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Cost of learning the Scriptures

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by agedman, Aug 13, 2019.

  1. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member
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    It must be understood that I am coming from the perspective of one who holds education as a primary necessity for anyone in any endeavor. It is often the very determination of one either attaining a job or being too over qualified from a job. I am long past getting any more degrees, and I don't go hunting, but do have dogs. Degrees in the mind of the public and to the world system are important and have their place.

    The purpose of this thread:

    When it comes to students of the Scriptures, I would like this thread to explore a bit different thinking on the education and more specifically as to the financial aspects of pastor training.

    The question must also be considered: Do Bible colleges, universities, and seminaries make merchandise of the gospel?

    To put a bit of real numbers into play, the typical 18hr semester at Dallas Theological Seminary costs approximately $12,000. That does not include anything of the necessary books, food, housing, ... That is purely the course per hour cost expressed in the typical load.

    Spread over a three year time, the master of divinity (provided you don't have to take prerequisites) can then be close to $100,000.

    Perhaps, I am suggesting that Bible training should be like churches - funded by the gifts given and not on the backs of students, and the endowments of others.

    They should be like churches, who survive on the free will offerings of the people (not that which was done in former times of assessing each member a certain "tithe" to fellowship).

    I question whether an individual, much less a family, called into the ministry can afford the training, or if a wise church or groups of churches will put into place "Bible Institutes" free to the people of the churches in which the same rigorous teaching and training is expected as one might attain at a well known theological seminary.

    In particular, why is not the SBC seminaries not free to those called by God to be pastors and missionaries? The SBC has money to waste. Why not put it into the lives of those called and from those they expect are to support the SBC? Oh, but SBC no longer has control over their training institutions.

    Operational costs, building funds, insurances, and so forth are met by churches of all sizes by the gifts of the congregation (offerings). Why not then the training ground of the pastors for those churches?

    What does schools such as Truett, Dallas, Southwestern, Southern, do that the local assembly at Corinth, Ephesus, Galatia, ... not do?

    I placed this thread into the "General Discussion" section, but should the moderators consider it better fit in another forum, I will be pleased to have them move it.
     
  2. Deacon

    Deacon Well-Known Member
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    People perform better when they have some money in the game.

    If school was free you'd get students who surely might have a strong desire to enter the ministry but who could be ill suited to it...

    ...this surely happens when student pay but then the bills are on them.​

    ...and I'm not sure I'd fully trust those who would decide who goes and who doesn't [think of Hudson Taylor].​

    Those that doggedly pursue the ministry despite its (financial) trials will probably be better prepared for the rigors of real-life ministry.

    I'd rather help those who finished and excelled after they proved themselves.

    Where I attend, we assist do our interns and church employees as they attend school and also help to pay off their student loans afterwards... but we also work them hard :)

    Rob
     
  3. Ziggy

    Ziggy Active Member
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    Before the Conservative Takeover, there was one price per semester for tuition at the SBC seminaries regardless of 9, 12, 15, or more semester hours, and it was quite low.

    Now there is a much higher per semester hour price that continues to rise, causing some potential students to go elsewhere for unaccredited degrees at lower cost (and generally lower quality).

    Brethren, this should not be so.
     
  4. Salty

    Salty 20,000 Posts Club
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    Could it be that utilities are higher, insurance - is a must - which is much more,
    the instructors must be paid more than in the days prior to the liberal takeover.
    ect,and ect.....

    BTW, the SBC does help support the Seminaries.
     
  5. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member
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    I am rather radical in this thinking.

    And, I’m unanimous in it. :)

    If a person is called to the ministry, the assembly should either provide the necessary education or provide funding.

    That person is held accountable to that assembly, must report to that assembly, and show that they remain qualified for the ministry.

    The declare that the pastors of the local assembly are to teach the Scriptures, the teaching of the pastor(s) should be first home grown, proven worthy by their home assemblies, be accountable to that assembly until that assembly transfers such into the grace of that next assembly that calls the trained one as their pastor.

    I cannot begin to count the number of moral, personally bankrupt failures that Baptist schools, colleges, universities, seminaries, and other institutions, have allowed into pastor possibilities in which they are not qualified, and even knew and excused behavior as youthful exercise.

