Staying in the Seminary

Discussion in 'The Pilgrims Progress' started by user12009, Nov 9, 2018.

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  1. user12009

    user12009 Puritan Board Freshman

    When you guys are studying in the seminary, what are the challenges have you been faced? What is the best way to keep myself focused while I am in seminary?

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  2. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Reading the bible for class assignments rather than for my own soul's benefit.

    Believing I am a more mature Christian than elders in the faith because I have memorized the essentials of some secondary doctrine better than them.

    Mistaking theological strictness and rigidity for holiness.

    Believing that my nose in books all the time makes me a better Christian than being out in the world interacting and blessing others, especially one's wife and children.
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  3. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    1. Money. Some seminaries will play fast when you aren't looking.

    2. Joining theological fads.
  4. John Yap

    John Yap Puritan Board Freshman

    I still don't understand why seminary education isn't sponsored by the Presbytery.

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  5. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    Many churches do defray some of the costs, but an accredited seminary is expensive. Some presbyteries can barely afford air fare. Seminary is often out of the question.

    The only silver lining is online classes that make it more manageable. That's the wave of the future.
  6. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    Put on the mind of Christ. We believers walk according to the Spirits guidance; studying scripture and Christ are a given; do not overwhelm yourself. Plug-in. My theory was, 'I do this anyway, I might as well get some credit for my work!'

    10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept;

    Line upon line, line upon line;

    Here a little, and there a little:

    The Holy Bible: King James Version, Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version. (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2009), Is 28:10.
  7. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher

    It depends on why you went in the first place.

    I worked in "worked study" while at seminary. One of the tasks I had was organizing the admission packets of students coming into seminary. One of the papers they were required to fill out was "why are you coming to seminary?" Depending on that answer, it will color the way one views seminary in general and what you should be doing while you are there.

    I can tell you that 99% of the admission packets had "because I want to be a pastor" as a reason.
    Where, in my opinion (and the dean of admissions), it should have been something around, "I want to know more about Christ."
  8. user12009

    user12009 Puritan Board Freshman

    I didn't write that I want to become a pastor but to study theology to know more about God, so It can benefit me spiritually and to be assured of my calling into the ministry.

    After studying for two years in the seminary, the greatest challenge not comes from fulfilling academic requirements but I failed to keep myself close to God. I am realising that my devotion to God become lukewarm. This is the challenge currently I am facing

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  9. Ask Mr. Religion

    Ask Mr. Religion Flatly Unflappable

  10. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher

    Thats hard when you feel you are drifting while going there to be more in touch.

    Id suggest being sure you're devotional life comes first. Reading Scripture, meditating on it and prayer. Dont substitute seminary work for devotions: its not. Seminary work is quite different, just like a pastor who might mistakenly substitute sermon preperation for his own piety (which he ought not to do). Quiet time is key to focus on Christ, (Col. 3:1-4), and hearing the voice of the Shepherd.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018
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  11. TheInquirer

    TheInquirer Puritan Board Freshman

    If you can go at a slower pace and not have to cram everything into a 3 year window like most on site seminary students, I recommend that. I took over 7 years to complete my 68 credits via RTS Global and glad I took that long. I would not have done well on campus cramming that many or more credits into a 3 year period while still attending to my soul and my family. Getting into "survival mode," where all you are focused on is getting the work completed, for me is soul destroying.

    My point is that if you can pick a study format that works best for you and allows you to apply the good advice in this thread, go with that even if it takes longer.

    Additionally, try to relate everything back to knowing God (which is your stated goal). Seminary is hard and challenges come up constantly (for me it was personal health issues) but I saw God's hand repeatedly help me get through it. There were times I knew that, in the power of my flesh, certain assignment or tests were impossible for me to complete. But there were times I absolutely sensed the power of God filling my mind with wisdom to understand his truth in a way that was far beyond my natural capabilities. To Him be the glory now and forever.
  12. Greg Thornberg

    Greg Thornberg Puritan Board Freshman

    Hi AJAY,

    Remember that study of God is one aspect of the worship of God. We worship Him in Spirit and in truth, hence the more truth we know, the more rightly we worship Him. Since the right worship of God is the highest and first of the commandments, the study of truth is therefore one of the greatest means of worshipping God rightly and leading others to worship God rightly.

    What are you studying right now in seminary and where/through whom are you studying?

    God bless,

    Greg T.
  13. pippin

    pippin Puritan Board Freshman

    The realization you're having is powerful, and it's good you're treating it like a call to action.

    Setting aside time for personal, non-academic devotion is good. Getting out into the world to serve God by loving your neighbor is also good. Intentionally carve out time for service, worship, and devotion that isn't directly linked to your studies.
  14. Timotheos

    Timotheos Puritan Board Freshman

    The attraction of your professors and the desire to be one of them. Don't get me wrong, scholarship is a great thing. But there is a glut of evangelical PhD's who have no business with the degree. Why? All b/c they wanted to be loved in the classroom and impress in their field like their profs. Go to seminary for ministry preparation not academia, unless your original intent all along was academia. If the latter, then my guess is that this initial question won't really matter.
  15. Reformed Bookworm

    Reformed Bookworm Puritan Board Sophomore

    I have been earnestly praying for about a year for an opportunity to attend seminary. I can't seem to make it happen. I would say first to think about how blessed you are to be attending. Secondly, think about what a great calling you are pursuing. Your time at seminary could result in the answer to some of the world's greatest needs, faithful ministers and elders for the church. I would also highly urge you to purchase and absorb the addresses to students in "Princeton and the Work of Christian Ministry." I find them to fan the flames for me even greater to attend a seminary.
  16. LongWar

    LongWar Puritan Board Freshman

    Remember that you are not in seminary for your own edification. You are learning in order to build up the church. When we make seminary about ourselves, we've lost sight of why we started. The "seminary-cemetery" saying didn't come from nowhere, you aren't alone. Stay focused on glorifying Christ and His church. Don't let it become about a resume and/or pride.
  17. psycheives

    psycheives Puritan Board Freshman

    I think part is because a great many who go to seminary have no calling to be pastors. If the leaders believed a man was called, they might send him. But a great many seminarians are going for personal growth, interest or to pursue a non-pastoral degree.
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