Seminary Entrance Requirements

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by Rhetorician, May 23, 2005.

  1. Rhetorician

    Rhetorician
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    Hey gang,

    Try these on for size & fit. One of my favorite seminaries (which shall remain nameless) has some high standards for entrance requirements.

    They are:

    1. No admittance of anyone under any circumstances who has been divorced and/or remarried.

    2. No females admitted in the MDiv (Male preachers only) programs and no exceptions.

    3. This is not the same seminary as the above; but one very highly regarded seminary on the BB. It will not allow "Preachers" if they are declared as such, to go into the "Religious Education" master's programs b/c of the obvious program differences. A "preacher" would have to lie to get into the RE program.

    Whatdoyathinkofthat? Too harsh? Too narrow? Feedback?

    I am sure this thread could meander off in many different directions and probably will?!

    sdg!

    rd
     
  2. Brandon C. Jones

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    I feel like all three are unfortunate.

    1. Is divorce and remarriage the unpardonable sin? I suppose it assumes a no-divorce-no-remarriage view (under any circumstances), however, if the majority of churches that support this institution also feel this way, then the school probably should not rumble the status quo.

    2. Is the M.Div. only for pastors? Do they at least have a degree for women that is similar for those who want to learn Hebrew/Greek/Theology, etc., in a well-rounded way as opposed to a specialized MA? (BTW I am not an egalitarian making this comment).

    3. That seems odd, are the admitting adults or children? I think each church should decide what educational background they would want from a prospective preacher. Indeed, the student should know going into the program where the program can take him, but I see no need to ban "preachers" from a certain program--aren't they adults?

    well those are my reactions...don't beat me up too bad [​IMG] .

    BJ
     
  3. Rhetorician

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    Brandon,

    I would not dare "beat you up!" I am just asking for responses and reporting what I have seen and do know for fact.

    Thanks for the open and honest attitudes and opinions.

    sdg!

    rd
     
  4. gb93433

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    Personally I do not think most seminaries offer a decent RE program. I went to SWBTS and was shocked at the classes the RE students had to take. Previously I had gone through a masters program in a secular university that was much more thorough in the area of curriculum development and evaluation. The SBC seminary only taught the convention materials and not the foundation on how to develop curriculum. All they taught was how to use existing curriculum. They were not even up on some of the leaders in the area of instruction. The strangest thing at the time is that the professor who was one of the top leaders in educational instruction in the US was also professor I had who was a Christian teaching in the secular university I attended. The professors I had dialog with in the RE school had not even heard of him or any of his colleagues. In my bachelor's program we were taught to use curriculum guides but in the master's program we were taught to develop curriculum and to evaluate at.

    Curriculum development and evaluation can be exciting and challenging at the same time. When I was in the public school and in the church I did develop curriculum and evaluate it.

    One of my friends who was in the RE school told me that one of the professors would go over the material and give exams but near the end of the semester each student had to give a presentation but the professor was not even there for the presentations.
     
  5. UZThD

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    I have a friend (this is NOT me as I've never been divorced) who now is in a MA or MDiv program, forget which. There is a school which he would like to attend as it offers the PhD in Bible or Theology (not an SBC). He cannot as he is divorced and remarried.

    Tell you my opinion:

    MANY a preacher has lusted over women in his heart. I think Jesus may have said that that lusting was the equivalent of adultery.

    I do understand what I suppose is part of the Scriptural basis (1 Tim 3) , but that text is subject to various understandings.

    IMO, if God has forgiven my friend, a seminary should not judge him as unfit.

    If my friend were of such a bad sort, I suppose he could simply lie about his divorce. But he, in contrast, has high morals and loves and serves the Lord.
     
  6. Martin

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    You said:
    1. No admittance of anyone under any circumstances who has been divorced and/or remarried.

    ==UnBiblical. If the person has been forgiven by God who are these pharisees to hold their past against them. :eek:
    ______________________________

    You said:
    2. No females admitted in the MDiv (Male preachers only) programs and no exceptions.

    ==I can understand this. However a seminary is not a church, nor should it endorse anyone for ministry. Therefore the MDiv should be open to everyone. It is up the church to determine who will be a pastor (etc) not the seminary.
    ________________________________

    You said:
    3. This is not the same seminary as the above; but one very highly regarded seminary on the BB. It will not allow "Preachers" if they are declared as such, to go into the "Religious Education" master's programs b/c of the obvious program differences. A "preacher" would have to lie to get into the RE program.

    ==Again I don't believe it is the place of the seminary to determine who can go into what degree program. It is the individual churches that determine qualifications for ministries.

    Are these seminaries Baptist?

    Martin
     
  7. Rhetorician

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    Martin,

    Yes, these are Baptist seminaries and both have been discussed extensively on the BB.

    sdg!

    rd
     
  8. Martin

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    Since Baptists are to be "free churchers" I think such policies are un-Baptist. It is the local church that determines who should/should not be a minster and what qualifications (ie...degrees) that person should have. Seminaries are to education, not endorse a person for ministry. That is the local churches job.

