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Church Office discuss Do Pastors Have To Have A College Education? in the The Church forums; I really believe that they should if at all possible. There's no reason for anyone to not have gone to college here in America. But ...

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    Do Pastors Have To Have A College Education?

    I really believe that they should if at all possible. There's no reason for anyone to not have gone to college here in America. But there are so many nations (persecuted and non-persecuted but without reformed churches) that do not have resources to send men to college and yet they need reformed churches. How do we deal with this? Can there be pastor's who have learned reformed theology from missionaries and be a pastor of a church in that situation?
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    If they fit the qualifications for being an elder, they fit them. If a man is able to teach the Word faithfully, why should I care if he has been to a brick and mortar institution? If the local church was discipling men properly maybe we would need less men with paper to back up their name anyway. , there are some serious issues with requiring men to go to college when scripture does not require that of them. We need not add to God's instruction. That is not at all to say that a man should not be educated. A completely uneducated man obviously would not be qualified. If a man is educated in the things necessary for guiding the flock, he has that education whether it is from a seminary, local church, or missionary, right?

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    This is a great point! I am starting my second year of seminary and already thinking of where I want to serve. I should be thinking of where the Lord wants me to serve. I know of many seminary trained men who do not have a call in this country who could be serving the bride of Christ if they looked outside the box they have built for themselves. Thank you for bringing this up even though I do not think this was your main point. I think men who are trained for the ministry and seeking a call should look to the places where there is the greatest need.
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    Not according to God's Word. But, I do think that if the man has the qualifications of an elder and is called to pastoral ministry, he should seek to have as much preparation as possible. That probably should include college AND seminary these days. But these should not be absolutes.
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    Apt to teach doesn't equate to the necessity of a college degree. Nevertheless having one helps a pastor to become more apt to teach. I don't see a reason why any pastor should put off getting a seminary education (MDiv) if it is within reasonable means for him to do so.

    I'm pretty sure some denominations require some form of formal degree for ordination.

    But there are so many nations (persecuted and non-persecuted but without reformed churches) that do not have resources to send men to college and yet they need reformed churches. How do we deal with this? Can there be pastor's who have learned reformed theology from missionaries and be a pastor of a church in that situation?
    i think you've already answered your own question. There already are pastors that you speak of.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ewenlin View Post
    Apt to teach doesn't equate to the necessity of a college degree. Nevertheless having one helps a pastor to become more apt to teach. I don't see a reason why any pastor should put off getting a seminary education (MDiv) if it is within reasonable means for him to do so.

    I'm pretty sure some denominations require some form of formal degree for ordination.

    But there are so many nations (persecuted and non-persecuted but without reformed churches) that do not have resources to send men to college and yet they need reformed churches. How do we deal with this? Can there be pastor's who have learned reformed theology from missionaries and be a pastor of a church in that situation?
    i think you've already answered your own question. There already are pastors that you speak of.
    Great question Sarah

    In our Church in Holland Pastors make 6 years of Theological Faculty and they start that Faculty with 5 years of Latin and Greek in High School (its called Gymnasium), otherwise they have to attend a pre-year to master these 2 Languages.

    I think to have Pastors with such high qualification is a great privilege to the Church, but it may also hinder some, that God can use, to become somehow helping Pastors.

    For now, Elders without that complete and thorough education, and only in the absence of a Pastor, can read written sermons (written by an ordained Pastor), but they can not preach freely from the Pulpit.

    Of course that comes out of a high regard for Preaching and Teaching God’s Word, as Calvin considered it in fact that God is addressing the Congregation, through His Word proclaimed by the Minister.

    It is important also because it prevents errors or weak sermons that may not feed adequately the Congregation.

    But how far should we stretch Theological learning for a Christian to be an ordained Pastor?

    Could 1 year be enough? Or just 3 as a minimum required?

    Is absolutely necessary the mastering of the original languages of the Bible, not to mention the theological Latin?

    I tend to think that yes, ideally it should be this way.

    But I believe I agree with you in the point you make.

    In the case of great need, of congregations deprived of a Pastor and in need to hear God’s Word being preached, I think the Church should have Elders with some preparation, able to preach God’s Word and to provide Pastoral care to the flock.
    César Proença

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    Wow a gymnasium.

