Living In The Seminary Ghetto

I just read a witty and on-point article by SBTS alumni Mark Combs who blogs at Intersect. Part conspiracy theory and part rebuke – it is a post you should read. Here is a summary of his complaints followed by his application paragraph:

  1. Many seminary students could be from another planet.
  2. Many seminary students are, shall we say, not nice.
  3. Many seminary students are self-appointed assistant professors.
  4. God is different at seminary than He is in the church.
  5. Seminary will not give you all the answers.
  6. Seminary is a Christian-ghetto.

The challenge I would give to all seminary students is to take their time in seminary very seriously. & then when they get out of seminary & go to the field God takes them to, don’t leave all the “seminary stuff” behind. Take it with you. Your people may reject it @ first, but God will not let His Word return void. Teach theology, love theology. Help your people to see that their church didn’t open its doors the day after Jesus ascended to heaven. Show them that people actually died for doctrine that in today’s church is increasingly seen as “something only done @ seminary”. & for those of you who read this & do not go to seminary, pray for those in seminary that while they learn they would not become puffed up in their knowledge & then become noisy worthless assistant professors. Pray that their learning would lead to loving the God revealed in His Word more & that the churches they serve would be impacted for the glory of God.

What do you think? Are you becoming just another ‘seminary jerk’? What can we do as students to encourage one another to humility and godliness?

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6 Responses to Living In The Seminary Ghetto

  1. Trevin Wax says:

    I think “getto” is spelled “ghetto.” But don’t leave it to me to tell you. I don’t want to be one of those seminary jerks… :)

  2. Tony Kummer says:

    Thanks – I’m surprised that Firefox didn’t tell me. ;)

  3. My solution has been to stay in the field and try to set a record for “the longest time it took to finish an MDiv” in history. Just kidding. But I have stayed in full time on the street ministry, started taking classes at one school, transferred into SBTS and now take about 9-12 hours a year through extension and traveling to Louisville.

    So seminary is like a vacation for me – I get away by myself for a week, read stacks and stacks of books, meet some cool young guys training for ministry – see some of the things listed above, get lunch with some prof mentors…then go back to war after the end of the week. It has worked well, but I have coveted the seminary life at times. Mainly to just get finished (I am in the 2nd half of my degree), but also to hang with professors and make more friends.

    Anyway, I thought the list was funny and decided to post.

  4. Joseph Gould says:

    Great post. Unfortunately, its generally accurate as many seminary students struggle. I think Dr. Whitney is dead-on accurate when he says the chief problem is that we don’t have, or work on, our people skills.
    What has helped me the most has been 1) staying active in local church membership (particularly in visiting widows), 2) keeping my “incredibly important” questions to myself in class, and 3) learning to to take a 5-minute breather when theological discussions become arguments.

  5. Yeah, 5-min breathers are better than going to Theological Ultimate Fighting…

    Staying in the real game of gospel ministry and mission is key – you loose sight if all you do play on a simulator. All praxis is theological and all theological must be practiced…even if it is learning to teach others not to fight yet still love God with our minds and wrestle forward in the truth.

  6. Aaron Hawk says:

    I totally agree, seminary can be a wonderful thing, but there is a problem when our studies become more important than the subject of study and we hide behind our studies, to avoid the war that rages on! Also, sometimes in order to understand something, we must study it in the abstract, but what is the point if we leave it there?!~

    One of the best “little” resources I have found on this topic was recommended by a prof here. It is Thielke’s “A little exercise for young theologians.”

    May God teach us all humility and love!!!

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