Is seminary right for me?
Is a seminary degree something that I need to pursue the ministry to which I feel called?
These are questions that many ministers ask themselves. In the past the answers were easy. Every person in a Baptist context who felt called to ministry knew he/she was expected to attend one of the six Southern Baptist seminaries in order to be able to find a place to serve. But in the changing Baptist landscape and the new culture of the 21st century, the path to vocational service is less clear.
There are a variety of options available for ministry preparation today. In addition to the six SBC seminaries, other graduate programs/seminaries have developed. Some offer the traditional Master of Divinity degree and others offer professional Master of Arts degrees to prepare people for different facets or specializations of ministry. The strong undergraduate ministry programs developed at Baptist colleges and universities have also been considered alternatives to graduate ministry preparation.
Seminary education, like that offered at Logsdon, affords ministers several benefits.
1) A seminary degree, like the Master of Divinity, is a broad-based approach to ministry education. The MDiv will prepare ministers for a lifetime of ministry. Since most ministers serve in positions with different specialties throughout their ministry careers (youth ministry, education ministry, missions, pastoral ministry), the MDiv can be a useful tool for ministers in any area of ministry specialization.
2) The degrees offered through Logsdon are accredited by the Association of Theological Schools, the premier accrediting agency for graduate ministry preparation in North America. For someone considering chaplaincy, an accredited seminary degree is essential. The branches of the armed forces each have certain requirements of chaplains including accredited theological education. Also, endorsing agencies for chaplains in other settings such as hospitals frequently require accredited graduate ministry degrees. And for those considering further academic work (such as a Doctorate of Ministry, Doctorate of Philosophy, or another Masters degree), a degree accredited by the Association of Theological Schools is also necessary since it is often a requirement for admission to such programs.
3) The Master of Arts in Family Ministry affords ministers the benefit of having an accredited seminary degree with specialized training in areas such as youth ministry, children’s ministry, family ministry, and pastoral counseling (non-licensable).
4) Most churches desire to hire ministers who not only have a call, experience, and ministry talents and gifts, but they also desire (and in some cases require) that their ministers have a seminary degree. For someone who feels called to the ministry, choosing not to pursue seminary education limits the options and scope of ministry that the minister will have.
5) Some denominations outside of the Baptist context require an accredited Master of Divinity degree for ordination and placement. While Logsdon is focused upon Baptist heritage and distinctives, we also welcome students from other denominational backgrounds seeking appropriate ministry training for their contexts.
If you would like to discuss further how these benefits of seminary education at Logsdon would apply to you, please contact Joel Templeton, Graduate Admission Counselor, at 325-670-1682 or firstname.lastname@example.org.