    Looks like Holland is stricter on this issue..
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    Quote Originally Posted by OPC'n View Post
    I really believe that they should if at all possible. There's no reason for anyone to not have gone to college here in America. But there are so many nations (persecuted and non-persecuted but without reformed churches) that do not have resources to send men to college and yet they need reformed churches. How do we deal with this? Can there be pastor's who have learned reformed theology from missionaries and be a pastor of a church in that situation?
    Well, none of the 100+ pastors I work with here in South Africa have any college education. We're working to give them some theological education. These are by no means "reformed churches", but we pray they may become so. Some of the pastors can't read or sign their name, which is troubling me, and I'm going to offer to pay for their transport to the nearest school that does adult education, but I don't know yet if they will want to (the two I noticed that couldn't sign their names are in their 40s or 50s).

    The usual situation is that someone is made a pastor because he is a natural leader, seems to have a good walk with the Lord and can shout loudly. Only then do they think about what they know and take any opportunities that come their way to increase their education. Sadly in the third world those opportunities are few.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dr_parsley View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by OPC'n View Post
    I really believe that they should if at all possible. There's no reason for anyone to not have gone to college here in America. But there are so many nations (persecuted and non-persecuted but without reformed churches) that do not have resources to send men to college and yet they need reformed churches. How do we deal with this? Can there be pastor's who have learned reformed theology from missionaries and be a pastor of a church in that situation?
    Well, none of the 100+ pastors I work with here in South Africa have any college education. We're working to give them some theological education. These are by no means "reformed churches", but we pray they may become so. Some of the pastors can't read or sign their name, which is troubling me, and I'm going to offer to pay for their transport to the nearest school that does adult education, but I don't know yet if they will want to (the two I noticed that couldn't sign their names are in their 40s or 50s).

    The usual situation is that someone is made a pastor because he is a natural leader, seems to have a good walk with the Lord and can shout loudly. Only then do they think about what they know and take any opportunities that come their way to increase their education. Sadly in the third world those opportunities are few.
    It only shows the great need to help and educate pastors all over the world.
    Don't forget ,the rise of Cults is due to the fact that many are willing to teach and serve and yet does not have knowledge of the Word.

    God calls us to handle His Word properly and not twist it.

    Zeal without knowledge is dangerous.
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    For Presbyterians, there has always been a strong notion that a high amount of education and training and testing is necessary for the high call of church office. This is particularly true of those who would teach God's Word.

    So, in the early 1800's as the American frontier expanded, Presbyterians faced a choice- limit to the slow growth of carefully and thoroughly trained teachers or "open it up" to anyone who wanted "to serve the Lord." The Methodists did the latter, and the "circuit riders" on the frontier produced a lot of converts and much growth. The Presbyterians stayed focused on their original training, education and testing requirements.

    As a consequence, the Arminian-influenced denominations (like Methodists) quickly outgrew Presbyterians (which had been much larger at our country's founding). While Presbyterian influence remains well beyond its numbers, this trend continues to this very day.

    We'd have to say God has used both approaches. There is better doctrine on the presbyterian and reformed side, and there is admonition in Scripture about those who would handle God's Word, they must be careful and qualified. Lots of exceptions, though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jake View Post
    1 Timothy 2:15 - STUDY to show thyself APPROVED. I am not so sure that Leonard here was preaching on a normative Biblical precept but more on an emotional basis.

    1 Timothy 3:1-7 - If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task...he must not be a recent convert. The two prior passages mentioned pretty much rule out any un-biblically-educated believer.

    Why not be a new convert? Why must one be "approved" through "studying"? Because, pastors are held to a higher standard as leaders, because they "keep watch over your souls as those who will have to give an account" - Hebrews 13:17.

    Is education important? I'd say. I want as much preparation as possible before taking on that high of a responsibility! Now, it may not have to be a Bible college or a seminary education, but it should at least have SOME sort of discipleship from overseers, right? And that studying should lead to the point of one's being approved. I'm sure that there are some men who work to get papers declaring their doctorates, but these men should never have been approved.
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    Keep in mind that this is just my "uninformed-from-the-pew" observation...

    Requiring pastors to have an education is a good thing.

    if anyone can get up there and mishandle scripture then where does that leave the flock?

    Usually it shakes out like so:

    Pastor with no formal seminary: "You don't need all that fancy-shmancy greek stuff, you just gotta let the spirit tell you what he wants you to say"

    Pastor with education: "An education is vital to properly preaching the word"

    Having an education just shows that you are willing to put forth the effort and that you care enough to sacrifice to get proper knowledge.


    And remember, these are MY PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS....not dogma
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    Quote Originally Posted by rpavich View Post
    Keep in mind that this is just my "uninformed-from-the-pew" observation...

