I grew up in a Catholic household, attending Mass every Sunday with my family. For me, attending church felt like a chore. In my 20’s however, I started attending a non-Denominational church at the request of my then girlfriend (and now wife). I found the teaching to be very different from what I experienced in youth. It was exciting. I learned that the Bible can actually be studied. Not only that, but through studying the Bible, I fell more in love with Jesus Christ. This ultimately led me to pursue seminary studies.
As I reflect on it, I believe there are 4 reasons you should consider going to seminary:
1. Being more in love with Jesus Christ.
By going to seminary I actually found myself becoming more in love with Jesus Christ. I recall having a deep hunger to be in a constant relationship with Jesus Christ when I was younger and occasionally would be open to His presence in my life. Now going to seminary and learning more about Him and Christianity as a whole, I am more aware of His constant presence in my life. God has given us His truth and salvation, revealing those things through Jesus Christ and recording them in what we call the Bible. God has acted in history to bring about our salvation and reveal His unending love for us. Attending seminary, learning from scholars who have made studying the Bible their profession and expertise, and being equipped to engage the world with the truth of Christ will cause you to have a greater appreciation and love for Jesus Christ.
2. Being transformed into the likeness of Jesus Christ can be facilitated and even propelled by exposing yourself to deeper understandings of Christianity.
Along with falling deeper in love with Christ, there is also transformation. The more in love with Christ you are, the more you are transformed into His likeness. The more devoted you are to Christ, the more open you are to the Holy Spirit to work in you. Going to seminary and learning about who Jesus Christ is will reveal to you who you really are and what purpose God has given you. It may not always be clear where exactly God is leading you but having a clearer understanding of who God is and what Christianity is can help reveal it.
3. The ability to defend your faith and carry out the Great Commission and the Mission of God is strengthened when you receive the proper training.
This is a key function of going to seminary in my opinion. Jesus commissioned us to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20, NIV). In carrying out this Great Commission we will often find ourselves faced with difficult questions that the world asks. Therefore, having the ability to address these questions is critically important. Furthermore, the last part of the Great Commission is to “teach them to obey everything” He has commanded. Going to seminary will help elucidate what He taught and what obedience means. Lastly, Jesus promises that He will be with us till the very end of the age. When we go and carry out His commission, we can rest assure that we are not alone. This brings up the importance of constantly relying on Jesus Christ in our discipleship and even when we attend seminary, ensuring that we hear and learn what He wants us to learn.
4. Most importantly, if God has called you to seminary, then the best think you can do right now is listen to Him.
If you feel like God is calling you to seminary, then the best you thing you can do is go to seminary. Following God, devoting your life to Him, and obeying what He is commanding you to do is always the best thing you can do and is also the most important thing you can do. God is always top priority in life.
By Joseph Siacunco. Joseph is a Masters of Divinity Student at Denver Seminary located in Littleton, CO. He currently works at Mission Hills Church in the Finance Department and is a Certified Public Accountant. He has worked in Accounting since 2004 but also serves at his church in other ways including teaching and preaching.