1. Welcome to Baptist Board, a friendly forum to discuss the Baptist Faith in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to all the features that our community has to offer.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

Pastors and degrees

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges & Seminaries' started by Jesus is Lord, Jan 8, 2004.

  1. Psalm 126:6

    Psalm 126:6 New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2004
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    "Seminary, Bible college, accreditation, etc. do NOT make a pastor. The primary qualifications of pastors are personal and spiritual, not academic. How do you measure the spiritual qualifications by degrees? A degree does not make or qualify a man for the pastorate. Some of the best pastors may not have a degree."

    Amen! I believe this strongly as well. Yes, it helps to have an education, degrees, diplomas, certificates, whatever it may be. However, my church has a Bible institute that has sent out tons of pastors and missionaries and full time Christian service workers literally all over the world, without having doctorates and such. I like it this way, as I am heavily considering attending this Bible institute.
     
  2. gb93433

    gb93433 Active Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    Messages:
    15,517
    Likes Received:
    11
    I agree with you in almost everything. Except that seminaries should be held to the highest standard. If those men ane women are leaving to go into churches to do ministry then the students ought to know exactly what to do when it comes to discipling others. I was a student at SWBTS and learned zero in that regard. I had already come knowing how to do that. The first church I pastored did not even know how to disciple anyone. A lady came to me and told me about a non-believer who wanted to join a Bible study. She didn't know what to do. So I coached her. We had several discussions about what to do. Eventually the lady that wanted to join a study became a Christian. It was tough on her because her husband did not like her decision to follow Jesus. But thankfully the leader of the study had established a close relationship with her.

    If pastors are to be examples then they must lead by example and that includes practical theology. They must know how in a basic way to put into practice what they learned in the classroom. The average person is not a preacher nor a leader, so they must be taught to disciple others. I will never forget the time I heard a student ask about how to give her testimony in seminary. She had gone to a Baptist college, Her dad was a deacon and she had never given her testimony. I thought to myself, "What did the church teach her?" She wanted to do ministry but didn't know how. The seminaries are sending out people to do ministry but yet many are not prepared in any way because they have not been taught and had an example. They may be prepared to argue doctrine and that is important but so often they don't know how to obey the command Jesus gave to make disciples. We ought to be able to make disciples in any location under any circumstances.
     
  3. Squidward

    Squidward Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2012
    Messages:
    183
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just visiting an old thread. I defintely believe there are pastors and ministers out there that can preach with annointing without ever having set foot in a higher learning facility, but there is no excuse for not pursuing some sort of education. Online education is now available all over the net and at an unbelievable discount for those that are a member of that particular denomination which the pastor/individual belongs to.
     
  4. TCGreek

    TCGreek New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Messages:
    7,373
    Likes Received:
    0
    Great thoughts! You will find even Dr. Al Mohler, president of Southern Seminary, agreeing with much of what you have to say.
     
  5. gb93433

    gb93433 Active Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    Messages:
    15,517
    Likes Received:
    11
    Spurgeon never stopped studying and learning. I am sure that high school was more demanding then than now too. I looked up the requirements in 1911 for a high school student to graduate in a vocational field he had to take trigonometry.
     
  6. mont974x4

    mont974x4 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2012
    Messages:
    2,565
    Likes Received:
    1
    There is none of us, regardless of vocation or occupation, that can afford to not be a lifelong learner. That said, I see no reason to require a degree for someone to be a pastor. Biblically the requirements deal with character issues, not education issues.
     
  7. gb93433

    gb93433 Active Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    Messages:
    15,517
    Likes Received:
    11
    All of us are to be of the highest character qualities. That is a given and scriptural. Whenever I had students and one of them might voice their opinion about schooling I would tell them that to do anything degrees are not necessary but skill and knowledge is. So where will you get the knowledge and skill necessary?

    False teaching may have nothing to do with character. It may have to do more with ignorance than anything. A person can have loads of zeal without knowledge. It is like the saying, "If you think education is expensive try ignorance."

    It is an education issue if you have ever followed a pastor who preached ignorance and did not know it. I had a few cases when people asked me some questions and they would say that is not what they heard from the former pastor. I never liked that situation. That kind of dialog tends to discredit what someone else said or cause a person to wonder. There were times when I would take a look at my Greek NT and answer a question someone may have asked about a passage or verse. Usually that was the end of the discussion.

    When I started in the profession I was in I had not had the top quality training that I received later. There was an amazing difference in both my knowledge and the quality of the work I did after I went to the school than before. Another student and myself started talking about some of the best people in the world in our field and we noticed that every one of them had been to school and studied at the best schools in the world. I think that speaks for itself.

