Do Pastors Have To Go to Seminary?

In generations past, it was assumed that pastors had attended seminary before being ordained to lead their church. Today, that isn’t necessarily the case, as an emphasis on formal theological training has given way to an emphasis on charisma or leadership ability.

This week on the podcast, we discuss: is this trend a good thing, a bad thing, or just a thing? Is it absolutely necessary for a pastor to be seminary trained in order to be considered qualified and well-equipped for local church ministry?

You may have guessed that two people who hold Master of Divinity degrees would recommend that other people attend seminary. And you would be right! Nevertheless, in our conversation, we discuss why we must be careful not to gate-keep where Jesus never told us to put gates up.

While we explore all the ways that seminary can be a valuable experience for church leaders of various stripes, we also discuss what matters most in qualifying a pastor for ministry, which is something that seminary can’t actually teach them.


READ: 5 Surprising Truths About Seminary Grads
READ: Why the Decline of Denominations Should Concern Us
READ: 6 Reasons to Guard Yourself Against Becoming a Theology Snob
READ: Why Proof Texting Makes for Bad Theology


Article by Kevin VanHoozer: “Why a Post-Christian World Needs Pastor-Theologians
Book co-authored by Kevin VanHoozer: “The Pastor as Public Theologian: Reclaiming a Lost Vision

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