Surviving Seminary

Will You Survive Seminary?


I ran into this little quiz over at It’s a good site if you’re looking to take the plunge or if you’re already neck deep into it. I took the quiz and I suppose did fairly well – though the questions aren’t all that penetrating. (How many children do I have named after dead theologians? None, I think.)

Come to think of it, I’m not really certain what “surviving seminary” is supposed to mean. So having loads of free time (heh) I sat and pondered it for a bit. As I mulled the meaning over in my mind I heard the Lord whisper into my heart a startling answer.

” If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.” (1 Co 13:1-3, NASB95)

If I make it through Seminary with my MABL in hand, and A’s on my transcript, yet I have not love – I have not survived. If I master Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic yet have not love, I have nothing. If in the midst of my seminary education I abandon time with my wife and my family to fend for themselves and to grow without a father and husband who is active in their lives – it profits me nothing.

Surviving Seminary means so much more than academic credit. Perhaps that would not be true if I were going for a Masters of Business Administration at some secular university in order to make lots of money. But I am going to seminary to master the languages of our Fathers word, that I might comprehend it more fully, expound it more faithfully and proclaim it more boldly. I am going to seminary to grow closer to Christ, closer to my wife, closer to my children and more passionate in my ministry.

If I go for any other reason than I have not survived seminary, no matter my GPA.

I know seminary will at times be more grind than glory. I’m OK with that. What I’m not OK with is gaining the ability to understand the message but failing to apply it.

God, be gracious to me.