    Requiring pastors to have an education is a good thing.

    if anyone can get up there and mishandle scripture then where does that leave the flock?

    Usually it shakes out like so:

    Pastor with no formal seminary: "You don't need all that fancy-shmancy greek stuff, you just gotta let the spirit tell you what he wants you to say"

    Pastor with education: "An education is vital to properly preaching the word"

    Having an education just shows that you are willing to put forth the effort and that you care enough to sacrifice to get proper knowledge.


    And remember, these are MY PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS....not dogma
    I'm not talking about lazy ppl who don't want to go to college or ppl who just want to "do it my way". I'm talking about the persecuted church who can't go to college or the person who lives in a country where there are no reformed seminaries or even remotely good seminaries.
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    I do not see any Biblical requirement for a formal education at an established institute of higher learning. What you will find is that a man be able to teach and that he study to show himself... rightly diving the Word of Truth.Can someone do that without a college education? Most certainly. I am doing it now (to the best of my ability) by reading as muchh as possible and interacting with other Christians to allow them to disciple me and that I may disciple some.
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    A lack of formal theological education is the breeding grounds for heresies and cults. Even in the school where I teach, many students' families attend churches where the pastor is self-taught. Most of these are in the charismatic/pentacostal vein.

    Third Millenium Ministries (appears to be loosely affiliated with RTS- Orlando) is working on providing low cost reformed theological training to foreign nationals who might not have the opportunity for a proper education.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OPC'n View Post
    I really believe that they should if at all possible. There's no reason for anyone to not have gone to college here in America. But there are so many nations (persecuted and non-persecuted but without reformed churches) that do not have resources to send men to college and yet they need reformed churches. How do we deal with this? Can there be pastor's who have learned reformed theology from missionaries and be a pastor of a church in that situation?
    I've always thought this was an interesting topic. Look at Christ's choice for apostles.

    Does an educated man's knowledge give glory to God or to his seminary?
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    The example of Jesus' disciples often gets thrown into this debate, but I do not think that makes a good point. Sure, many of them came from simple backgrounds, but they spent 3 years learning at the foot of the Master Himself. Imagine if all of our pastors were so well educated.

    Also, he most "influential" (in terms of NT epistles alone) of the Apostles was Paul. He was obviously highly educated. Of course, he did not sit at the foot of Christ as did the others.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marrow Man View Post
    The example of Jesus' disciples often gets thrown into this debate, but I do not think that makes a good point. Sure, many of them came from simple backgrounds, but they spent 3 years learning at the foot of the Master Himself. Imagine if all of our pastors were so well educated.

    Also, he most "influential" (in terms of NT epistles alone) of the Apostles was Paul. He was obviously highly educated. Of course, he did not sit at the foot of Christ as did the others.
    Look then at the Master himself. Where did he go to school?

    -----Added 9/16/2009 at 10:53:14 EST-----

    Another thing is that unbelievers get into positions of power at colleges and then use their authority to pervert the truth. Notice that none of the men or "women" who come out of Princeton these days believe the bible is true and they go off and teach accordingly using their degree as their autoritative platform.
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    I would say it's necessary to have an "education". It doesn't need to be a college education.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMasztal View Post
    A lack of formal theological education is the breeding grounds for heresies and cults. Even in the school where I teach, many students' families attend churches where the pastor is self-taught. Most of these are in the charismatic/pentacostal vein.

    Third Millenium Ministries (appears to be loosely affiliated with RTS- Orlando) is working on providing low cost reformed theological training to foreign nationals who might not have the opportunity for a proper education.

    Third Millennium Ministries
    The knife does cut both ways. One could argue that in some cases formal theological education is the breeding ground for heresies and cults. After all look at the NPP / FV this did originate in "formal theological education."
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    Of course a minister of the word should have a special education suited to that calling, but take a look at how ridiculously high the price of seminary is

    I have known many great pastors who have not gone through seminary, thankfully in Presbyterian circles we have the session test and determine who takes office, we do not just arbitrarily pick even those who do have degrees.

    I think academic training is very important but not to the point where we are will to be DEBT(Romans:Owe no man ANYTHING) to get it, now with the internet there are many ways to gain knowledge for free and it bugs me more than anything that places like TNARS.net are ignored.

    TNARS(our own Larry Bray is the President) has a GREAT educational program, I would argue in the top 3 seminaries at least, and it is completely free!!! If only Reformed denominations would stop ignoring the serious state of DEBT that seminaries force on a person and pay more attention to Reformed Institutions such as TNARS we would have a more biblical model of men in the church teaching men for the church, using TNARS material, I think it'd be good for all here to read TNARS goals and vision.

