Undergraduate question

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Trotter, Nov 3, 2004.

  1. Trotter

    Trotter
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    God has been dealing with me about going to bible college (a real one). I am praying hard about it, but I have a question or two.

    Anyone here do their undergraduate work at a non-Baptist college/university? I ask because there are a few good colleges close by, but they are not Baptist. Lee University is Church of God (Cleveland, TN). Covenant College is Presbyterian. Bryan College is interdenominational. All are great schools, but...

    Would a church have a problem if I did my undergraduate studies at a non-Baptist college/university? Would it matter?

    Tennessee Temple University, in Chattanooga, is also highly spoken of. It is Baptist.

    Anyone have any experience with any of these schools? Anyone do their undergraduate work in a different denomianation's school? What is your opinion as to the impact that going to a non-Baptist school might have on a church looking at a candidate?

    Thanks in advance!

    In Christ,
    Trotter
     
  2. TaterTot

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    I dont think most churches will care about the undergraduate work as much as they would look at where you went to seminary. No one has even ever asked us anything about college work. If you dont plan on seminary and this will be your only biblical education, it probably will matter.
     
  3. Greg Linscott

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    Trotter,

    One of the harsh realities of where you go to school can be the connections you make (or don't). Many churches rely on school's extension offices to get the names of candidates for their pastoral searches. While I don't think that should be your sole consideration, you might want to take it into account.

    I would think that, in the case of geographical proximity, a choice of a college outside of your tradition might have a better potential for acceptance on one's resume, though. I would understand it better in your situation than say, if you chose to move to Texas and attend Oral Roberts.

    How far have you pursued TTU? From what I have seen of your posts on the board, I think you could be "at home" there.
     
  4. MNJacob

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    Shoot folks, I completed my undergraduate work at a Church of Christ school, Faulkner University.
     
  5. TaterTot

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    and my undergrad was at a heathen state school!!!! [​IMG]
     
  6. Greg Linscott

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    Thanks for the info. I've just added you two to my Ignore List...

    [​IMG]

    (just kidding)
     
  7. gb93433

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    Several of the professors when I was in seminary recommended a person have done their undergraduate work in something other than religious studies or Bible. After going through seminary I would definitely agree.

    Before I went to seminary I eventually managed a very large business. I knew from experience that Christianity worked in the workplace. I knew I could stand strong in Christ. What I saw once I started pastoring of course was often shocking to me. I saw leaders who were weaklings who had bought into the world's system and its ideas. But I knew things could be different. I knew I could talk the talk and walk the walk. Those who want to grow are encouraged by a pastor who has been where they are. But those who want to control do not.

    A friend of mine is a very effective missionary. He was a surgeon before coming to Christ. For the last several years he has been a medical missionary. The field I am in now I could never teach at a Christian school because there are none that have the program or major I teach.

    Some years ago I was in the hospital when I was in seminary. Later I started pastoring an SBC church and could not get insurance through the SBC. They denied me. My tests were excellent. In fact I am in much better shape today than the vast majority of Americans. I exercise regularly. My tryglicerides count is 58 and my cholesterol is 130. But again the SBC denied me insurance coverage. Eventually I went back into secular work and could get coverage. In fact it was much less and better than I might have gotten through the SBC.

    Today the SBC recommends that a person have a secular vocation. Many smaller churches today are looking for pastors who are bivocational. I can't remember the exact numbers but something like 50 percent of those in seminary who start finish and only about 25 percent of those who finish are pastoring five years later. Once you become a pastor many doors will shut because people see you as a pastor and not a real person they can identify with. Or they may feel uneasy around you because of what they think of pastors. So they will avoid you. I am back in the secular society and many more doors are again open. I meet faculty and students I would not ordinarily meet. Just this past week I had a lengthy discussion with a faculty member who is not a Christian and is turned off by the TV preachers. The name he gave them as shamans. His words were, “How could anybody follow someone like that.” He told me he believed in God but not organized religion. I had four days with him. During that time I was able to point out what scripture says about those who name the name of Christ but are really shamans. God opened the door. The professor opened up and just started talking about these things. He knew I had a degree in theology. But to him I am not a threat because I am not a pastor. I am on his level.

    The point is that ministry must be done. Church building are not necessary for ministry. It is a well known fact that in churches that have a bivocational pastor that the congregation will work harder.
     
  8. Trotter

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    Point well taken, gb. Having a vocation is not a problem, as I am 36 years old and have been working for the past 19 of those ;)

    I am beginning to look deeper into TTU, as it seems to be a good fit geographically and doctrinally. I am not above moving to be able to go to school, but I do not have $$$ for it, plus our house will be paid off by spring [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] I figure a thirty minute drive beats selling our house, movign to parts unknown, and attempting to set up a life there. I know that time will come soon enough...

