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Should Preachers Go to Bible College and/or Seminary?

Discussion in 'Fundamental Baptist Forum' started by TheZookeeper, May 28, 2020.

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  1. Yes, they need the education!

    7 vote(s)
    38.9%
  2. Maybe, depends on the person/situation.

    7 vote(s)
    38.9%
  3. Probably not. College doesn't make a preacher.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. No, keep our preachers out of there!

    4 vote(s)
    22.2%
  1. TheZookeeper

    TheZookeeper New Member

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    Hello, I am new to the forum. I am not posting this in order to troll or start a nasty argument. I am doing research for an undergrad research project, and I am hoping that you guys might be able to help me out. If you could answer the following questions survey style, I would appreciate it.

    1. Do you consider yourself a Fundamentalist?

    2. How old are you?

    3. Do you agree with this statement: It is better for a preacher NOT to go to Bible college and/or seminary?

    4. Do you agree with this statement: I am not opposed to Bible college and/or seminary, but I think that in many (or most) cases, a preacher is better off without them?

    5. Do you agree with this statement: A preacher should not go to Bible college or seminary, but should receive formal training in addition to the weekly church teaching program (such as a Bible institute)?

    6. If you answered yes to number 3, 4 or 5, you can help me by providing a single-sentence reason why you believe this way.

    7. Any other comments? Links to articles, etc.?
     
  2. TheZookeeper

    TheZookeeper New Member

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  3. Salty

    Salty 20,000 Posts Club
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    Looking at your posts and potential answers, it appears that you have your mind made up.
     
  4. Rob_BW

    Rob_BW Well-Known Member
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    I'm afraid I'm not understanding the differences between a Seminary, a Bible College, and a Bible Institute.

    And your questions need to be simpler. How do I answer:
    A preacher should not go to Bible college or seminary, but should receive formal theological training in addition to the church's weekly teaching program (for example a Bible Institute)?

    I disagree that a preacher shouldn't go to a seminary, but I agree that a preacher should seek whatever formal theological training they see fit.
     
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  5. Salty

    Salty 20,000 Posts Club
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    Should have included accredited is recommended/required
     
  6. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    The person should attend somewhere where they can learn the original languages, and learn how to read and understand the scriptures, and be able to preach and teach them in an effective manner!
     
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  7. TheZookeeper

    TheZookeeper New Member

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    Salty,
    I am not asking this because I am trying to decide for myself. I am asking this with an academic mindset, working on a school project, looking for feedback.

    Rob,
    My definition/understanding is that, generally speaking, a Bible college is where one does undergrad work and seminary is the graduate level. Different levels of education. Bible Institutes are much less formal. You get a certificate and not a degree. I once attended a few Bible Institute classes in my church's basement.

    Rob, some people would disagree with what you said there. Some would STRONGLY disagree with the part about the original languages. My research is about why they take this position.

    Thanks!
     
  8. just-want-peace

    just-want-peace Well-Known Member
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    If increased knowledge is tempered by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, then ANY added education is profitable.
    If the HS is absent, further education is "spiritually" worthless. (Pharisees perhaps?)
    Have no idea the ed. level of (THE REVs??) Al Sharpton & J Jackson, for example, but IMHO from what I've seen, there is no evidence of the HS in either!
    Again, IMHO, these are a good candidates for the old saying, "He has been educated beyond his intelligence."
     
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  9. Squire Robertsson

    Squire Robertsson Administrator
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    My position on this question is preacher should have as many "homiletic" and "hermeneutic" tools in his toolbox as possible. How he gathers his tools is his and the Lord's business.
     