    Martin.
     
  9. JGrayhound

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    So, should seminaries let in people who did not graduate from college?
    What about people with 1.1 GPAs?
    What about people who are convicted child molestors?

    Truth is, seminaries have to make judgment calls on some people because many churches do not.
     
  10. Pastor Larry

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    LEt me see if I understand this: It is unbaptistic for a seminary to decide who to enroll in their school, but it is baptistic for you to tell them who they can enroll? Pardon me if that doesn't compute just right.

    A seminary exists for a reason: to train pastors. If you are training pastors, and you believe divorced men are disqualified, why would you admit them?

    If you are training pastors, why would you admit women?

    Some seminaries allow women to take classes but not to graduate.

    But in the end, seminaries exist to train pastors. They should be allowed to admit or deny enrollment to whomever they decide fits their purpose.
     
  11. Rhetorician

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    Good Insights,

    Keep them coming!

    rd
     
  12. UZThD

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    David killed for Bathsheba, but was allowed to stay King. Peter denied his Lord three times. Paul persecuted the church. They were forgiven by God, and I suppose would be accepted for seminary training if they needed it. But a divorced man??? oh no!

    Certainly a seminary can do whatever it wants, and certainly I can be as critical of it as I want.
     
  13. Pastor Larry

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    You certainly may disagree; that doesn't mean you are consistent doing it, which was my point was. I don't know that a divorced person should necessarily be kept out of seminary. That was beside the point I was making.
     
  14. JGrayhound

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    No one is saying seminaries should disqualify sinners....obviously!

    But are there certain issues that disqualify men for the pastorate? Certainly. Then why shouldn't there be limitations placed by the seminary??

    Moreover, a seminary should be able to refuse to train people if they feel it is warranted. It is not like there are not other places for that person to go.
     
  15. Brandon C. Jones

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    I think it is unfortunate when a good training ground for pastors that is theologically conservative, has competent and qualified professors in various fields, has a good theological research library, and other facilities to contribute to a future-pastor's education limits itself to just one purpose and excludes prospective students that want to pursue things other than the pastorate from all of its resources.

    Fortunately, not all seminaries feel this way. An evangelical (whether man or woman) who wants to pursue Ph.D. studies is not doomed to get an MA at a secular school, but study at an evangelical seminary. A woman who wants to receive a good Hebrew/Greek/Theology education for reasons other than becoming a pastor can do so at a conservative institution without getting an MAR or some specialized MA (which are not as well-rounded as a standard M.Div.).

    Sure, the seminary itself and the churches that support it have every right to have their own admissions standards for whatever reasons they want, but I think some standards are questionable...that's all.

    BJ
     
  16. UZThD

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    ===

    How am I inconsistent?
     
  17. TexasSky

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    Pastor Larry -

    Seminaries also train missionaries, children's ministers and many other individuals who do God's work.

    When I was called to write literature for the Sunday School Board I was told that I should go through seminary first, to refine my biblical knowledge.

    My Aunt took seminary with my Uncle so she could support him in the mission field. Ditto for my cousin's wife.

    Now, I agree that God meant for men to be our Pastor's, but that doesn't mean He didn't have a place for women in His work, and those women need to know His word.
     
  18. preachinjesus

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    having just graduated from a rather prominent SBC seminary i will take the position that seminaries need to have high expectations of their incoming students...but not necessarily high entrance requirements

    as Martin so elegantly said, it is up to the local church to check and endorse those whom they send. SBC seminaries point out that they accept about anyone because they rely on the local church to sort out the candidates and send them called out people who the seminaries and continue to equip for the ministry

    as for the basic entrance requirements there needs to be:

    1. a direct sense of calling (really I tire of seminaries having to "reaffirm" or help someone find their calling after they get there)

    2. a good record of hard work ethic (I know grades aren't everything, but...they do tell us alot about a person)

    3. a determination to example God's best (if we want to truly be "little Christ" we need to be the best at what we do)

    4. a readiness to learn (I got tired of know it alls in my classes...seriously I'm sooo much smarter than they are ;) )

    5. a heart for people (hard to read this, but we need to know that our pastors don't sit in the ivory tower all week, coming down on Sunday to entertain us)

    how can we test for this? expensive personal interviews. Or we could let the Holy Spirit guide us, and rely on our congregational polity
     
  19. Pastor Larry

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    ===

    How am I inconsistent?
    </font>[/QUOTE]You seem to think they are wrong to have their standards, but you are okay to have your standards. Someone even called it "unBaptistic" which was what I originally addressed. That was pure and utter nonsense. A place can have whatever standards they want; it is not up to anyone from outside to try to force their standards on it.
     
  20. Pastor Larry

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    Some do, some do not. But a seminary's prime call is the training of pastors. A missionary should be a pastor.

    That would certainly be wise to increase biblical knowledge. Unfortunately, many seminaries are getting farther and farther away from that with RE degrees and all kinds of practical concentrations, instead of teaching theology and the language.

    No argument from me there.
     

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