Aug 17, 2011

What Seminary Cannot Do

I am a big fan of the fictional Letters Along the Way, a book written by John Woodbridge and D. A. Carson. There are some great insights to be had here. In the following excerpt, the fictional Dr. Paul Woodson, Distinguished Professor of Systematic Theology writes concerning seminary.

" . . . recognize that the seminary cannot make you into a man of God. The seminary is a peculiar, somewhat distorting institution. We require that you spend a disproportionate percentage of this part of your life in study. But we are not a local church, with its diversity, many kinds of ministry, different ages and interests, and so forth. There are some experienced people here who will teach you out of the fruit of their own study and out of the years of their own considerable experience of ministry and mission. What the seminary does, it does reasonably well. But it cannot guarantee spiritual maturity; and it operates best when its students are well-grounded in local churches and actively engaged in some form of Christian ministry. The ratio of hours spent in such ministry, to hours spent in study, will vary enormously from student to student; a host of factors intrudes. But no thoughtful student can afford to let his entire life revolve around the seminary" (p. 171).

You can access a free PDF copy of Letters Along the Way here.

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