Top Theology Books for Seminarians: Part 1

By John Frederick
Faculty, College of Theology

Three seminary students sitting together

The season of spiritual discipleship, growth and learning that takes place during the seminary years is meant to be deep and broad, but not exhaustive. If a student leaves seminary feeling like they have pretty much completed rather than just begun a lifelong quest to know God more deeply through a life of prayer, devotion and diligent study, then they will have completely missed the point of seminary.

Seminary exists to equip men and women for the ministry of the gospel in word and deed in their families, congregations and local communities, and throughout the world. The intellectual pursuit of God with the mind is merely one way of accomplishing this goal. It is, however, a central and “seminal” piece of the seminary experience.

The goal is not to complete your theological education in seminary; rather, it is to begin an everlasting education of the Triune God through the pursuit of Him with the mind, heart, body and soul. This is an aim for all seminaries, and it is especially so here in Grand Canyon University’s College of Theology and at Grand Canyon Theological Seminary.

The following is a subjective list of a select few of the (perhaps) hundreds of books that I highly recommend to those who are approaching, in the midst of or even those who have graduated from the seminary experience. No doubt, if you asked 100 different theologians, you would receive 100 different lists.

Yet, I am convinced that if you read through these works at some point in your theological journey, then both you and those under your care will be blessed. In Parts 2 – 4 of this series, I will provide some brief commentaries about these texts to help you as you develop your reading plan.

  1. N. T. Wright, The New Testament and the People of God (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1992).
  2. N. T. Wright, Jesus and the Victory of God (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1996).
  3. N. T. Wright, The Resurrection of the Son of God (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2003).
  4. John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, translated by Henry Beveridge (Peabody: Hendrickson, 2008)
  5. J. N. D. Kelly, Early Christian Doctrines (New York: Harper, 1959).
  6. Stanley J. Grenz, Theology for the Community of God (Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 1994.
  7. Helmut Thielicke, A Little Exercise for Young Theologians (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1962).
  8. Martin Luther King Jr., A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings of Martin Luther King, Jr. (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1996).
  9. Richard Bauckham, Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2006).
  10. The Bible and a Whole Bible Commentary

Check back next week for Part 2 of this series. Find out more about theology degrees at GCU by visiting our website or contacting us today.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.