I think it is very important that preachers of today need to be seminary trained .

i say that because there are no more dumb folk in the church and i feel that it is a sad day for the preacher if he has somebody in the congregation that knows more about the bible than the preacher. Also i feel that if the pulpit is dumb then the pews are dumb.

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So true
I agree with training but seminary training is not always available to everyone. But the Bible plainly shows that God will grant wisdom to those that seek Him. Our congregations should not call preachers just because of a "degree" our lack of one. Seek God not man. You ask thought provoking questions. Keep us sharp I don't respond every nut on here LOL !
There is nothing wrong with Seminary training, but there is no training like the training that comes from the Lord. I know my preaching is not sharpened by seminary. It is sharpened by the anointing from the Lord. I know that each improved sermon is from the Increase I received from the Lord. Be Blessed
Bro. Vaughn,

I am conflicted on this because while I understand what you are saying, I disagree with the end conclusion.

Booker T. Washington attended seminary for one year and was so disgusted by what he found that he left with a disdain for such institutions thereafter. He did not forsake the Lord, or faith in the Living God,but he forsook the substitution of puffed up so-called intellect for true wisdom and knowledge that come from on high. Tuskegee,in fact trained ministers as a part of its offering. Dr. Washington made sure that every minister Tuskegee produced was practically trained in how to affect black culture and society in a way that would uplift the common man and woman in every way.

I attended seminary in a Masters of Divinity program for 2 years and I, like Dr. Washington left fairly disillusioned. Two events changed my life and convinced me that there was a better way.

The first event was at a weekly bible study among some of the M.Div. students and spouses, with other friends. One night the wife of a friend spoke up in near tears saying she could not continue to come because she could no longer understand a word of what we were saying. She said that we, the M.Div. students were teaching to see who could out do the other and in a realm that lost the common person. I was convicted, she was right and had nailed us.

The second event was when some high school and college kids wanted to witness at a large secular concert. They looked up to me and asked me to go with them and lead them. As we got to the venue and saw 30,000 young people waiting to get into this festival, the kids got excited and took off witnessing. Meanwhile I, the seminary student, became instantly aware that I could not relate to these heathen kids. Nothing that I learned at seminary was of real value at this moment and in the trenches. I was so ashamed looking around seeing high school and college kids with no seminary training sharing the gospel with crowds of unsaved people while I had nothing to say. I instantly repented and asked the Lord to deliver me from my knowledge and give me the words led by his Holy Spirit. I then sought out the hardest and heathen looking group of kids I could find and went right up to the leader asking if he knew Jesus. Feeling threatened he took me on and for the next 20 minutes we discussed and a crowd gathered. I did not rely upon my great knowledge of Greek, Systematic Theology, Higher Criticism, or even Apologetics. All I could think of was how Jesus came, died, rose, is coming again and what that meant for that young man and all of those listening.

What I do credit seminary with and why I am conflicted, is that it taught me how to research and find what I need in my study of the Word and elements of Christianity. This could be taught, as it was in the earlier centuries of America, along side classical studies, however.

What am saying is that some form of higher theological training is to be desired. But not at the expense of the the pure simplicity of the Gospel that every man and woman truly transformed by an encounter with the Holy spirit possesses.
I disagree If God has ordained you he qualifies you, the Holy Spirit teaches you all things. You can study in your home under the leadership of God and with your pastor, you dont have to pay someone to learn about God. That is my opinion. If you want to go to school to you can if you choose but you don't have to be in school ahvea divinity degree to preach the gospel. The world likes to turn alot of things around. We tend tyo get caught up in the world's way of thinking but God qualifies and told everyone to witness so everyone should be telling others the good news anyway.
I have graduated with a B.A. in Religion and am working on my Masters in Christian Formation and Ministry... however; I know that God has taught me more than what I could have ever learned through my studies. I have sat under might men and women of God who have had little to no formal education; not even a high school diploma. God took those who were considered to be the lowest of men and called them to be his disciples. I would give up all of my formal education to experience what my predecessors have seen and experienced in the Gospel. Sometimes I believe that some people who have received formal education have lost their zeal due to the pride that they have in their paper. Your degree can't cast out a demon or raise the dead...only the anointing of God can do that. All of the methods and "7 Steps to building a successful ministry" will cause the favor of God to fall on you if you don't have a relationship with him. Sometimes ministers believe that if they can get the degree than they will get the mega church position. Education with out the anointing of God, the power of God and demonstration of God just makes you a babbling fool!
Although I am big on education, it is not important that a preacher goes to seminary. What is important is that they are called by God. God uses ordinary people. As long as God has called them into the ministry, that is what is important. I know a lot of people who went to seminary, that God did not call into the ministry. Brother, if God can use me, he can use anybody. I am the last person I ever thought would be in the pulpit, but when God called me, I had to follow what God was telling me to do. God has used my past to bring others to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Everything satan tried to kill me with, is now being used to bring glory to the name of Jesus Christ. Don't ever think that you are better than another man, just because you have a degree given by man. Let me ask you this, do you have a degree given by God? God has appointed, and annointed me to do what he wants me to do. God can use your past experience more than he can use a school or a seminary, not to put down any school or seminary. If you surrender and submit to God, and allow yourself to be used by him, he can use anyone.

