Seminary is a good thing, but going to seminary isn’t for everyone. There are countless reasons to go to seminary, but I’ve found that there are a few reasons that you SHOULDN’T go.
Someone told you that you would make a good pastor/preacher
While the intentions of the person who made that comment are clearly complimentary, it isn’t a good reason to attend seminary. I’ve been told on multiple occasions that I would make a great physical therapist, but I’m not meant to be a therapist. I wouldn’t be happy and I would be left completely unfulfilled. God has given you a special task and it doesn’t have to be preaching just because you’re a Christian. You just might be better utilized in Kingdom work right where you are.
It’s the “family business”
You might come from a family in which the men have been pastors as far back as your lineage can be traced, and praise God for that. It doesn’t mean that you should go to seminary. Don’t allow seminary to be your fall back, only go if you know you’re called.
You think it’s what “good” Christians should do
You’re confused about what to do with your life after your undergraduate is finished and the thought pops into your head that good Christians should pursue the ministry. Wrong. The only thing you should pursue at this point is the will of God in your life. If God leads you to the seminary after a lot of prayer, that is fantastic! There is a good chance, however, that you will be led somewhere else. You won’t last in the ministry if you aren’t called, so please, don’t waste your time and money pursuing a seminary education without a clear, undeniable passion.
There is truly only one good reason to attend seminary: God has called you to do so. Any other reason than that is one that is fleeting and will lead you down a path of frustration and debt.
Pursue the Lord and let Him guide your path, it will be the most fulfilling thing you’ve ever done.
By Michael A. Murphy Michael is a husband and father to three children. He and his wife will be moving their family from Michigan to Colorado to attend seminary this fall. Mike and his wife, Denise, blog together at theevertree.wordpress.com