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  10. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    Yes and no. I strongly accept and believe things that are the fundamentals of orthodox Christian faith, such as The Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, The Virgin Birth of Jesus, The Substitutionary Blood Atonement, The Bodily Resurrection of Jesus and His Saints, The Inspiration and Inerrancy of the Scriptures, etc. I am not a stickler for the word fundamentalist, and feel that many so-called fundamentalists have sullied it with their continual quibbling over non-fundamental things they turn into fundamentals.
    62. I have been an ordained Baptist minister nearing 40 years.
    I will answer 3-5 this way. Following the biblical ideal, it is best to develop an intelligent Bible-believing God-honoring culture at the local church level, one that will elevate the spirituality and knowledge of all members of the church, including those who surrender to the ministry. In conjunction with this mentor the candidate by is hstudying under intelligent Bible-believing God-honoring pastors (more on-the-job training, so to speak, rather than classroom training). This is best facilitated if the church adopts plurality of pastors. All things considered, I believe it is better to accept the New Testament practice as ideal, that it is best to not adopt the world's model, and if we do those it is better for a preacher to not go to Bible college or seminary. Also, on the practical level error in the seminary or Bible college spreads much more rapidly into the associated churches.
    I believe the God-ordained teaching institution for our age is the local assembly, the local church.
    Here is a link to one thing I wrote in this realm of thought:
    Ministry and Music - Seeking the Old Paths: Two wrong turns in response to modernism
     
    #10 rlvaughn, Jun 2, 2020
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  11. TheZookeeper

    TheZookeeper New Member

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    Thank you for this helpful response, and especially for the link!
     
  12. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    You're welcome.
     
  13. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    1. Yes, I am a fundamentalist.
    2. 68. Hey, I just figured it out. That means I've been preaching for 50 years now! My first sermon was in a Wednesday night prayer meeting. I said all I knew about the Bible in 15 minutes! Boy, did I need Bible college!
    3. I disagree. I teach at a Bible college, and taught for years at Bible schools in Japan.
    4. I disagree. Very few preachers are better off without a good Bible college, Bible school, or seminary education.
    5. I disagree. A preacher should receive formal training at a Bible college, Bible institute, or seminary. But it has to be the right one, a school that is teaching the revival life and soul-winning through the power of the Holy Spirit.
    6. Only one sentence? There are many, many reasons. But I'll try. Here is one sentence: It is Biblical because of the school Elijah had for the "sons of the prophets," the fact that Jesus trained His disciples for three whole years, and the fact that Paul, the most greatly used missionary in history, had the best formal education possible in those days at the feet of Gamaliel.
     
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  14. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    When we get a young preacher of 18-20 in our Bible college, he is raw, vulnerable, and ignorant. We train him in the Bible and how to serve God in many, many ways. Looking back, I am so thankful for the Bible college and seminary education I got in schools where the faculty was on fire for Jesus. He loves the Lord, is called to preach, and excited about serving the Lord, but he knows little doctrine, not much about prophecy, almost no theology, and has just some experience in serving the Lord. At our school he will learn effective soul winning and discipling, what stands to take on the Word, how to be an effective pastor or evangelist or missionary from men experienced in these areas (I teach missions after being in Japan for 33 years).

    He will enjoy a 12 week internship in a fellowshipping church or ministry. He can go on missions trips to exciting ministries, travel with an experienced evangelist for a summer or even a semester, learn church music, etc. At the end he will come out as an experienced and knowledgeable servant of Jesus Christ.
     
    #14 John of Japan, Jun 8, 2020
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  15. Ziggy

    Ziggy Active Member
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    When I first started preaching while in undergraduate college I thought I knew everything. Then I went to seminary and found out not only how little I knew, but that much of what I thought I knew was wrong (and no, seminary did not destroy my faith, but strengthened it).
     
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  16. Dave Gilbert

    Dave Gilbert Well-Known Member

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    Same as Mr. Vaughn above...
    Yes and no.

    But to clarify, I no longer believe in just "fundamentals", as I think that that phrase doesn't go far enough for me.
    If the Bible teaches it, then I believe it.
    54.
    Yes, I agree with it.

    The reason I do so, is that I believe that true preachers are equipped and sent by God ( Acts of the Apostles 20:28, Romans 10:14-15 ).
    That equipping comes through the local church and immersion in God's word as well as the power of the Holy Spirit.
    No I do not agree with this statement.

    I hold that we as believers have everything that we need that pertains to life and godliness ( 2 Peter 1:3 ), as well as the Holy Spirit as Teacher ( 1 John 2:20-27 ).
    I figure that if the Lord can use simple fishermen to preach and teach His children in the beginning, then we as believers do not need Bible colleges today.

