Should Pastors be Required to go to Seminary?

by Dale Partridge

We often hear people ask, “If the Apostles didn’t have to go to seminary then why should we require anyone else to do so?” To answer this question properly, two important points must first be considered.

First, we must remember that Jesus did not send the Apostles out quickly or untrained. No, He formally educated these men for three years (about the same length of time to complete seminary). Second, Christians should not confuse seminary with formal training. Seminary is simply one manifestation of formal, biblical training. However, there are other valid forms of training available. That said, to those who are against formal biblical training, you stand in opposition to the example of Jesus on that matter.

In this episode of Real Christianity, pastor Dale Partridge looks to the scriptures to examine the Christian call to biblical and pastoral training.

This Episode’s Question

“I have been attending my church for several years but recently I’m starting to notice my pastor delivers very shallow sermons that tend to be more like motivational messages rather than a breaking down of the biblical text. I began to realize that the pastors I admired online tend to have seminary degrees or some type of rigorous theological training. Unfortunately, my pastor did not go to seminary. Dale, do you believe men should be required to go to seminary before pastoring a church?

Christina -Asheville, North Carolina

Additional Resources

Scripture References

  • Matthew 22:37

    “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”

  • Mathew 18:6

    “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.”

  • Acts 20:28

    “Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.”

  • 2 Peter 2:1-2

    “But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed.”

  • Colossians 2:8

    “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.”

  • 2 Timothy 4:3-4

    “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.”

  • 2 Timothy 2:15

    “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.”

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After watching or listening to this episode, what is your opinion? Do you have any questions or comments? Maybe you have something to add to the discussion? If so, let us know in the comments below.

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