If you ask 5 seminarians to give you 3 reasons each as to why they decided to go to seminary you will likely end up with 15 different reasons. There are all sorts of reasons that factor into someone’s decision to go to seminary. For me the answer to this question is: knowledge acquisition, implementing that knowledge in the furtherance of God’s kingdom, and it’s where God wants me to be.
When it comes down to it I am a nerd, plain and simple. I try to take advantage of every chance I get to learn something more about a topic that interests me. So when I started to research possible seminaries and saw all the classes that I could take and all the things that I could learn my interest was instantly piqued. The amount of things that I could learn was overwhelming and I am disappointed that I cannot take all the courses that I would like to take and read all the books in the library.
I realized however that all the knowledge I would acquire in seminary, while personally satisfying, would be ultimately useless if it was not used to benefit the faith of others. For me personally I am good at the learning side of things, but not so much on putting all my knowledge to use for the benefit of others. Thus being able to implement all the knowledge I would be acquiring to further God’s kingdom became a reason for me to go to seminary. I recognized that I was deficient in this area and realized the importance of it and my need to acquire the skills necessary to be able to use my knowledge to benefit the faith of others.
It’s Where God Wants Me
By far the most influential reason I decided to go to seminary was because it is where God wants me to be. If I was only interested in learning the things taught in seminary and using that knowledge to bear fruit for God’s kingdom, I could do that without going to seminary; there was no reason for me to come if those were my only two reasons. However, as I was praying and considering the possibility of going to seminary I felt that God was clearly calling me down this path and not to simply make ministry a hobby of mine.
If you’re considering the possibility of seminary I encourage you to list out the reasons why you want to go. And be honest. Seminary is a long, hard, stressful, and expensive path to take, so you want to make sure your reasons for going are compatible with the goals of the seminary and is also where God wants you to be. Seminary isn’t for everyone, and if it isn’t for you, then that’s ok. Your level of education is in no way a measure of how effectively you can serve God. God uses all His servants, seminarians and non-seminarians alike.