Seminary Advice Windup

May 30, 2011 — 5 Comments

The list I have made is by no means exhaustive. I am sure as summers turn to winters, I will reflect more on my experience at Seminary, and maybe alter a few of my views.

I have purposely overplayed some of the advice. For example, I generally think it is good to be “in” ministry while at Seminary. But I also find myself perplexed when people bludgeon others over the head who are not in ministry. I think each situation needs to be taken separately.

In addition, a student should strive to get good grades. But I have found more students make grades an idol, than are willing to let a C show up on the report card. There needs to be more freedom and honesty here.

Now that I have told you I have overstated some things, maybe the embellishments will not work. Oh well, going to Seminary will make one more nuanced and careful about making audacious statements.

To conclude, I think what Augustine said can be applied to Seminary, “Love God and do as you please.” 

This might sound like it overthrows all of my suggestions. But Augustine is not denying that there are paths of wisdom. He is saying, with Jesus, that if you love God, then all other keys will be in tune.

The windup of my 10 pieces of counsel:

  1. Take the hardest classes.
  2. Learn the Languages.
  3. Take some professors who will teach you the art of exegesis, and others who will teach you the science.
  4. Be in ministry/don’t be in ministry.
  5. Take teachers, not classes.
  6. Concerning grades.
  7. Stay away from distance learning.
  8. Take teachers who will teach you a method.
  9. Go for depth and breadth.
  10. Seek out a mentor. 
  11. In sum: Love God and do as you please.

Patrick Schreiner

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I teach New Testament at Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon. I am married with three children. This blog, against all wisdom, includes anything I am interested in. That includes movies, music, theology, culture, hermeneutics, the Gospels, and politics. Feel free to comment and let me know you are reading or that you have found something helpful. I reserve the right to delete unhelpful or rude comments. Many of these posts are simply things I find interesting and therefore I am not asserting I agree with everything I link to.

5 responses to Seminary Advice Windup

  1. Really like Augustine’s response. Classic advice. 😉

    Very insightful, practical tips. Thanks!

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