Going to seminary may be one of the most rewarding things you will ever do for yourself and your faith. As fulfilling of an experience it is, you will also be challenged intellectually, spiritually and even physically! Seminary entails an in-depth study of current theology and different doctrine, requiring persistence and diligence. It is easy to become discouraged when facing difficulties, especially with a subject so intimate and personal. Going to seminary can be strenuous, warranting prayer, rest and peace in the Lord. Here are three things to continuously remind yourself of throughout your seminary experience:
Why You Are There
Those who have decided to attend seminary usually do so because they feel called to a vocation in ministry. While this calling may reassure you in what your purpose is on this Earth, it does not promise an easy time in achieving a pastoral vocation. It is easy to get frustrated with worldly aspects of seminary, such as professors, fellow students or even class assignments, but you should always remind yourself of the calling you felt to begin your journey in seminary.
God promises for there to be leaders in the church in Jeremiah 3:15, when He says, “And I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.” It is such an honor and an important role to hold within the church, and you should continually remind yourself of this.
The Bible Isn’t Just Another Textbook
Another important reminder for those in seminary is to never allow the Bible to become just another textbook. In seminary, you will undergo an intense study of the Word of God, and it is easy for the true sacredness of it to be forgotten. The Bible is God-breathed, and we are reminded of its power in Hebrews 4:12, where Paul wrote, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
As Christians, we should never allow ourselves to grow numb to the power and authority that is within the Bible. In an effort to preserve the beauty and simplicity of Jesus, make sure to continue to nourish your personal relationship with Him, outside your academic study of God and His Word.
Be Gracious to Yourself
Seminary is a time to explore theological controversies and complex doctrine and, naturally, challenges will rise to the surface and you will be forced to reckon with them. As you begin to wrestle with topics and concepts, remember to be gracious with yourself. God is a mystery, and although we should all be striving to learn more about Him and who He is, we will never know everything about Him.
Matthew 7:7 states, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” Continue to ponder, pray and seek truth, even when you feel confused or frustrated. It is no secret that seminary is challenging, but the growth in knowledge and spirit you will experience during this time will outweigh every difficult task you once faced.
Grand Canyon Theological Seminary (GCTS) is an interdenominational, evangelical seminary that helps prepare Christian leaders to minister faithfully and effectively, with focus on cultivating character and fostering unity in Christ. For more information about GCU’s theology degrees, visit our website or contact us using the Request More information button at the top of the page.
Written by Quin Jackson, a sophomore earning an advertising and public relations degree at GCU.