Whether you’re thinking about heading to seminary, earning a new degree or simply taking a few Bible classes for fun, here are the fundamental questions to ask before making your decision
The apostle Paul prayed that our love “may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment” (Phil. 1:9, NASB). If you are thinking about going back to school, the Holy Spirit (who is your real Teacher), may be stirring you to expand your spiritual and mental horizons. God is always challenging us to increase our knowledge of Him and His Word and to pursue excellence in all we do for Him. Because I oversee a distance learning program at a Christian university, I am frequently asked by prospective students what educational route they should embark upon. Similarly, you should ask yourself some questions before you decide which direction your pursuit will take. Here are the most important questions I advise that you consider:
1. What is my ultimate, long-term goal?
Do you want to obtain a degree, ministerial credentials, counseling credentials, increase your Bible knowledge, grow spiritually, become equipped for ministry in a local church or something else? After you determine your long-range goal, you can begin to plan suitable short-term steps to work toward it. For example, if you want to become a state-certified counselor, you would normally need to seek a residential master’s degree in counseling from a state-approved graduate school. If you want to learn how to counsel effectively as a layperson in a church setting, that level of training may not be necessary.
2. If I want to be licensed or ordained as a minister, what kind of schooling should I obtain?
That depends on the school or organization through which you want to be credentialed. If you are under a particular denomination or ministerial organization, find out what their educational requirements are and what type of schools or training they will accept. read more