Category: Dear Seminarian

Dear Seminarian: A Little Advice

Dear Seminarian, It seems like just yesterday that I was sitting in my first seminary class. I was excited as that first professor walked into the room, wrote his name on the board, and proceeded to hand out the class syllabus. My excitement quickly migrated to being overwhelmed when the paper hit my hand. As I look back now, more than a decade later, I would give that young man five nuggets of advice: Be Patient: I was eager to learn all that seminary had to offer, but I was also naive. I wasn’t going to become a Greek...

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Three Ways to Use Your Writing in Seminary for the Local Church

One of the ways seminarian can love the local church and serve her is by writing, a lot. The beauty is that as a seminary student you are already writing a lot. As you write, think of how what you’re writing can serve the Lord and His church body. The local church can benefit from your studies and your conclusions. Why not turn that exegetical paper on Hebrews 6 into a 4-week Sunday School series? This can guard you against becoming an ivory tower theologian and cause you to apply the things you are learning in seminary at the local church level....

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Cultivating Relational Maturity

It happened again; I interrupted one of my pastor’s conversations on a Sunday morning. In my desire to speak to him I was rude and interrupted his conversation. He gently pulled me aside after his conversation finished and said we needed to get together this week to have a chat while playing golf. On the drive in his car from church to the golf course, we had a chat. He then told me that I needed help with my relational maturity and to grow in humility. Those words hit me like a ton of bricks and immediately, I knew...

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Wanting to Leave and Saying Goodbye

More and more I hear voices in the evangelical world suggesting that wanting to leave your church is wrong. These voices suggest that the “right” thing for every pastor is picking a church and staying put until you retire. I know friends who are doing this. I’ve read blogs, articles, and social media posts that encourage this. When I hear these suggestions, I’m concerned, especially when someone suggests every pastor should pick a church a stay put forever. Challenges for Pastors This is a complex issue. For one thing, the job of the pastor is a job that involves...

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Know Your Bible!

A number of years ago, as I was preparing to take the written and oral exams for ordination in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), I realized how little I knew about the English Bible (as opposed to the Greek and Hebrew Scriptures). Sure, I knew the stories, events, doctrines, and key characters, but there remained a large segment that was virtually untouched in my memory bank. I didn’t know where to find those stories, events, doctrines, and key characters! For my exams, I had to know book and chapter for literally hundreds of events, people, commandments, places, and theological...

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