    While degrees are no guarantee of a person's ability to pastor, there is no guarantee of a great pastor's ability to lead. Not everyone will follow a leader. As great as Paul was he had antagonists who gave him trouble.

    When education, zeal, pastoring, skill, and love all come together it is amazing what happens in a church.
     
  8. mont974x4

    mont974x4 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2012
    Messages:
    2,565
    Likes Received:
    1
    I fully believe education is valuable. How else can we love God with all our mind? The issue for thread is formal education and whether or not it is necessary. I maintain it is not.

    A Timothy having a Paul is far more important than him having a seminary prof. Discipleship involves personal relationships where knowledge, wisdom, and experience collide with love to edify both people involved and that is the spirit of mentoring.

    Do we have an issue with biblical illiteracy in the western church? Oh yes, and how! I have been praying about it for years as I have been teaching people how to study the Word for themselves and how to engage in valuable discussions where "I feel...." is replaced by "God says here in this passage.....".


    When the glory and honor of God and a reverence for His Word are in focus all Heaven will break loose.
     
  9. gb93433

    gb93433 Active Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    Messages:
    15,517
    Likes Received:
    11
    I taught at the university and noticed that the students who often rebelled against education were also some of the laziest in class. So often they were terminated early in their working career simply because they lacked motivation to learn or work. The most motivated sought both knowledge and experience.

    I think God demands our very best, whatever that is. That is between God and each person. I think there is too much of a stigma placed on education or practice. Imagine a doctor without education or without practice. While one may get loads of practice and could possibly be quite good. His practice would depend on his teacher.

    One of the best professors I had at the university had been a janitor for several years until a teacher encouraged him to go to college. His story is that he never thought of himself as smart enough to go to college. Maybe sometimes God wants us to be challenged beyond what we think and go to where it would have only been a dream.
     
  10. PilgrimPastor

    PilgrimPastor Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Messages:
    290
    Likes Received:
    0
    Pastors need training. Surely nobody disagrees with that. The form, manner, and expense it takes is another matter. I earned my degrees while Pastoring churches. I like that model the best. I had some great mentors along the way, some prominent, some unknown, but theological learning without the laboratory of the local church to apply it is vain. Conversely, experience without training is dangerous.
     
  11. revmwc

    revmwc Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2011
    Messages:
    4,138
    Likes Received:
    86
    It still amazes me the emphasis so many place on formal education. Many churches today would reject Peter, John, James and the other Apostles due to their lack of education. Scripture clearly states they were seen as uneducated men in their day.
    Saul had a great deal of head knowledge of scripture prior to his conversion but was still a lost sinner. Then He became Paul and had to be taught by the Lord in the Wilderness.
    Our world is geared around a degree yet many a pastor prior to teh 1970's received no formal seminary degree. They had a vast knowledge of God's word and studied commentary upon commnetary to glean the truth. The pastor I grew up under taught verse by verse book by book and he had no formal degree. By the time I was 14 I knew what Soteriology menat and was, Eschatology and it's meaning. Why he taught it from the pulpit.
    That is where biblical knowledge is supposed to come from, the Pulpit Taught by the Pasotr-Teacher.
    That being said due to the nature of our society I have almost completed my studies toward my Doctorate, why in order for churches to even consider me I needed at least a Bachelors and I felt I should continue and get my thD.
     
  12. gb93433

    gb93433 Active Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    Messages:
    15,517
    Likes Received:
    11
    They were not uneducated. They had not gone to a theological school. They were uneducated in the sense that they had not trained to be a rabbi.

    A similar situation today would be that one today could graduate with a Ph.D. from MIT and be uneducated in the same sense some of the apostles were. Paul the apostle was very well educated and trained. He certainly wrote a big chunk of the NT.

    If one wants to see how many pastors are educated well just ask a few of them about the historical background of the Gospels. In order for them to tell you they would need to have a good grasp of first century Judaism. Too much is being taught about the NT from the pulpit in a superficial way because of a serious lack of knowledge about first century Judaism.
     
  13. Squidward

    Squidward Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2012
    Messages:
    183
    Likes Received:
    0
    While I respect your opinion on this subject I dont understand why anyone would reject the opportunity as accessible a Biblical education is. It can only help one and cannot hurt that person's ability to minister.
     
