Ministry & Leadership - Spring 2017 - 5
by Dr. Ligon Duncan
Why Do We Still Need Seminaries?
hat are seminaries for? Do we
still need them? A lot of questions are swirling around theological education today, and
since you are reading this, you
clearly care about preparing
pastors and church leaders who
believe God's Word and embrace sound, biblical Christian
theology, so perhaps we should
reflect together on these things.
Today, many people are looking
at other options rather than residential theological education,
and for a variety of reasons: the
high cost of residential theological education, the desire to stay
connected to a ministry in the
local church, or even the view
that seminary isn't the best way
to prepare for ministry.
I assure you that theological
educators are thinking about
these kinds of things, and hear
them all the time. What is our
Ministry & Leadership
answer at RTS?
Well, to begin with, at RTS we
believe that the best preparation
for a lifetime of ministry is the
combination of a solid seminary
theological education along
with membership, mentoring
and ministry in a healthy local
church. Students who have both
the grounding of rigorous and
reverent academic preparation
in a seminary that fully embraces inerrancy and Reformed
theology, in combination with
the experience of and service in
a healthy local church, simply
have irreplaceable advantages
over those who don't.
And this is one of the great
advantages of RTS's multi-campus system. Our students are
able to serve in more churches
while pursuing their theological education because of our
multiple campuses. There are
simply more healthy churches
for us to partner with and participate in than if we were only
in one location.
What about those who question the need for seminary?
Well, I would argue that the
need for sound theological education at the seminary level is
greater than ever before. We live
in a culture that considers itself
intellectually and morally superior to Christianity. It is cynical
and skeptical of the truth claims