how important are Bible colleges/Seminaries etc

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T.U.L.I.P. TYLER

Inactive User
I am sick and tired of Bible colleges and Seminaries :(

I have been to two of them thus far and again am thinking about transferring. But this time I am praying about finishing my degree up at a secular college/university. The first school I went to was complete classic liberalism which denied Jesus being God, raising from the dead etc. (and yes it was funded by baptist) I took my credits to Criswell College in Dallas. I was really happy because the staff had to sign a paper each year stating they believed in fundamental doctrine. Now I have professors teaching NT Wright heresey and against sola scriptura or I get alot of cheap grace etc. No one is reformed, and if I dare mention to fellow students that we should not be fornicating and getting drunk or watching bad movies I get stoned.
I know lots of people who graduate from semaries and bible colleges and are complete crazy in their theology and do not know how to build the church or live godly. I know others who are pastors at reformed churchs who have no bible college or MD and can defend the faith like no other and can really pastor.

Really how important is Bible education from colleges etc?


ps. I love this website (first time post)
 

CharlieJ

Puritan Board Junior
The method of delivery doesn't matter so much. That the knowledge gets delivered is very important. That being said, I think education is extremely important. It is a rare person who can actually gain all the benefits of formal education without one.

I think if you had better experiences, you would not be asking the question. There are great schools out there; you just haven't been to them.
 

jwithnell

Moderator
Staff member
Your decision might be helped by prayerfully defining your goals. Where would you like to be 10 years from now? How will your education help you reach that goal?
 

ZackF

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Nobody from the rebooted "Redeemer" seminary in Dallas has moved in for the kill??
 

T.U.L.I.P. TYLER

Inactive User
Your decision might be helped by prayerfully defining your goals. Where would you like to be 10 years from now? How will your education help you reach that goal?

thats what I talked about with my pastor today, I want to be on the mission field with my wife witnessing the gospel. Then after that for a long time, I want to be a Pastor at a Reformed Baptist Church.
 

DTK

Puritan Board Junior
Really how important is Bible education from colleges etc?

I think you're (perhaps unconsciously) attempting to make your own experience the measure of reality. There are things to be learned at Bible Colleges and Seminaries that will prove beneficial to you if you'll persevere through the hardships. Endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ, as one once said to his young friend (2 Tim 2:3).

But your experience is not unique. The tendency in the midst of such trials, as you've described, is for an individual to try to make himself or herself out to be the most unique creature on the face of the earth - "No one's ever had to put up with what I've endured, and benefited from it." I think your experiences are good ones for you to face, because they're preparing you for what you're going to face in our society with the increasing secularization of the church with worldly values. I would challenge you to think about what you've said and contemplate your providential circumstances in the light of the command of our Lord to be salt and light where we are, and make the most of whatever situation the Lord is pleased to draw into your experience for His glory and your good.

The things we encounter in life that tempt us to say like Jacob of old, "all these things are against me," (Gen 42:36) are often the very things (as Jacob discovered) that are working together gloriously for our good in the purposes of God.

Persevere!
DTK
 

Jon 316

Puritan Board Sophomore
Really how important is Bible education from colleges etc?

I think you're (perhaps unconsciously) attempting to make your own experience the measure of reality. There are things to be learned at Bible Colleges and Seminaries that will prove beneficial to you if you'll persevere through the hardships. Endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ, as one once said to his young friend (2 Tim 2:3).

But your experience is not unique. The tendency in the midst of such trials, as you've described, is for an individual to try to make himself or herself out to be the most unique creature on the face of the earth - "No one's ever had to put up with what I've endured, and benefited from it." I think your experiences are good ones for you to face, because they're preparing you for what you're going to face in our society with the increasing secularization of the church with worldly values. I would challenge you to think about what you've said and contemplate your providential circumstances in the light of the command of our Lord to be salt and light where we are, and make the most of whatever situation the Lord is pleased to draw into your experience for His glory and your good.

The things we encounter in life that tempt us to say like Jacob of old, "all these things are against me," (Gen 42:36) are often the very things (as Jacob discovered) that are working together gloriously for our good in the purposes of God.

Persevere!
DTK

This is great advice!

I really cant add much to it, save to say that my own experience with bible college confirms that this is good advice.

