aefenglommung (aefenglommung) wrote,

The value of a seminary education

I had a great idea for a children's lesson not long ago. As the idea developed in my mind, an extraneous thought occurred to me. It didn't seem relevant at first, but it nagged at me. Finally, I decided that I had better look it up.

By looking it up, I mean, taking my Greek New Testament down off the shelf and finding exactly what word was used in the original Gospel, then taking my Greek-English Lexicon off the shelf and looking up the word in all its first century usages. And I discovered that I was wrong. My great idea wouldn't bear the weight I wanted to put on it. So I junked it, and did something else.

Now, I suppose, in this internet age, I could have looked up what I needed to know on the 'net. But to make sense of what I found, I still would have needed the language skills I learned in seminary. And that's what seminary is for.

Seminary can't make you a wise and mature person. It takes a lot of life experience to make you that. Seminary can't make you a spiritual person. It takes a lot of time spent with God to make you that. Seminary can't equip you to master all the challenges you will face in the pastorate. There simply isn't time, nor will all the challenges you face come conveniently labeled like laboratory specimens for you to know what to do with them.

Seminary education is a long slog through a whole raft of skills and knowledge and experiences that give you a background that few others have. That doesn't make you a better leader or a better Christian, but it gives you tools others don't have. And you're supposed to use those tools. Even on a children's lesson.

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