Terrified of Seminary: Wisdom For The Rookie Seminarian


faithunsinkable asked a question:

Any advice for someone wanting to go to seminary or divinity school but it terrified of losing their faith?


Hey dear friend, thank you so much for your honesty. It sounds like you’ve heard all the horror stories about people going to seminary and completely losing their faith by graduation. It happens frequently. As a pastor once said, “Knowledge is essential, but not sufficient.”

I think the academic angle of learning the Christian faith is absolutely important, but it does tend to dry up our relational connection with Him and the church. I clearly remember this happening to me during my first year, and though I didn’t have it as bad as others, I had to fight hard not to get jaded.


It only shows that pure information has a way of removing the richness of life and inadvertently making us more mechanical. A musician or film director can know all the rules of their craft, but if the passion and pathos are missing, it doesn’t matter how much they know in their head. At the same time, we do need an intellectually coherent faith, so theology is necessary. It’s about connecting this intellect with our momentum.

The one thing I would advise is to stay involved in your church community. I was very lucky to have a part-time position at my church during seminary, so I never lost sight of people. I really loved the books and classes and the intricacies of Christian theology, but seminary can’t teach you how to apply these things to the depressed youth kid or the single mother with cancer or the prideful CEO. The Christian life makes most sense when you’re giving your life away. That means moving the knowledge from your head to your heart to your hands.

— J.S.


Also consider:

– The Pastor’s Calling: How It Really Is, Not How You Want It To Be

– How To “Become A Pastor”

– Ten Qualifications To Be A Pastor

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