If you feel called to go into the ministry, then you might be considering enrolling in a theological seminary. Indeed, enrolling in seminary is a great way to prepare for life as a minister or leader in the church. But how do you choose a seminary to attend? Here are a few tips and things to consider.
What seminaries align with your personal beliefs?
Even within Christianity, there are a lot of different denominations and beliefs. You want to attend a seminary that teaches beliefs that align with your own. So, spend some time reading the descriptions of classes and programs that each seminary offers. Create a short list of seminaries whose beliefs and basic principles essentially line up with yours. You might have to bend and be flexible on a few things, but it's okay if those are aspects you consider minor differences. Few people agree completely on religious matters, and that's alright.
What seminaries did pastors who you most admire attend?
Chances are, you have at least one pastor or religious leader who you really admire. Ask these people where they attended seminary. Also, ask how they liked their experience and whether they would recommend the same seminary to others. If you like how a pastor, who attended a certain seminary, leads and runs their church, then you may want to attend that same seminary.
What are the faculty like?
Look into the various faculty who are teaching at the seminaries you're considering. What research have they done? What are their preferred topics to preach and teach about? For example, if you find that one seminary has a lot of faculty who focus on interpreting ancient texts and that is a passion of yours, maybe that is a good place for you. If you find a seminary where the faculty are really involved in serving the community and you love to serve others, that may be your best fit.
What specialties does the seminary offer?
Beyond offering a basic theological program, does the school offer specialties such as Greek or Hebrew language, epistemology, or historical theology? If you attend a seminary with more specialties available, you're often able to get a broader education that gives you more options once you graduate. You could still go on to be a minister, of course, but sometimes there are other career options—like a translator or missionary.
Keep the above in mind when choosing a seminary program, and you should end up in a place that's a good fit.
Contact a theological seminary for more information.
These days, it can be hard for me to watch the news. It can be depressing to hear about so many earthquakes, terrible mass shootings, and awful illnesses. Fortunately, I have gained a lot of strength by working with my local church to participate in church service. Together, we have made hygiene packets for refugees and helped with other large service projects. This participation has helped me in my personal life, and it has strengthened my resolve to be a better person. This website is all about becoming better and staying positive through spirituality, service to others, and focusing on doing good.