    Why should God's called ministers miss out on Reformed education just because of the cost of seminaries these days!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by OPC'n View Post
    I'm not talking about lazy ppl who don't want to go to college or ppl who just want to "do it my way". I'm talking about the persecuted church who can't go to college or the person who lives in a country where there are no reformed seminaries or even remotely good seminaries.
    Then I agree...if someone can get the proper knowledge some other way because a seminary type formal education is not available...then I don't see what difference it makes...

    But then my question becomes: what tools will the pastor have, who has no access to things like Greek, hebrew, hermeneutics, systematic theology...etc...

    Where does one get that kind of information in a persecuted 3rd world sort of situation?
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    Quote Originally Posted by charliejunfan View Post
    Of course a minister of the word should have a special education suited to that calling, but take a look at how ridiculously high the price of seminary is

    I have known many great pastors who have not gone through seminary, thankfully in Presbyterian circles we have the session test and determine who takes office, we do not just arbitrarily pick even those who do have degrees.

    I think academic training is very important but not to the point where we are will to be DEBT(Romans:Owe no man ANYTHING) to get it, now with the internet there are many ways to gain knowledge for free and it bugs me more than anything that places like TNARS.net are ignored.

    TNARS(our own Larry Bray is the President) has a GREAT educational program, I would argue in the top 3 seminaries at least, and it is completely free!!! If only Reformed denominations would stop ignoring the serious state of DEBT that seminaries force on a person and pay more attention to Reformed Institutions such as TNARS we would have a more biblical model of men in the church teaching men for the church, using TNARS material, I think it'd be good for all here to read TNARS goals and vision.

    Why should God's called ministers miss out on Reformed education just because of the cost of seminaries these days!!!
    That's exactly the situation I find myself in. TNARS is not accepting applications currently though .
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    Yeah I know, it's sad that more people won't volunteer as mentors, I certainly would. Then I'll already have the education if a calling matches my desire to be a minister of the word. Maybe I should talk to Larry about how to go about that.

    -----Added 9/16/2009 at 11:26:40 EST-----

    I would also like to mention that the seminary system has messed up the process of calling men in the church to preach the word. Everyone talks about being called to be a minister of the word and yet no one is, you know why? It is because now the focus is on seminary students instead of the members of the church, many young men have wasted all of their time and money because they falsely thought they had a calling to the pastorate!

    The church needs to remember to call people in the church instead of waiting until people suggest themselves to the church with their fancy diploma of mashed together wood, the church is not doing it's job of calling, rather the men now call on the church to validate their calling. This is backwards and needs to return!
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    Quote Originally Posted by charliejunfan View Post
    I would also like to mention that the seminary system has messed up the process of calling men in the church to preach the word. Everyone talks about being called to be a minister of the word and yet no one is, you know why? It is because now the focus is on seminary students instead of the members of the church, many young men have wasted all of their time and money because they falsely thought they had a calling to the pastorate!

    The church needs to remember to call people in the church instead of waiting until people suggest themselves to the church with their fancy diploma of mashed together wood, the church is not doing it's job of calling, rather the men now call on the church to validate their calling. This is backwards and needs to return!
    Very interesting thought. I agree.
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  28. #28
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    Blueridge Believer is offline. Puritanboard Professor
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    Coming from a baptist background most of the preachers I knew were not college trained. Some were good, some not so good. There are a couple of good examples in Bunyan and Spurgeon to argue against making it mandatory to have a college education. Also, since coming over to the Presbyterian side of things and having an opportunity via the internet to hear multitudes of Presbyterian preachers I've noticed what seems to be a 'cookie cutter' approach to preaching. I don't mean this to be derogatory but thier respective seminaries seem to influence even thier manner of delivery.
    Yes a lot of heresy comes from non-seminarians, but so too from seminarians. You would have to go to college to come up with a system like 'federal vision' or a 'new perspective in Paul' and such like.
    With that said I wish there were some way to speed up the process of getting QUALIFIED men to the field to start Presbyterian churches. Not everyone can drop everything and go to college. There are many good elders out there I fear that should be pastoring flocks who are in thier 40's and up who because of thier jobs, chlidren in college and other financial obligations can't just up and walk away to attend seminary.
    Just the musings and from the resident redneck Presbyterian.
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  29. #29
    Osage Bluestem is offline. Puritanboard Junior
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blueridge Believer View Post
    Yes a lot of heresy comes from non-seminarians, but so too from seminarians. .