Theological College can be a Refiners Fire, Refiners Fire burns up teh dross in our lives.

I had to study two years in an evangelical college, I was doing youth work and theology at the time. The course was extremely humanistic and liberal. However the skills I developed proved beneficial for working in a secular context (I am currently a student teacher in a state school). Although I had to fight to hold on the Bible, the struggle was good for me. It brought character issues to the surface and God was doing a work in me, a work which would not be done had I went to a college which just taught me what I already agreed with.

Education is much broader than Bible Study, and rightly so. Why pay thousands of dollars/ pounds to study the bible?

As has been pointed out, you need to think about where you think you will be in the future.

Bible colleges are helpful but they are not really scriptural. At the end of the day Jesus did not give out degrees, infact he abhorred human titles. This is not to say the process is not beneficial, it can be.

Studying under liberal lecturers would not have been my choice, but through it God developed me. If anything it has strengthend me.
 

SemperEruditio

Puritan Board Junior
I chose to remain at my ubber liberal seminary because it is more like what I will face than attending a Reformed seminary. I have just started taking courses at Whitefield to get a more solid grounding. Seminary can be cemetery for some however it is up to the student. There is a lot that is learned in the walls of seminary whether conservative or liberal that would take years on the outside. I highly encourage it but go into it with your eyes open. Know why you are attending. You can pick the brains of pastors who have been in the trenches of the ministry for years and some decades. There is a wealth of practical knowledge at seminary from your instructors and fellow students. Do not limit yourself because you do not see the immediate need. There are treasure to be found in seminary but they require work and a willingness to listen and not think I know something simply because I read Calvin's Institutes.

Note I am talking to myself as much as posting for you guys. The women I have had as professors and fellow students have also provided a wealth of knowledge. :think:
 

DTK

Puritan Board Junior
This is great advice!
Thanks for the affirmation, John. I've been where our brother is now, and shared some of the same discouraging thoughts in both Bible College and Seminary.

I speak not so much to our brother above now, but so very often we profess the desire to serve the Lord, and yet we desire to do so in the most perfect of conditions and circumstances, and find ourselves (albeit unconsciously sometimes) trying to dictate to God what those conditions and circumstances must be. Thank God for the men who frequently reminded me that our terms of surrender to Christ are unconditional.

DTK
 

The Mexican Puritan

Puritan Board Freshman
I earned the Bachelor of Ministry degree in 2007 from an interdenominational Bible college. I was an alcoholic and a drug addict; I wanted to establish a relationship with God so that I could be freed of that sort of life. But I also understood the importance of obtaining a higher education. Bible college helped me address both issues. I would do it all over again. It sounds like you just didn't get a chance to go to the RIGHT Bible college. Ask your pastor(s)and elders to guide you in your quest for a good Reformed education.
 
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N. Eshelman

Puritan Board Senior
I have attended secular university, Christian college, and "Bible College". My opinion of Bible College is don't waste your money. Save it for seminary.
 

Jon 316

Puritan Board Sophomore
This is great advice!
Thanks for the affirmation, John. I've been where our brother is now, and shared some of the same discouraging thoughts in both Bible College and Seminary.

I speak not so much to our brother above now, but so very often we profess the desire to serve the Lord, and yet we desire to do so in the most perfect of conditions and circumstances, and find ourselves (albeit unconsciously sometimes) trying to dictate to God what those conditions and circumstances must be. Thank God for the men who frequently reminded me that our terms of surrender to Christ are unconditional.

DTK

Sounds like your process has been similar to my own. I totally understand that whole bit about wanting to serve in 'perfect conditions' and 'dictating to the Lord'. Its amazing what walking through the furnace of imperfection can teach you (mostly stuff about yourself!). Again, good wisdom.

p.s I keep thinking I'm talking to a woman when I reply to you! lol
 

T.U.L.I.P. TYLER

Inactive User
But see the thing is, I am not learning from it at all. I am a big reader, and learn most of my Bible from reading and church. I have a great pastor who knows lots and I have learned more from hiim than any of my teachers. I am still going to check in to it.

-----Added 3/18/2009 at 03:07:00 EST-----

Tyler,

How old are you? Are you married?

I am young :)
19 and married!
 

