Importance of Theological Education: Just a thought…

I was just thinking… although some may justify biblical education as unnecessary because of the fact that the twelve disciples were “uneducated,” such a suggestion must be put into context. If you have any knowledge of education Jewish children received when growing up, you would know that they were thrown into the study of the Scriptures, in particular, learning the Pentateuch (Genesis to Deuteronomy), at a very young age. If they were found to have the capacity to learn the Scriptures well, they would continue in school learning the rest of the Old Testament as they got older, eventually following a Rabbi.

Jesus’ disciples likely ended their education with the Pentateuch and learned the trade of their family (i.e., fishing). The disciples were considered uneducated in Bible times based on this fact that a person would not be called to follow a Rabbi (as Jesus was) unless they proved themselves a worthy student in the Scriptures.

But the disciples, because they were Jews, still would have had extensive training of the basics of the Jewish faith from the Genesis-Deuteronomy. I wouldn’t call that “uneducated” the way the many opponents to Theological training tend to use.

What do you think? To be in full-time ministry, is a Theological (Bible College/Seminary) degree necessary?

2 Replies to “”

  1. Trev, how are you? This is Chris Raben. I saw this link on Robyn’s facebook page and I happened to see this brief article on theological education.

    I would think that there is no right or wrong answer here, except to be led by the Spirit; either to go to Bible college if that is what the Spirit says, or dont go if that what the Spirit says.

    However, in response to your question, I do not think that one needs a theological degree to be in full-time ministry. To be in a full-time ministy one needs to be called and gifted by God; pursuing a degree will get you neither. God’s anointing must rest upon the person. I am convinced that there is tremendous benefit in finding a Holy Spirit led person to mentor for the new and mature Christian, in the form of discipling. We need people who chase after God to be in full-time ministry, and not the focus on whether they have a degree or not. I would rather listen for 5 minutes to the person who sat at the feet of God, than listen for 5 hrs to the person who had 5 years of experience studying the Bible.

    I do believe that many blessing and benefits are not received because the doors are closed on anointed people just because they do not have a degree.

    God bless,
    Chris
    ttcraben@hotmail.com

    1. Hey Chris! How are you!? Long time! Thanks for the comments.

      I would agree with you in that we should not so easily allow someone who is
      clearly Spirit-filled but without education to fall by the way-side when it
      comes to church leadership. In fact, I was privileged to be a part of a
      church here in Toronto who hired from within their congregation so as to
      have a better representation in their staffing of the community they are
      serving. And they had two members who did not have any formal diploma or
      degree.

      One line I would draw however would be in the amount of teaching this person
      gave to the local church as a whole. I would not be comfortable with them
      preaching from the pulpit every Sunday. Having lived in Kenya, I befriended
      so many pastors, even the pastors I went to class with, who had endless
      variations on their interpretation of Scripture, most of which was very
      incorrect and unbiblical. And they were in charge of a church or in some
      cases they were Bishops overseeing many churches in a region. Sadly they are
      passing along poor theology to their followers which in the end can be a
      detriment to God’s purposes.

      All that to say, I don’t think theological training is pertinent for a
      leader, depending on the type of leadership they are providing to the local
      church. If teaching is a primary role, just as a high school teacher goes
      through their 5 years (usually) of training to get to that opportunity, why
      should we not hold teaching pastors to the same, if not higher, standard as
      representatives of God?

      Peace, Chris. Miss you guys a lot!

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