Seminary should be like boot camp

Richard Pratt in explaining how seminary should change:

The agenda of evangelical seminaries is set primarily by scholars. Professors decide how students will spend their time; they determine students’ priorities; they set the pace. And guess what. Scholars’ agenda seldom match the needs of the church.

Can you imagine what kind of soldiers our nation would have if basic training amounted to reading books, listening to lectures, writing papers, and taking exams? We’d have dead soldiers. The first time a bullet wizzed past their heads on the battlefield, they’d panic. The first explosion they saw would send them running. So, what is basic training for the military? Recruits learn the information they need to know, but this is a relatively small part of their preparation. Most of basic training is devoted to supervised battle simulation. Recruits are put through harrowing emotional and physical stress. They crawl under live bullet fire. They practice hand to hand combat.

If I could wave a magic scepter and change seminary today, I’d turn it into a grueling physical and spiritual experience. I’d find ways to reach academic goals more quickly and effectively and then devote most of the curriculum to supervised battle simulation. I’d put students through endless hours of hands-on service to the sick and dying, physically dangerous evangelism, frequent preaching and teaching the Scriptures, and days on end of fasting and prayer. Seminary would either make them or break them.

Do you know what would happen? Very few young men would want to attend. Only those who had been called by God would subject themselves to this kind of seminary. Yet they would be recruits for kingdom service, not mere students. They would be ready for the battle of gospel ministry.

(HT: Justin Buzzard)

Peter serves as a pastor-teacher, at home and abroad, resourcing gospel-centred communities.

2 thoughts on “Seminary should be like boot camp

  1. Excellent. Reminds me of the quote in the “heavenly man” where he talks about the Bible college curriculum in China which included practical training in escaping from prison!

  2. Interesting article and comments.
    Seems everyone knows “the System” is broken.

    Shouldn’t seminaries be closed down
    if they’re teaching extra stuff not in the Bible?

    I was wondering.
    Can any edjumakated semetarynariuns name one person
    in the Bible called by the “title” pastor?

    Did Jesus train anyone to be a leader in the Bible?
    Did Jesus, or anyone, train disciples of Christ to be a Pastor in the Bible?
    I can’t find anyone, in the Bible, called pastor or with the title pastor.

    If training pastors and training leaders is important to Jesus;
    How come Jesus never did it? How come His disciples never did it?

    In the Bible, all disciples of Christ called themselves servants.
    How come none called themselves pastors and none called themselves leaders?

    Why is that done today? If it’s not in the Bible?
    Why do some brethren call themselves pastor and leader?
    Or, maybe I’m missing something?

    And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold:
    them also I must bring, and they shall “hear My Voice;”
    and there shall be “ONE” fold, and “ONE” shepherd.
    John 10:16

    One Fold – One Shepherd – One Voice.
    If Not Now, When?

    Be blessed and be a blessing

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