    Do you know that during the 50’s and 60’s student moral conduct was checked upon during the summer and winter breaks. Violations of character met with dismissal and loss of all credits. I am sharing that the major and minor SBC schools had such structures in place. I know, I was there at the time.

    It is the responsibility of the local assembly to train, and such training is never outside the review of the assembly.

    So, what is the purpose of a store bought credentials when character and accountability is not part of the value?
     
  6. Marooncat79

    Marooncat79 Active Member
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    In the mid 80s, I went to a seminary that was aligned w SBC Life and tuition was about $1,000 for 4 classes every quarter IIRC

    SBC Churches do help out where there seminaries are located. Some provide free housing, internships, partial scholarships, and there are always free will offerings

    I got some support but outside of housing very little. Bottomline, you still have the same expenses as everyone else. I worked fulltime on 2nd shift is a warehouse in Mphs which was about 9,000 degrees with 900% humidity from April til Oct.

    But I agree, Theological Education can be expensive or not.

    If I were counseling someone, I would suggest starting at the local church for a yr and do OT and NT Survey, and a few other classes then go away for a yr to a school, and then go back to the church or find/start a church
     
  7. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    Oddly enough, our Lord Jesus Christ instituted a church and commissioned her to teach all things. Later men decided another organization based on a secular model would work better.

    "Every church was then a seminary, in which provision and preparation was made, not only for the continuation of Gospel preaching, but for the calling and gathering, and teaching of our churches." -- John Owen

    "The best structure for equipping every Christian is already in place. It predates the seminary and the weekend seminar and will outlast both. In the New Testament no other nurturing and equipping is offered than the local church. In the New Testament church, as in the ministry of Jesus, people learned in the furnace of life, in a relational, living, working and ministering context." -- R. Paul Stevens

    "Whether seminaries and theological schools are the proper places to educate the ministry, I know not. It is a matter of experiment in our day, and time alone can decide it. Their tendency is to raise intellectual above spiritual qualifications, and such it has thus far proven. Of old, they have I think proved to be, after a generation or two, schools of heresy." -- Frances Wayland
     
  8. Salty

    Salty 20,000 Posts Club
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    It would be nice if our churches were fully able to educate our children.(and adults)
    But in this day and age, it is not practical.
    You need to have a full time pastor, properly trained himself.
    Currently, how many churches do not have a full time pastor,
    How many months (years) has a church been without a pastor.

    To properly train, there must be an acceptable format.
    A Bible college does meet those standards.

    More to add, but too tired now.
     
  9. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member
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    What training makes for a properly trained pastor?

    Seriously, when it came to the appointment of ministers, evangelists, pastors, exactly what was the emphasis of Scripture placed?

    Was it upon the attainment of some degree from a school, or upon the character and living showing the evidence of Christ?

    I see this a not a small issue, but a major problem.

    NO church should be without a pastor.

    Frankly if they assemble without a pastor, they are in violation of Scriptures.

    They should choose from among them who will serve as pastor.
     
  10. Salty

    Salty 20,000 Posts Club
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    -

    So choose anyone to fill the pulpit -
    so now we have the blind leading the blind.
     
  11. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member
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    Not true.

    What were the qualifications of those who are to be ministers?

    Men of Godly character. How did they get Godly character?

    But, many churches have a "trained" speaker who lived shamefully, irreverently, and desire the vain glory.

    Better a country bumpkin who knows how to walk humbly with God, and seeks God's wisdom and strength, has a history of living Godly, and has his home in order than hear from a "trained preacher" who intones the message to stir emotionalism, who has children who are more than disgraceful, and plays politics along with the do good clubs of the community.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. Salty

    Salty 20,000 Posts Club
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    If you can find someone - great!,
    But lets go to the extreme - suppose there are no men available
     
  13. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member
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    Then turn out the lights, get out and make disciples, baptizing them, teaching them ALL things.

    What place has a church when there is no one to present the gospel? As in Ephesus, prior to Paul. There were two tent makers living out the gospel in their home.

    God sent Paul and they started the church.
     
  14. just-want-peace

    just-want-peace Well-Known Member
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    AMEN!!!!!!!!
     
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