  14. revmwc

    revmwc Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2011
    Messages:
    4,138
    Likes Received:
    86
    Not my point, I have taken the opportunity to further my Biblical education. I have learned some new ideas in some of the courses I avoided those that I had already taken or studied as much as possible to challenge myself. The point is if a man is called by God to be a Pastor-Teacher and God has given him the knowledge through personal study and deep teaching in his home church, he should be considered for a pastorate. But most churches limit God in their search, for instance a churches add reads we seeking God's next pastor for our church, if it stopped there it would be great. It continued must have 10+ years in the ministry, a masters degree from a Southern Baptist recognized college. Now they put thier desires into this, God may want a man for them that will do the work of a pastor and yet hasn't had a formal education or hasn't been to an SBC recognized School. That would exclude DTS graduates as it is not an SBC recognized school, Liberty is out, Louisiana Baptisr is out.
    This is my point almost all of the SBC schools require one to attend in person some have families and can take online or mail courses, but now that church and many others have limited the blessing God has for them. That is my point.
     
  15. gb93433

    gb93433 Active Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    Messages:
    15,517
    Likes Received:
    11
    Too often what people are led to believe is that they can do the work without an education. So they take a shortcut not realizing what they are doing. When I graduated from seminary it had graduated 1/2 of the number admitted that same semester. where were the other 1/2 who had been admitted over that same time period. I saw some leave because they wanted to pastor and found seminary more difficult than they thought it would be. Those I knew were not failing and did not have poor grades. Those I knew were more focused on pastoring and doing the work than how good preparation would help them.

    I think one lady in a church said it well, "Just tell us what we need to know." We have people who have an attitude of "just spoon feed me because I do not want to work hard enough to get the skills I need to feed myself and others.

    That kind of demand on a pastor is so little and then when a "pastor" is okay with spoon feeding people comes and he sees the response of the people being satisfied id he is not already he quickly becomes complacent or leaves.

    I have never seen pastoring as baby sitting but teaching and training people so they can enjoy the fruit of their ministry.

    Years ago I had a church call me not far from where I grew up on a dairy farm. On the second call the lady asked me if I went visiting. I told her that I did. she said that was good because the men in the church are so busy that they did not have time. I told her that she would probably not want me because I was all about teaching and training people to ministry as teams. When she pressed mea little more I asked her what the men did for a living. She told me and then I told her that I grew up on a dairy farm a few miles away and we found time for what we thought was important. That church did not a pastor but someone to do the work they should be doing.
     
  16. revmwc

    revmwc Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2011
    Messages:
    4,138
    Likes Received:
    86
    I know many who had the education and couldn't or wouldn't teach deep sound doctrinally deep messages. Just 3 points and poem, others who had no formal education were dedicated to studying in depth teaching and training.
    My point is that there are some who take in what a great bible teaching preacher teaches and trains who make great pastors, some don't, while others who go to seminary come out and can't pastor and can;t teach, some also make great ones. The point is we as believers have a tendency to limit what God has for us in the man to be our pastor, by placing our desires on the qualifications we seek in a pastor.
    Can God use a man without formal education from a seminary, you bet he can, can He use men who have attended seminary yes, the seeking church needs to seek God's man period without the human limitations many place on their search.
    God calls men answer, will God lead ever man to Seminary He calls I really don't believe so, what does scripture say about it?
    2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

    Can a man study God's word and be approved of God you bet, and he will be a workman that needeth not be ashamed because he rightly divides the word of truth. How because while studying he is also seeking the guidence of the Holy Spirit for discerment. 1John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

    That takes hard work just as studying the courses do and many a man dedicated himself to that type of study outside the seminary realm and became a great pasotr teacher.
     
  17. gb93433

    gb93433 Active Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    Messages:
    15,517
    Likes Received:
    11
    I have seen where the demands of ministry can creep in a push that aside if we are not careful to stay focused.


    I think you are exactly right. Years ago I asked a high school student to preach in the church I was pastoring. God had ahold of him and I wanted people to listen to this young man who was on fire and God was using him. I met with him to help him put together the sermon. When he gave that sermon it was powerful. The Holy Spirit was alive in him and it was obvious.


    I have always felt that no man should be leading a congregation who has not first made at least one disciple. In making disciples he is able to train others and he already knows how to do it. He has proven that he can lead at least one other person. That does not take any degrees but it does take some initiative and some basic leadership. If a man has not lead at least one then why give him greater responsibility?

    The majority of people are won by average people. The majority of ministry is not intellectual and can be done by average people. The work is mostly coming alongside others in helping them grow.

    Churches are distinguished by their love and care for one another not by their greatness intellectually. Think about the singer who died and what she really needed. She did not need just a sermon. She most likely needed something that most anyone could have given.
     
