Why Go to Seminary?
There’s multiple reasons that go into why someone would go to seminary. My goal was always to become a therapist. I wasn’t wanting to teach the Bible or be on the radio or preach — I guess God had different plans. When I went to Bible college, I did have a desire to learn more about God’s word. I found words like Hermeneutics extremely intimidating. Being around other students who were training to be pastors was also a hurdle. They would argue their theological points at the tables during lunch. And here I was, a Younglifer who just loved Jesus and people.
Trust me when I say, I am the least likely person to talk about getting a degree in seminary.
That being said, I have found so much joy in knowing and understanding the Bible for myself. Here’s why. The Bible wasn’t written in our language. It’s actually written in ancient Greek and Hebrew. Because of this we have multiple translations. The original text is illuminated and God’s direct Words, however, our translations are not. We believe the Holy Spirit speaks to us through those texts. We still need to test and know what God is saying through context, the cultural setting at that time and word for word translations. It’s a fascinating thing, but this is why we need to continue to study and further education for whoever desires to learn.
My experience with seminary so far…
Because I went to Bible college in my undergrad and am currently getting my masters at a seminary, I no longer have to rely on a pastor to tell me what’s going on in a passage — although they are amazing resources since it is their job. I can study it out for myself. I haven’t taken Greek and Hebrew (which I think would be amazing to study and I have plans to soon), but I learned how to look up words and do something that’s called a “word study”.
Ok, that’s my experience so far and below I am listing a few reasons why you should go to seminary, Bible college, or study Greek and Hebrew… Whatever it is that falls into the category of further learning theology.
Here are the top reasons why you should go to seminary.
1. You Should Go to Seminary Because… you desire to become a pastor.
To be a lead pastor in a church you are typically required to have a seminary degree. The only times this doesn’t happen is when there’s a gap to fill. Youth pastors typically do not have to have a seminary degree, which I find interesting. If you feel called to be a pastor, seminary is definitely for you.
2. You want to be better equipped to be in ministry.
I think this is where the gap starts happening in getting further educated. Pastors are not the only ones who need to have education on the Bible. If you believe that the Bible is truth for your life you should be testing it. You should be scratching and digging. You shouldn’t be following blindly. What did Jesus actually say? What did Paul mean by that verse? Check into it for yourself — especially if you are leading a small group, a Bible study, a youth or children’s ministry. Seminaries typically have great resources for ministry leaders if you are not looking for an entire degree.
3. You wish to understand God’s Word for yourself.
If you just want to know God’s Word seminary is for you. I’ll never forget how much I learned within the first year at Bible college. If you have time and the resources, do it!!!!! That’s all. Just go and study. You can also take online courses and move throughout a program at your own pace.
4. You’ve experienced spiritual abuse and desire to protect yourself from that happening again.
This is something that I don’t think we talk about enough. If the Bible was ever used against you in an abusive way you are a victim of spiritual abuse. I am so sorry this happened to you. Just like some survivors of physical abuse take boxing classes or self defense classes, you may want to go to seminary to learn for yourself what God’s Word says. This way no one can do that to you again. I think this alone is a reason women should go to seminary. In cultish or strict religious circles women typically have been the ones most oppressed or affected. The reason behind women being the target is large in part because of lack of education. Actually, a big red flag that you are in a cultish religion is that education for the individual is not encouraged and sometimes even forbidden. Don’t let this happen to you. Study the Bible for yourself.
5. You want to become a better version of yourself.
Forget self-help books. God’s Word is by far the best way to further better yourself. This is because the more you get to know God the more the world makes sense. God’s Word gives perspective to life. You realize, wow my life isn’t about me — it’s actually so much bigger. You will find the red thread of redemption throughout the Old Testament and into the New Testament. The Gospel message found in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John will refresh your soul. And no matter what your profession is, this kind of learning is unlike anything else. It will be your foundation for whatever you do. Take it from someone who really benefited from a Mom who knew her Bible backwards and front because of getting disciplined at a Bible college. My love for God’s Word comes from how much she poured into knowing her Bible.
Whether your goal in life is to be a mom, a therapist, a pastor, or an accountant, learning the Bible for yourself through seminary is always going to be worth it.