn't recommend that for someone who is younger in life and less settled.

    What do you fly?
     
  4. Havensdad

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    As far as Liberty goes, I am reformed as well (Subscribing primarily to the 1689 LBCF, although I am in agreement with the 2000 BF&M as well), and in the 30 or so lectures or so I have watched, not ONE of the professors have expressed the "anti Calvinism" that everyone talks about. One of my professors, actually affirmed 3 points of Tulip in his first three lectures.

    I am sure that it is there, but I have yet to see it. I even know one professor there who is a hard core 5 pointer (even going so far as to appear on some Reformed video productions...).

    I'll let you know the first time I get whacked for my theology...
     
  5. FlyForFun

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    I'm definately struggling with that. I visited a seminary campus and everyone was soo...Young!!!

    So while "Marriage and the family" may be a good course for a 24-year-old, I'd spend most of my time disagreeing or bored (respectfully, of course).

    I'm to the point where I know I can minister effectively, but would like to increase my knowledge in certain areas. But at least half the seminary courses required for an MDiv would be review (we have a large house and about half of it is filled with books -- not just bought, but read).

    I'm fluent in French so have that covered. I've had leadership classes and experience for many years (and the rubber met the road as a Company Commander, business owner, Board member, deacon, teacher, project manager -- etc).

    I'm going to apply for a license from the local ABC region, but my strong stance on scripture over fad-du-jour has gotten me in hot water from time to time (such as the latest fight over "Spiritual formation" ala Willard, Foster, etc).

    Anyway.. I want to be teachable and accountable -- so stiking out indepently seems to be a bit delusional. On the other hand, it's near impossible to find a Bible-centered fellowship that focuses on expository preaching, is not afraid of doctrine, and is willing to major on the majors, and address the minors as required.

    So I suppose I'm a bit torn between playing by the rules (MDiv, denominational sanction, etc) and wasting more time.

    \\:praying:
     
  6. FlyForFun

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    I'm a CFI without my own airplane, so lately I've been trading instruction for keys.

    It's a pretty nice deal for both of us -- he recently passed his PP practical, and I can fly a beautifully restored Cessna 205 whenever I want!

    I haven't abused the privilege, and most times we fly together. I'm working on the CFII now and will work with him on the IR next.

    Though I'd love to have a Aeronca Champ...:praying:
     
    #6 FlyForFun, Aug 13, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 13, 2009
  7. FlyForFun

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    That's a very interesting data point! I just read an article where someone at Liberty called 5 points a heresy (I'll find the reference).

    I suppose doctrinally I'm leaning towards the SBC, as they seem to be embracing doctrines of grace. My Father in law has been an SBC pastor for years, so I know all about the good and bad.

    I'm a bit less comfortable with some of the accomodationism of the ABC (our current denomination).

    We used to attend an independent reformed church. We loved some of the people there, but I wasn't happy with the "We're right and everyone else has to be wrong" mindset.

    It's tough finding a church, isn't it?

    :smilewinkgrin:
     
  8. FlyForFun

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    Thanks for the reply.

    I supose I should be clear -- I'd like enough training and supporting credentials to serve in the FT ministry.
     
  9. Havensdad

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    LOL, not for me! I literally just married into a SBC Church, with a expositional, reformed, Godly Pastor.

    As far as the quote, that was the late Jerry Falwell. Ergun Caner said it as well, although both men were referring to Hyper Calvinism. There primary problem is the idea of babies going to hell .

    But, as I told another gentleman, not even the President of the University sets its policies; that is done by the board of directors. And Liberty currently admits full blown Calvinists/reformed people. Nothing in their official policies says anything about it.
     
  10. FlyForFun

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    Well, that is certainly revealing and comforting!

    thanks!

    :thumbs:
     
  11. Pastor Larry

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    I am envious. I got my ticket almost twenty years ago but haven't flown in about sixteen years. I miss it badly. I am addicted to airplanes of all types.
     
  12. FlyForFun

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    I had a 5 year break when we moved. No money and no time and fewer airplanes around.