Jon 316

Puritan Board Sophomore
But see the thing is, I am not learning from it at all. I am a big reader, and learn most of my Bible from reading and church. I have a great pastor who knows lots and I have learned more from hiim than any of my teachers. I am still going to check in to it.

-----Added 3/18/2009 at 03:07:00 EST-----

Tyler,

How old are you? Are you married?

I am young :)
19 and married!

There is a learning that goes beyond the lectures and the books. Your circumstances will provide a learning that lectures and books never could.

In your circumstances there is a lot you will learn about yourself. e.g motives for ministry, issues of character, how you respond to people who disagree with you. How you handle opposition. Humility, many men of God speak of 'learning from those we disagree with'. There is always something to learn.
 

DTK

Puritan Board Junior
p.s I keep thinking I'm talking to a woman when I reply to you! lol
I figure my daughter is a lot prettier than I am, so I've posted her pic rather than mine.

DTK
 

cbryant

Puritan Board Freshman
This is just my :2cents: so here goes. You ask the purpose of bible colleges and here is my opinion, basically it is a place where parents who want to shelter their children from the world send them to study thinking they will be protected. I have a friend who teaches at a christian college (which will remain nameless at this time) and he has reaffirmed this belief. I am not trying to step on any toes but that is my opinion. Some attend bible colleges with the knowledge they are going to seminary afterward and they think it will better prepare them. In my experience those who went to bible colleges then seminary were only marginally better prepare than those who went to 'secular' schools. Do they have value, yes but I would recommend that they have enough funding in the form of grants and scholarships and to avoid loans if possible.

In the USA colleges and seminaries were originally started to prepare men for the ministry. Colleges have became a little more than vocational training :worms: however seminaries have kept to some degree this view however some have secondary purposes as well. Just as not all colleges are created equal, all seminaries are not created equal. Some denominations (and I am including Baptist here) require those ordained to have a Seminary education. When looking at a seminary, look up articles and books that the faculty have published to get some idea of what will be taught.
 

ZackF

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Tempted as I was yesterday to post on this thread again it was best that I think it over. I think Tyler has a legitimate beef. A seminarian has just cause to expect his professors to nurture him in knowledge and godliness. It's not about expecting pre-glorified perfection but common sense. Plodding through a liberal seminary when such a path is foreseen by the student is one thing but that isn't the case here. The idea of spending thousands of dollars to work around false teachers when it is unexpected is preposterous. I personally couldn't stand for it. I don't see how Tyler should. Should Tyler go to Catholic University, or the Josephenum for seminary?

I don't mean one have to avoid certain expected things. If you go to WTS, Covenant, WTSCAL, or RTS and you are a Reformed Baptist you know it is likely going to be Paedo my Eggo. You are not likely to get anything else. Likewise most don't expect a favorable, nurturing environment for theonomy at the Masters Seminary. However, you shouldn't have to defend the Resurrection or the inspiration of the Bible.

This is not to say one should be ignorant of the junk. In one of his lectures on post-modernism D.A. Carson raises the point that students should be exposed to and supervised in trendy and unorthodox stuff as way of deepening understanding and inoculation. However, a path to safety should be provided by professors, teachers, parents or whomever the authority is. This is a far cry from having the great saints of the past dragged through the mud and the sacred doctrines of the faith maligned. I couldn't stand it.
 

GD

Puritan Board Freshman
Everybody seems to recommend the path they took - and I am guilty of that too. :) In my case, I went to a secular state university for ancient history/classics, but would not trade that experience/seminary prep for anything. When I was exposed to the weak arguments against Christianity by a prof who was a "Jesus Seminar" member, it was one of the first "stumbling blocks" for my lack of belief. The Holy Spirit is busy even in the secular postsecondary wasteland.
 
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CharlieJ

Puritan Board Junior
I have attended secular university, Christian college, and "Bible College". My opinion of Bible College is don't waste your money. Save it for seminary.

I agree. You can come to seminary with virtually any major. Some like Classics or philosophy will help you put things together in seminary. Some like computer science or accounting will probably help you make money to get through seminary and beyond. I went to a Bible college and majored in Bible, but I don't think I would do that again. Then again, I did come to Reformed theology through that, so I'll be thankful for what the Lord has done in my life.
 
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