    The biggest heresy to come from seminarians is the mainline teaching that the scriptures contain error.

    That is the biggest single problem facing the Church Universal in our day. It came from seminaries. They spread it by using their education as the justification for their ideas.

    I spoke with a PHD pastor from the ELCA in his office. The topic moved to the scriptures. He implied that the teaching of biblical inerrancy was false and spread by the ignorant. I pointed at the open bible on his desk and said "that is the written word of God" he looked me in the eye and flatly said "no it isn't"

    I realized at that moment we belonged to entirely different religions because our authorities were different. He believes in human reason and worldly approval based on institutional authority and right of passage by what is considered scholarly (Romans 1:22).

    I believe in the testimony of the Prophets and Apostles (Ephesians 2:20) as handed to me by the people of God which is the pillar and ground of the truth (1 Timothy 3:15). The truth the Church upholds is the gospel of Christ (1 Timothy 3:16) that is recorded in inspired scripture (2 Peter 1:16-21).
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMasztal View Post
    A lack of formal theological education is the breeding grounds for heresies and cults. Even in the school where I teach, many students' families attend churches where the pastor is self-taught. Most of these are in the charismatic/pentacostal vein.
    One could make the case that the divinity programs of Harvard, Yale, and Princeton (once bastions of biblical truth) are far more responsible for propagating heresy and error than all the backwoods preachers combined.

    Secondly, the church, and not the seminary is called the "pillar and ground of the truth." The church must hold a sacred preeminence over all other institutions of human origin, not because she is free from the threat of error, but because God has sworn to build-up, prosper, support, and defend her. Our confidence in the New Testament church is grounded in God's promise, not man's ability.

    So, with regard to the various theological schools offering informal/unaccredited ministerial training (e.g. Whitefield Theological Seminary, Reformed Baptist Seminary) all within the context of the local church and the oversight of these church's elders, I say Amen! After all, any school requiring active membership in a solid church as requisite to attending is a step above even some of our best schools in that regard.

    Bottom line: formal theological training is no guarantee against ministers preaching heresy and error. In fact, a formal education makes the weight of their error that much worse because people trust that one with such a level of education must know what he's talking about, right?

  31. #31
    Michael is offline. Puritanboard Senior
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    I would vote 'no' if this were a poll. The only requirements to be imposed on pastors should be biblical ones.

  32. #32
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    Since the original post was about education in the third world, I will keep my observations limited to that point. A very fine Reformed ministry, Third Millennium Ministries is doing their part to meet the need (Third Millennium Ministries). "Third Millennium Ministries' mission is to equip church leaders in their own lands by creating a multimedia seminary curriculum in five major languages in fifteen years". I think that they are worthy of our support.

    Third Millennium Ministries (IIIM) is an Evangelical Christian parachurch ministry (read our statement of faith). We are a non-profit corporation recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) organization.

    Our goal is to provide Christian education to hundreds of thousands of pastors around the world who lack sufficient training for ministry. We are meeting this goal by publishing and globally distributing a free multilingual, multimedia, digital seminary curriculum in English, Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), Russian and Spanish. The curriculum is designed to be used in support of existing schools, as well as by groups and individuals. It consists of three central elements: graphic-driven videos, printed instruction and internet resources.

    In order to accomplish our production goals, we have developed a highly cost-effective method of producing high-quality multimedia video lessons. We strive to maintain quality not only in production, but also in content. All our instructors are seminary professors, and our writers and editors are theologically trained educators. All our translators are theologically astute native speakers of their target languages.

    In order to accomplish our distribution goals, we have forged strategic relations with many different churches, denominations, agencies, missionaries, seminaries, Bible schools and other groups. These relations have already resulted in the distribution of thousands of video lessons to indigenous pastors and seminary students. IIIM websites also serve as avenues of distribution, and provide additional materials to supplement our videos.
    Last edited by DMcFadden; 09-16-2009 at 03:25 PM.
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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by DD2009 View Post
    Look then at the Master himself. Where did he go to school?
    I believe you would have to to say the Word made flesh who dwelt among us is at the very least the exception to the rule. Any church looking at calling God Incarnate as pastor might be waiting a while, my friend.