    Two years ago I decided to get curent and start flying again. 5 hours later I had a fresh BFR, but the bug bit hard so I got the IR, helped a guy with two Bonanzas fly (he needed someone to go along in case weather got bad). I took the Commercial and the CFI in an A36.

    I have just under 600 hours now and love it. Someday I'll have my own bird but this is fine for me right now.

    :thumbs:
     
  13. Paul33

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    I would recommend LUOnline. You will have an accredited degree and it will be acceptable to the SBC.

    Being reformed is not a problem at LU. You should not have a problem in any of your courses. Be humble (which you appear to be), support your assertions with Scripture, do your work, and enjoy the journey.

    I, too, understand what you meant by some reformed people having the attitude of being right and everyone else is wrong. I don't think you will find that attitude at LU in reverse.

    What masters degree does LU offer that would focus more on theology and less on leadership and practical courses? Based on your comments, I think you should be able to find that at LU. You probably don't need an M.Div. based on your carreer path. Focus on a MA instead.

    I would highly recommend LU.
     
  14. TomVols

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    Caner has said more in other arenas which is very critical of even 4 point Calvinism. Akin took him to task. Caner wisely shut his mouth - then. He has later spewed some of the same stuff. It's disappointing because he is smarter than that. I think he knows better, I just think he's trying to make sure he stays in good with a certain wing of the SBC.
     
  15. PilgrimPastor

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    Many of the professors at Liberty have degrees from DTS (Dallas Theological Seminary) and are basically in agreement with that perspective, Amyraldian, 4 -Pointers, etc. I earned three degrees through their online program.

    Ergun Caner (The current Seminary President) is very anti-Calvinistic and Falwell made an off the cuff remark about declaring the school non-Calvinistic in a chapel service or perhaps at Thomas Road. Caner is rather careless with his words in my opinion, in his lectures especially. Lot's of tough guy bravado comes through on the DVD lectures... I once contacted my former Pastor who he rather unashamedly misrepresented in a way that was very blatant to someone who had actually read the man's books and listened from the front row as he preached to 5,000 for a couple of years...

    Caner's position is basically that of an Anabaptist and he claims that the Anabaptist perspective is not consistent with Calvinism. I had stopped posting on this board a while back because I have been a Congregational Pastor for some time, though had been a part of the BGC for a number of years, I hold broadly to Baptist perspectives... apart from a strong view of beleivers baptism :thumbs: but stumbled onto this board tonight and thought this information may be helpful.

    God's blessing on whatever you decide to do. I have the M.A.R. & M.Div. and the B.S.R. from Liberty. If you have any questions about the programs feel free to email me (www.chrissurber.com)
     
    #15 PilgrimPastor, Aug 13, 2009
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  16. FlyForFun

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    Thanks for your post.

    I applied to and was accepted to Dallas TS 5 years ago, but circumstances just did not allow -- the door was definately not opening.

    I've since done quite a bit of study and come to realize DTS held a variety of positions I could not.

    I looked up LTS online and the tuition rates are actually more than RTS or Covenant.
     
  17. PilgrimPastor

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    I looked into the virtual RTS program and it looks great. The Lord's Blessing on your ministry. I was a little bit older than the common path of college-seminary- pulpit, having served 10 years in the military prior to ministry. Sort of second career but not quit. You bring things to the ministry that cannot be taught in seminary. "Heavenly Father, bless my brother in Christ with a place of ministry consistent to his calling and gifts and lead in the path of equipping his mind and heart for your service. Ame:praying:n."
     
  18. Havensdad

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    ??

    RTS is 315 per credit hour, LTS is 250..and Liberty has a 2000 dollar per semester seminary cap (you can take up to fifteen credit hours per semester, for just 2000).
     
  19. FlyForFun

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    Thnaks for the good advice.

    The only concern I have with RTS is I don't want be be locked out from ABC or SBC after attending a "Presbyterian" seminary -- you know the deal.

    I agree older entry has its benefits. It takes some maturity to learn you don't know it all -- but also when to stand and fight to the bitter end over what Really Matters.
     
  20. TomVols

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    If you can afford RTS, do it. Covenant also has a good online program. But finances do come into play. You'll have to spit out some bones at Liberty if you choose there, but as long as you know that going in, you'll be okay.
     

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