    I would love to continue on through seminary...and I plan on doing so, unless the Lord shows me otherwise.

    In Christ,
    Trotter
     
  9. Trotter

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    Why my interest? An email conversation between myself and one that I now regard as a close friend.

    I made the comment: "I, too, believe a good education is foundational to a pastor. However, being the sole support of my family, I do not have the liberty to pull up stakes and just go."

    To which he replied: "You make the statement, "I do not have the liberty to pull up stakes and just go." Please don't misunderstand, but did I or any other "called one" have the liberty? Might it be you don't have the faith? I know that sounds harsh, I don't mean it to be but, who are you to dictate when you will have the "liberty"?

    Being a good reader is no substitute for being a good student. You can read at your schedule, read only what you like or are prone, no dead lines or discipline there. As a "Lone Ranger" you isolate yourself from the needed classroom environment, which equips you for interaction with those you will have to minister. One of the necessities of being on campus is that discipline. If I had to give it all up and move my family 600 miles to a "strange" land to prepare, why would you think your calling exempts you my brother?"


    Sometimes a friend has to say the hard things to show you where you err. I thank God for friends that are not embarrassed to do so.

    ==============================================
    So, is 36 too old to start bible college?

    In Christ,
    Trotter
     
  10. Dr. Bob

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    36 is tough. Lots of bills, lots of baggage, and to give up "normal" life and head to college is daunting. Many men cannot take a full load (work, family, etc) and so take 5-6 years.

    I would STILL ADVISE IT. But would advise such a man to get involved part time in a good church in the area as your "job". This will give hands-on experience, mentoring by a senior pastor, and more flexibility in hours of work (although not as good pay).

    It also is a good investment of your ministry. You are already going to be 20 years LESS ministry over a lifetime than the comparable 17-18 year old and it helps you START even though you are just starting training.

    If God calls you to pastor, He calls you to prepare. "Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone."
     
  11. Trotter

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    Thanks for the advice, Dr B.

    I am looking into a couple of different schools. Mainly gathering information right now, but with an eye on the future.

    Working full-time and going to school full-time won't be easy, but I never though it would be. My family and I are currently looking for a church home, so finding a place to serve will not be easy. As I am the sole provider in my home, I guess I will be going full0time, full-time, and part-time!

    I wish I had been called when I was 17-18, but I was not even saved until I was 22. By then I was married, had a daughter, bills to pay, etc. I did not accept the call until I was 27. I think that it is high time I got about the Lord's business.

    In Christ,
    Trotter
     
  12. LRL71

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    I graduated from Clearwater Christian College in Clearwater, FL. It's an accredited, non-denominational, fundamentalist, liberal arts college. From Cleveland, TN, just drive straight south on I-75 about ten hours and you're there.

    www.clearwater.edu
     
  13. Trotter

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    Thanks, LRL. As of right now, I am really studying Tennessee Temple University hard.

    30-40 minute drive, but it is a Baptist school, and at least legit (that I have found so far).

    In Christ,
    Trotter
     
  14. Pastor J

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    Trotter,

    Have you checked out Crown College. I know Dr. Bob is not in favor, but I know a number of good men who support the school and have seen quite a few graduates doing a great job.
     
  15. Trotter

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    I looked into it, but the church from which it sprang is KJVO, which threw up a HUGE red flag for me.

    I get to hear enough propaganda on the BB already.

    Plus, TTU is a decent driving distance.

    In Christ,
    Trotter
     
  16. Dr. Bob

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    Amen. If you can't depend on a college teaching honestly and ethically about Bible translations, you can't trust ANYTHING they teach. It all becomes "suspect". Hence my hesitation to recommend ANY of the KJVonly type "schools".
     
  17. Pastor J

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    Dr. Bob, I would say the same thing about all of the other schools that teach the [attack on Word of God snipped]. Crown is not a KJVonly college (Double Inspiration). They only use the KJV by conviction that it is the preserved Word of God and hense the best translation for English speaking people, which I would agree with.

    [ November 09, 2004, 06:58 PM: Message edited by: Dr. Bob ]
     
  18. Trotter

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    But I would have to disagree, hence Crown is not on my list of possiblities.

    In Christ,
    Trotter
     
  19. rufus

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    Trotter asked: "Anyone here do their undergraduate work at a non-Baptist college/university?"

    I got my BA in Communication from Southern Arkansas Univesity, before I went to Seminary. Many of the professers were very conservation, if not Christian.

    Rufus
     
  20. Trotter

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    Rufus,

    I have/am considering getting a secular degree from my local community college. While a degree in computers may not be spiritual, it could certainly help me to earn a living in a bivocational setting.

    I would prefer to go to a bible college, though.

    In Christ,
    Trotter
     

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