Pastors Still Need Seminary Degrees
In an editorial for Christianity Today, Gordon-Conwell Master of Divinity student Noah Karger highlights the continued importance of formal theological education in the evangelical church. While some contest the need for seminary and even project its obsolescence, Noah argues that seminary uniquely prepares people for the pastorate by guiding them to the Kingdom mindset, spiritual growth, competency, dedication, and patience that ministry requires.
“We come to seminary not to be ‘conformed to this world’ but to be ‘transformed by the renewing of [our] minds, so that [we] may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect’ (Rom. 12:2, NRSV). Through this transforming work, pastors will emerge primed—not to satisfy the world and its metrics of success but to lead the church and its people in the ways of Christ.
Seminary is a place of learning to let go of life and ‘growth’ as we know it. It is in this self-effacing task that we are given the opportunity to discover God in all his transformative glory. This season of interlude is not a task to be accomplished but a destination. And that’s why seminary’s not just a means; it’s also an end in itself.
So go ahead, forecast the expiration of Gordon-Conwell and other evangelical seminaries. We’ll still be here—writing our papers, loving our neighbors, and waiting for God.”