God bless you,
Maurice Jonson
One Step Ministry
I very much appreciate this discussion. Seminary schools have helped a lot of called servants to come before a more educated population--certainly in this country--and a more educated Christian population in specific. I am therefore not hostile to the institution of seminary schools. But what do you say to someone like m?. Now, I have read enough profiles to see that many people on the network refer to themselves as prophets and bishops. I don't knock that, however. But I have a basis for feeling extremely proud of my service to the Lord. I admit that a lot of times I don't feel proud. And that is of the devil.

For instance, I have been told that I am a great preacher. And if you visit my website you will find three rather well done books on grace. The third of the three books won't actually be formally released until early to mid February. I feel reluctant, though it is true, to say that two other books will be released possibly in late February and March, respectively. Moreover, I am good evidence that God can take advanced education, which i am fortunate to have, and use it for service to His great name. For not many people would think that God could take PhD in political science and convert that training to theological applications. But the Lord, not Mackey, is calling me a theologian after the writing of about twenty books on His generosity in Christ Jesus. I am not known as yet. The first book came out in late 2008 and the second in January of this year.

But tell me dear brother, how do I proceed? I am afraid of being too bold and of being to passive or modest.


Eric M. Mackey.
Technically speaking, the Church itself was ORIGINALLY designed to be the Seminary that all ministers learned from. What would you say of a man/woman of GOD that has not gone to get the paper degree from Such-n-Such College, and yet are doing the work better than "Bishop____D.D., Th.D."?
Hi Delbert Vaugh;
You might be more educated, or know more about the bible than the pastor or preacher.
But Knowing more just makes you educated.
Pastors should not influenced by Controlling people who use their Church position, power to carry out there own agendas. The Curcch belongs to God\!
But The man of God is called to Study Him or hersef to be approved rightly dividing Gods word.
And thats were Gods wisdom out ways education. One can have to much education, but not the Holy Spirit.
Rev. Richard L. Bishop
As much as I value the seminary experience it is not seminary training that is the issue but adequate preparation, including academic preparation. We don't have to be elitist or uncharitable about it but it is true that part of the problem among evangelicals is this anti-intellectualism that makes too many celebrate ignorance and even tout it as a criterion for the Holy Spirit's anointing. (A comic side to this is that many who decry clergy education turn around and award themselves "doctorates" in order to appear to be the very thing they rail against.)

My take on this is that some kind of academic preparation is necessary to adequately handle and divide the Scriptures. Generating heat without much light is too prevalent in the pulpit these days, especially among our people. I've had many people come from a boisterous preaching session claiming "we had church" and "boy he dropped the word" and when asked well what was the text, topic or message being met with befuddlement.

Fortunately the last decade or so has seen a burgeoning of training opportunities, seminary without walls, extension courses, and online programs, so that we are without excuse.
Wow....I thought we had exhausted this debate LAST year....sad to see preachers so divided on formal preparation.

It seems Pastor Trevor that the ministry is the only professional helping vocation wherein one can depend solely on self-education and the anointing. I concur Sir, with all these training opportunities, we ARE without excuse--and most of what we offer is excuse...I had good ones for NOT going to seminary for the first 14 years or so of my ministry....and the revelation AI received from God and the training from my Bishop were phenominal. I had even better excuses for going, maintaining an A average and then dropping out for 10 years too. But God was not pleased with this interruption--nor my decision not to complete what I started and what my late Bishop told me I HAD to do. Some things in my ministry were blowing up--while others were at a stalemate. When I understood by the Holy Spirit that I was merely making excuses, I went back to finish what I started. I was without excuse!

Pastor, you have said well. I would add that the anointing does not prevent one from"butchering" t he text, taking scripture out of context, or prooftexting.... as many have done in their defense of not needing to be formally trained, or renouncing their formal training.

I know many believe that not every body has the opportunity to go to school--but it seems strange that God would call us without providing the opportunity to EVERY man or woman to formally study under master teachers, whether they be in bible colleges, institutes, or seminaries. Prov. says time and chance happens to 'every one'.

I can only speak for myself..."to whom much was given, much was required". The greater the rank, the greater the repsonsibility and the more rigorous the training.

I heard one of the bretheren suggest that many semarians preach over the heads of most people...a wise preacher does not do this irrespective of his or her training....nor does a wise preacher preach BELOW the spiritual maturity and intellect of bright and brilliant people....and there are far more of them in our pews than it is believed. I agree Sir, some formal training is necessary to adequately handle texts which are culturally, linguisticly, and religiously different than most Americans' collective frame of reference.

Both ignorance, arrogance, and excuse making is irrespective of seminary training....let eahc of us all do ALL that God has instructed us to do in our preparation to lead both the educated and uneducated...to do any less is to do God's people a disservice. Thanksfor sharing...I enjoy your writing style...it is rich!



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