Monday, December 12, 2011

Pastors and seminary education

Over on the WSCal blog, Dr. R Scott Clark has posted a broken up article on why pastors need a seminary education. The article was first published in Evangelium, Vol. 5, Issue 3

Not only pastors should be seminary-trained, but in my opinion, all missionaries should be too, as are all full-time Christian workers in leading and teaching positions. Most certainly, we want trained people to have the skills to minister to people. More importantly in my opinion, the Church does not need people to misrepresent her Lord and harm others through their own incompetence.

People can point to the famous Baptist preacher C.H. Spurgeon, who was not seminary-trained. The early apostles of course weren't either. Spurgeon however trained himself rigorously and read more books than many people own in a lifetime. The apostles undergo intensive training for three years, and even after that they failed at the critical movement of Christ's arrest. Only after Pentecost did the Holy Spirit illuminate their previous training, bringing what Jesus said to mind. So, yes, seminary training is not absolutely essential, but the alternative is just as rigorous and even more demanding as few people are around to push, motivate and correct you, who are capable of doing so.

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