Because of my public ministry, I receive a lot of questions. One question that comes up from time to time is whether the questioner should go to seminary or the location that one should attend seminary.
Ahh…little did I know that ministry had already started. You don’t go to school to get the entrance requirements into ministry, you go to seminary to refine the tools of ministry that you are already exercising.
Also don’t’ expect seminary to help you determine the kind of ministry that you are to enter. Well unless you want to go into the parish. Those of us in other ministries have to kind of feel our way around without much help.
Don’t expect that anyone will care about your ministry other than the ones whom God is calling you to help. Some churches will be very supportive. Some will truly not care and some will go out of their way to demonstrate their lack of interest in the ministry God calls you.
Your Diploma is a piece of paper. Yes…a very expensive piece of paper without much functionality. It is not a key to open doors that you didn’t have access to before (that could happen, but probably wont)…
What seminary did for me is that it opened the door to interdenominational ministry as well as encouraged me to recognize the gifts that I had before attending. Did I need the degree to start a ministry dedicated to the Black Preaching Tradition? No. But would I have without it? Probably not.
I get calls from people pretty often asking where can they find a church to minster. They want to be a pastor, what should they do. No church ever calls them back. What do you do?
At the end of the day. Seminary can be helpful and valuable. But please don’t expect that it will do what it will not do. Seminary will be a fun time. But remember that ministry happened before you got to seminary. And you will do it after.
Should you go…it depends. but if you go, allow it to refine the ministry that God is already leading you in right now…which is what brought you to seminary in the first place.