At first glance, this question may come across as a no brainier, but I think its still worth asking. Do you need to have undertaken 5 to 7+ years of theological higher education to begin a career as a lecturer at seminary/university? With the rising costs of theological education, and with there being few jobs out there for theological graduates, it can often feel like the costs of such education far out-weigh the benefits (especially with the use of online resources and online bookstores, where one can effectively self-teach himself much of what is taught at seminary). I know many men who would testify that very little of that which they were taught at seminary couldn't be self-taught and learned within the context of the local church. As far as my own education goes, much of what I learned at university could've been self-taught at a much more effective speed at home; in fact, most of what I know about my own personal study areas came outside the university campus (besides Classical Greek). I have a passion to teach Theology at a high level, but must I incur so much debt (or give up so much of my income/savings) to even just have a small chance of landing a lecturing/teaching role? Long question put short: are there other routes to becoming a Theology lecturer apart from the financially burdensome route of half a decade's worth of seminary? Do you know anyone who has taken an alternative route? Thanks in advance for your replies! Additional Information: I have recently enrolled in two courses at seminary, to begin next week. I recently graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Economics, Philosophy). I have little to no interest in unaccredited education (I think it has a place, but I struggle to think it does so in academia). Also, I do not struggle with self-discipline (if such struggle did exist, the benefit of seminary would be greater).