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Joined: 2005/7/11
Posts: 1131


by Compliments on 2007/3/16 14:51:17

This is a tough question, because it can't be answered using yes or a no.

Every man must hear what God would have him to do. Some men need schooling, some don't, it's that simple.

Some men need schooling not for education purposes, but to learn to submit. Very very few others are so humble that they by pass the college and head right into the ministry.

But it's important to hear the voice of God for yourself.

Very well said!

 2007/3/16 15:52Profile

Joined: 2007/2/8
Posts: 13
Lawton, OK

 Re: Should pastors be schooled?

Let me put a different spin on this, since I have come from both camps.

It is not REQUIRED that anyone have a degree to preach the gospel. Its actually not a requirement to have degrees to be a pastor (this is an artificial requirement invented by organizations). You can start your own church without a degree.

While I acknowledge that the work of God can be done without a formal education, I am fairly leery of those without one. Why? Because it has been my practical experience that it will be those without the formal training in hermeneutics and exegesis that will make the most mistakes. I have heard the most horrendous things come out of people's mouths in pulpits and on the radio. Strange doctrines that are invented based on one or two verses.

If these individuals knew how to rightly divide the word these pronouncements and doctrines would never exist. No one is entitled to interpret or make pronouncements from Scripture just anything that they imagine. There are rules for interpretation. Unfortunately, the odds of you learning these rules at your church or on your own are very low.

When people point out those like Moody, Ravenhill, etc etc, they are omitting something very important. These men spent hours in study and prayer. They were ardent readers, and devoured the Word, as well as made practical application of it. I haven't found too many modern people willing or able to do that. These men also had other men who mentored them.

I also have a problem with those who broadly sweep all bible colleges and seminaries together and call them "apostate." I served under a pastor when I first was called to the ministry who was a high school drop out and had no formal education past that. He discouraged me from seeking formal education, saying it would "ruin me" because of the false teachings I would be introduced to. As it ends up, it was HE who ruined me. I listened to him and I didn't go to school. Years later, when I did go to bible college, I found out that it was that church that had false teachings. (Lack of education on the part of the congregation is also a way to have control over them.) That pastor later lost his ministry and his marriage over his strange ideas.

If you have the discipline, drive and the proper mentors to train you up in the ministry, then by all means, you can skip formal education. But if you don't have those three things, then it doesn't hurt to sit at the feet of someone else.

The church, almost has a whole, has failed to educate those in the pews. If the church was doing its job, there would be no need to have bible colleges/seminaries. You would be mentored at your home church by your pastor (which is the NT example). However, since expectations at most churches are very low, if you want to learn more in depth, you have to go somewhere else.

That's my take on it anyway.

Jon Dewey

 2007/3/17 15:59Profile


As for me...

I have only been a Christian for a short time (5 years) and have very little biblical knowledge. This is not to sell myself short or fail to realize that more prayer and reading my Bible will undoubtedly help me and that God gives me all that I need, but I feel that in my case, divinity college would assist me in areas which Pilgrimsway mentioned.

The 12 disciples learned from Jesus for a good 3.5 years before they 'went out into the world'. That was intense study, unlike my meandering walk when I first started off. I received Jesus, but my purpose was not as clear or I was not fully surrendered to what I had to do.

At the end of May, I will be finished my English teaching contract and will be more 'free' to make decisions. Three years of intense study, along with study and prayer will help me immeasurably.

This is not cast in stone, because I am willing to go wherever God needs me, but with my experiences and my situation, I see bible college as another step in the right direction (somewhat like teaching in Korea has been...experience to prepare for my purpose).

Packing a small bag and heading to India or Africa seems like a good option as well, but I also feel deep within that 'my testimony', however, good it may be, may be not enough for what I am called to do.

Anyway...I just would like to serve the best way possible. I really do not care about a 'masters' degree, I just need more solid foundation and understanding. How can reading books, talking to people, loggin onto SI, going to bible college, meditating on the Bible, and spending more time in prayer be harmful. The key is balance.

I am always open to suggestions though.

God Bless those that do YOUR will,

 2007/3/17 17:27



Compliments wrote:
This is a tough question, because it can't be answered using yes or a no.

Every man must hear what God would have him to do. Some men need schooling, some don't, it's that simple.

Some men need schooling not for education purposes, but to learn to submit. Very very few others are so humble that they by pass the college and head right into the ministry.

But it's important to hear the voice of God for yourself.

Wow, Compliments, I agree with you! :-D That's been quite a rare thing so far, so it feels good!

Well said


 2007/3/18 7:14

 Re: Biblical examples

Some really good thoughts recently, from PilgrimsWay and Brian M, nothing to add there.

There is a huge variety in the age that Biblical prophets etc started their "ministry", and the amount of "theological training" they had. Almost all would have had at least some teaching in the Scriptures, from childhood.

The youngest was Samuel, who had his first prophetic word when he was just a child.

Jeremiah protested that he was only a youth when God called him (he was of a priestly family so he probably meant that he was below the priestly "starting" age of 30). In general 30 was the age when a man was considered mature enough to be a spiritual leader - he could join the Army at 20.