  18. Squidward

    Squidward Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2012
    Messages:
    183
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree with you that the church is the place to train disciples and not spoon feed casual Christians. Here in southern Illinois just about anybody with a little zeal can take a country SBC or General Baptist church with 25 people and most of these people would be content with a pastor that makes a couple of points and a cute story about kids or pets, but I personally want to learn how to teach the Bible and want people to know their Bible. I personally feel I would be better equipped with some sort of seminary degree once I have completed my undergrad business degree this summer.

    Revmwc, I certainly agree with you. When one has been called by God and God is working through them they can definitely be a powerful leader/pastor and I agree with your points. I guess I'm just thinking that if some sort of training is available I believe one should never limit themselves by avoiding it. Even if it's under a strong mentor/apprentice relationship and/or a discipleship program
     
    #78 Squidward, Feb 20, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 20, 2012
  19. gb93433

    gb93433 Active Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    Messages:
    15,517
    Likes Received:
    11
    I am with you 100%. What you want to do is great. The church in America needs people like you badly. While churches may need people like you they may not want you. People who want to grow will love you and people who see the pastors job as counselor and keeper of the garden will not want one to expose them and stir them to a higher standard. Most likely they will see their job as to set you straight or get rid of you.

    The reading I have done in about the last 2 years is that the estimate is that 70-80 percent of the churches in America are plagued by antagonists.

    Even in a church plant it may not take long for an antagonist to show up. I have had it happen in as short as the next Sunday after we started.

    The more you want to be a godly person, teach and preach the word, and make disciples the more Satan will be there to meet you.

    I think E.M. Bounds said it well when he wrote, "Satan is always at church before the preacher is in the pulpit or a member is in the pew. He comes to hinder the sower, to impoverish the soil, or to corrupt the seed. He uses these tactics only when courage and faith are in the pulpit, and zeal and prayer are in the pew; but if dead ritualism or live liberalism are in the pulpit, he does not attend, because they are no danger to him."

    I have had some great success and failures in attempting to do this in churches. They have been church plants, replants and new starts. There is no guarantee.

    Paul had his share of antagonists. Jesus did too. In every church there are people at all levels of life and spiritual maturity. I have seen people give me trouble and then come alongside me. I have seen the opposite happen. Jesus taught that if they do not receive you then shake the dust off your feet.

    While it is great that you want to teach the Bible and make disciples you should also be ready for reality. You are dealing with spiritual issues not just an employment or work related issue.

    The positive things can be great but the opposite can bring you to a point you have never experienced. You may experience a loss of wages and wondering how you will pay your bills and where you will live. Many quit because of a failure to focus on God in adverse times. The thigs you learn are incredible. You may wonder why someone sought to make your life so miserable. You may also wonder why God has blessed you so much even in rough times or the result of rough times.

    In discussions I have had with other denominational leaders there is the consensus that some churches must die or seriously crash before they will be revived. Recently a friend of mine who is a great pastor tried to help a church change and was met with severe opposition by some leaders that they asked him to leave. What he found out from a pastor that had been there many years that what happened to him was typical of anyone who helped the church to grow. They had kept marshmallow pastors. My friend could not understand why they would ask him to leave when the church was growing.I told him that Satan does not need to be at a dead church.

    If you want to reach people and do a great job you will be met by Satan. So be ready.
     
  20. revmwc

    revmwc Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2011
    Messages:
    4,138
    Likes Received:
    86
    I too want to teach through exegesis which is what I did at the church I pastored for 7 years. We had a Friday night Bible study and I had upwards of 30 folks attending some driving as faras 50 miles to attend. The church just wouldn't grow for Sunday services. Why because of what you call antagonist. One lady the deacons wife was constantly on my wife about everything from how I dressed to what other children were telling her what mine were supposedly doing wrong.
    Folks would tell me straight out as long as they are there we will not come. This lady went as far telling a lady that I got to start attnding and her children attended that now that she was coming she needed to start giving, the lady hadn't even joined the church yet and she drove her away.
    I want to find a bi-vo church here in my home area to pastor if God leads. Yes even with a thD that I will soon have I would prefer a bi-vo church why because I won't have to depend on them for a pay check. God can bless me through secular work as he did Paul.
    The problem with the church I pastored for 7 years yes where the lady was is that we lived in the parsonage and didn't have anywhere to go live in the 2 weeks I had to vacate if I resigned. That is yet another reason for a bi-vo non parsonage church.
    I have been working on the road since 2001 3 times in Florida, once in Montana, Louisiana and two cities in Texas. It appears I will be home now so I can actively seek a bi-vo pastorate, plaese pray about that.
    In 2010 I was filling the pulpit at a church here locally while at home for ashort time. It seemed as if I were going to be home and they were getting ready to call me as their pastor when God closed the door and I went on the road.
     
Loading...