    Let's look at this another way. My mom's small rural church is probably firing their pastor this Sunday (not kidding). Part of the reason why is that a few influential members of the congregation have their eye on a young kid (early 20's) who's "preached" no more than a handful of times, who's never pastor, who has no training (not even serving under a trained minister), etc. While I wouldn't say that being seminary education is a must (but there are other ways a pastor can be trained), that scenario is a recipe for disaster.
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  34. #34
    Osage Bluestem is offline. Puritanboard Junior
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marrow Man View Post



    Let's look at this another way. My mom's small rural church is probably firing their pastor this Sunday (not kidding). Part of the reason why is that a few influential members of the congregation have their eye on a young kid (early 20's) who's "preached" no more than a handful of times, who's never pastor, who has no training (not even serving under a trained minister), etc. While I wouldn't say that being seminary education is a must (but there are other ways a pastor can be trained), that scenario is a recipe for disaster.

    It is the prerogative of the local Church who they call. If the elders of the Church believe God is with David and not Saul who are we to say otherwise?
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  35. #35
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    There are no elders in said congregation. The "influential members" are merely a husband and wife who took a shine to a 20-something young man. The pastor, they are running off, is in his 60's (so, in essence, they are getting rid of Samuel in favor of Saul). I did leave out the part where the congregation had a private meeting in the home of a member and made this decision apart from any sort of accepted polity to my knowledge.

    But I suppose you are right: if they wish to expel their current pastor in favor of a wholly unprepared one, they are reaping what they sow. But I don't think that is cause to look the other way. We should care that congregations have trained pastors. Even small rural churches deserve them.
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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by DD2009 View Post
    Look then at the Master himself. Where did he go to school?
    No offense, sir, but the Lord was the Maker of all things, the source of life and truth in all things - where did He need to go to school? As no minister, that I know of, fits any of these - training is a good thing for him. Now, does it necessarily need to be a brick and mortar institution? No. But training nonetheless is needed.

    -----Added 9/16/2009 at 04:44:06 EST-----

    Oops...Tim had already addressed this. Forget my previous comment.
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  37. #37
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    I have three observations.
    1. Most Elders of Primitive Baptist Churches, here in North America, do not have a seminary education, and many do not have a college degree.
    2. Some countries are still outwardly closed to the Gospel. The government of some other nations, like Burma and Laos, greatly hinder the Gospel. It may not be possible for Elders in these nations to receive a college education. Access to the Internet is greatly restricted so IIIM Ministries option may not be of much help there.
    3. IIIM Ministries has been mentioned as an on-line option for those who do not have a college education. One other option for on-line education that does not have college education as a prerequisite is The North American Reformed Seminary.
    The North American Reformed Seminary
    Having said that I also note that The North American Reformed Seminary functions by having mentors work with the students. TNARS is not currently accepting applications because they do not have enough TNARS mentors to service new students. Some on this board might consider inquiring into being a TNARS mentor.
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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skyler View Post
    I would say it's necessary to have an "education". It doesn't need to be a college education.
    When I read the opening post, the above response is exactly what popped into my mind. I believe it imperative for a pastor to be educated, however where or how he is educated is not neccessarily of importance as long as it is quality. To answer Sarah's opening question in regards to the foreign pastorate, sure they may not be able to attend a formal seminary, but they should have access to some books translated into their native tongue. Also missionaries who are training up men by educating them are to be commended.

    As for the argument that the bible does not state formal education is a requirement for pastoring, could these be because seminaries as we think of them, did not exist? What was the primary means of formal education in the time of Christ? I do remember that while Jesus did not go to seminary, what about Luke 2:41-50?

    41Every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover. 42When he was twelve years old, they went up to the Feast, according to the custom. 43After the Feast was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. 44Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. 45When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. 46After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, "Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you." 49"Why were you searching for me?" he asked. "Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's house?" 50But they did not understand what he was saying to them.
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  39. #39
    Osage Bluestem is offline. Puritanboard Junior
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    Quote Originally Posted by nicnap View Post

    No offense, sir, but the Lord was the Maker of all things, the source of life and truth in all things - where did He need to go to school?
    Others didn't know who Christ was at the time, he appeared lowly. Christ chose men not formally educated in the theology of their day to be his apostles.

    God doesn't need a man with a degree to speak his word.

    It is nice if a man has a degree, I believe that it should by no means be required. God works things on his time, A man may want to go to seminary but God may have him serve instead, remember Paul wanted to go to Spain, we see how that turned out.
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  40. #40
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    Quick comment: Note that those who are disagreeing that a college education is necessary still, if I understand them correctly, feel that a pastor should be educated and have a thorough understanding of God's Word. They're not playing down that fact.
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