Ezekiel (also of a priestly family) had his call when he was exactly 30. John the Baptist and Jesus Himself began their public ministries at 30.

Saul of Tarsus (later Paul the apostle) was a young man, (I don't think we know his exact age) and a brilliant scholar. He was highly trained in the OT Scriptures, under Gamaliel, one of the greatest Hebrew theologians of his day. He was also familiar with Greek learning and customs.

These days he would have had at least a doctorate in Theology and Classics!

After his conversion the Lord mightily used Paul's learning and zeal, but he had to be "tamed" first. His whole understanding of the Scriptures had to be turned upside down before God could use him.

Moses would have been trained as a prince, in the wisdom of the Egyptians, though his mother was his nurse probably told him something of his heritage and the law of the true God when he was little. He was 40 years old when he [i]thought[/i] he could begin his ministry. Or so I interpret it. He attacked an Egyptian taskmaster who was beating a Hebrew and killed him. And had to flee to the wilderness for another 40 years!

Only then was he ready, when he was 80, to begin his true calling.

Personally I have a lot of sympathy with Moses. I too thought I was ready to serve the Lord "full time", only to realise, years later, that I still wasn't "ready"!

in Christ


 2007/3/18 7:45

Joined: 2006/11/7
Posts: 1178

 Re: Should pastors be schooled?

Each believer needs to do what God puts in their heart to do. There are wondeful examples of excellent preacher/pastors in both camps. Led of the Lord, that's the ticket.

I am blessed by the amount of wisdom shared on this thread. It is quite good.

David Wilkerson has a bible school, you might check that out.

God bless.


 2007/3/18 10:31Profile

Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7504


This issue reminds of what an old professor [Ph.D.]at a Seminary one time told our pastor who was educated at Harvard, Princton. He told him how he is amazed that a person with no more then 8th grade education, who studies the Scriptures intently, has an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit, will come to the same conclusions about what the Bible teaches as one who has spent years in college/seminary.


Sandra Miller

 2007/3/18 17:04Profile

Joined: 2006/12/30
Posts: 8
Harvard, IL

 Re: Doe sone have to go to school to be a pastor?

A.W.Tozer is quoted in the Revival Hymn video as follows:

"He that is from above is above all.
I want to say dear Christians don't go around apologizing for Him.
Don't go around worried because you can't make His doctrines fit in with what you learned in school.
All you learned in school was one fallen head instructing another fallen head.
And you don't have to apologize for Him."

I have gone to school for a total of about 10 years, beginning in 1972 and I still take courses from time to time. I did get a degree in Biblical Literature and another in Christian Education. I went to school because I heard God tell me,"Dennis, I want you to go to school!" So I packed up my bags in North Carolina and went to Indiana to school. Then one day while I was at school I met this beautiful girl and fell madly in love. She was from Illinois and I was from North Carolina. We both went to Indiana because we both heard God telling us to go to school. Well, we got married and now we live in Illinois.

So I say if you think God is telling you to go to all means go to school! He may very well have a plan for you that you have no idea even exists. Just watch out for the "fallen heads" while you are there!

Dennis Norton

 2007/3/18 19:51Profile

Joined: 2006/2/2
Posts: 55
North Central Indiana


Praise Jesus!! Lion of Judah!!

By far the most important requisite for serving Christ is knowing HIM and sitting at HIS feet and letting HIS Holy Spirit teach. Unless i abide in HIM and HIM in me the greatest of educations is rubbish.

blessings Hisservant rich

Matthew 4:17

 2007/3/18 21:27Profile

Joined: 2006/4/2
Posts: 36


Dear Pilgrim'sway,

I agree with you that the Church as a whole is failing to teach believers in the way they should, but I also find just as many who are unwilling to be taught. My dad was my pastor and he never went to Bible College. He did do some correspondence later but, when he found too many disagreeable things like, who wrote the book of Acts and when? And, who wrote the first five books of the Bible (Jesus said Moses did) he told us it would only serve to confuse us.

I went to Bible College because I believe God told me to. I did not want to because I had been preaching from a little child and applying myself to learning and I knew I would argue with the teachers (and I did). I came up against the teaching of inner healing and generational curses - neither of which I believe to be correct. I recall our principal (who did most of the teaching in this little Bible College) telling us we should "put God first; our family second; our health third; and our ministry last". I told him I could not agree with that because I could not separate my ministry from God - nor did I see an hour's devotion first thing in the morning as putting God first. At that moment he told me my marriage would end in divorce but, later he returned to say he had thought about it some and agreed that you could not separate your ministry from God but he described it as a circle (actually, I didn't buy into that one either).

I challenged him so often that, at the end of our diploma year (that's as far as the Bible College went), when we were asked if we felt the Bible College had been helpful, everyone expected me to say no and grumble. However, when I thought it over I quickly answered yes for I felt I had got what God had intended.

However, the principles that were laid out to me from my childhood are still the ones I preach today. I did not learn these at a Bible College, but in Church. Anyone who is willing to learn and listen will fnd a place where God can instruct them.

God uses people who go to Bible College, and He uses people who don't. Paul instructed Timothy, "Study to show yourself approved." If you need Bible College to enforce that discipline upon you then, by all means go.




 2007/3/19 5:14Profile

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