    We have the local church, the pillar and ground of the truth ( 1 Timothy 3:15 ).
    We have His Spirit, and we have His word...
    What more do we need? :)
    No I do not.
    Reason:

    Same as above.
    My studies of the Bible and my observations of the differing denominations and what is commonly called "church history" have led me to conclude that Bible colleges are not God's way of passing on the knowledge of His word and the hows and whys of teaching and preaching to believers...
    His word and His Spirit are.

    As an example, I personally know of a brother in Christ who went to Bible college, took an entrance evaluation, and 4 years later took an exit evaluation that showed he hadn't made a dramatic improvement...
    Because he was already well-studied in God's word by the time he went in.;)
    I rather like what @rlvaughn wrote above, as I tend to echo his thoughts and opinions much of the time...

    But he does a much better job at articulating than I do and is also much more gracious and thoughtful than I am. :)
     
    #16 Dave Gilbert, Jun 29, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2020
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  17. AustinC

    AustinC Active Member

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    1. Do you consider yourself a Fundamentalist?

    No. I consider myself Reformed.

    2. How old are you?

    Over 21, yet not able to draw Social Security.

    3. Do you agree with this statement: It is better for a preacher NOT to go to Bible college and/or seminary?

    Better? No it's not better. It is good for new pastors to be mentored by older pastors. In the early church, the elders of the church would mentor the young men whom God had gifted with teaching and preaching.

    4. Do you agree with this statement: I am not opposed to Bible college and/or seminary, but I think that in many (or most) cases, a preacher is better off without them?

    The big question is...which Bible college and/or seminary? A pastor can go to any of these places as long as he covenants with God to diligently teach only what God says and not what others say about God.

    5. Do you agree with this statement: A preacher should not go to Bible college or seminary, but should receive formal training in addition to the weekly church teaching program (such as a Bible institute)?

    Paul took Timothy, Silas, Luke and others under his wing to teach them. Jesus taught his disciples who became Apostles. There is a long precedence of training found in the Bible. Colleges and Seminaries that have Godly teachers will produce Godly preachers.

    6. If you answered yes to number 3, 4 or 5, you can help me by providing a single-sentence reason why you believe this way.

    I believe what I believe because the Bible shows us how to train men to lead in the church.

    7. Any other comments? Links to articles, etc.?

    Read the Bible. See how Elisha created the school of the prophets. See how Jesus established his disciples. See how Paul connects his associates. Read about how the church gets Elders and what skills they must show over time.

    If there is a problem in the church it is that young kids in their 20s are being given leadership positions in churches when they have never established their servants heart under the mentorship of elders who can show them what it means to lead through service.
     
  18. MartyF

    MartyF Well-Known Member

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    I am going to respond about formal education in general.

    One of the primary reasons for formal eduction is to introduce students to knowledge they would not normally gravitate to. If formal education never sincerely introduces or explains a topic which you didn't like or disagree with even after you learned it, then it wasn't really an education.

    Sincerity in the explanation of an ideal is critical. If one simply introduces an idea to play a foil which one will quickly and derogatorily dismiss, then the idea hasn't really been introduced. To avoid their own opinion on the matter, many will have the student read the material of the originators of the idea. In this way, a student will see a conflict of ideas.

    The advantage of this sort of eduction was remarked on by Isaac Newton who mentioned have he was able to question the existence of God at Oxford. In the Bible, God also supports this form of wrestling with ideas.

    Unfortunately, colleges, universities, and seminaries have edged further and further away from this form of eduction into dogma. Colleges and universities have been steadily restricting allowable ideas - even in the sciences. Seminaries, by their nature, were already a bit dogmatic and some have now gotten completely pontifical.

    I'd be careful about the education racket and be very careful about spending that much money on something and have loans which will strangle one's ministry. I'm not saying one should never obtain a formal education. I am saying, "Be careful."
     
  19. robycop3

    robycop3 Well-Known Member
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    Often in a school, a prospective preacher is taught another person's opinion of what Scripture means, insteada what the HOLY SPIRIT teaches.

    However, if a school is about teaching a wannabee preacher how to prepare & deliver a sermon, & how to run a congregation, nothing wrong with that !
     
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