A Christian couple, John and Sarah, wanted to have children, but after spending a fortune for fertility treatments they were still not pregnant.  They were told by friends it must not be God’s will for them to have children. They couldn’t understand how a neighbor’s child, a crack addict and abusive mother, was pregnant for the fourth time. They asked, “Why did God allow her to have another child when she has been such a horrible mother? How is this God’s will?”

Shortly afterwards, Sarah learned she was pregnant. John and Sarah rejoiced that God had heard their prayers and she delivered a healthy boy.  Two years later, the child contracted an illness and died.  The parents were heartbroken, but they were also mad at God for letting this happen. Well-meaning Christians tried to console them with such words as, “God wanted your child home with him,” “God’s ways are mysterious,” “God’s ways are not our ways,” and “This is God’s will.” The couple rightly asked, “If this is God’s will, what kind of God would do this?”

The couple deserved more than simple platitudes and lazy theology. They deserved a minister who is disciplined in strenuous theological reflection. They deserved wise counsel from soul doctors who had explored difficult questions concerning the nature and character of God. They deserved counsel born out of an intimate experience with God.  It is okay to say, “I don’t know.”  It is inexcusable to give simplistic explanations that defame the character of God. What does the advice say about the nature of God? What does this belief say about God’s love? Does this theology make God smaller or bigger?

Why should someone get a seminary degree? Attending seminary should not be about becoming credentialed. It should be more than learning how to administer a church or ministry organization. Seminary education is not solely for the acquisition of Bible knowledge. Theological education is for those who want to intimately know God. It is for those who are willing to abandon preconceived ideas about God and discover the width and breadth of God’s love.

Our world is complex. People wrestle with difficult questions concerning human relationships, justice, and spirituality. They deserve better than lazy theology.  If you are ready to fully prepare yourself to minister wisely to hurting people, to enter completely into the struggle to understand and communicate difficult truths, it may be time for you to start your seminary journey.  For more information, contact an Admissions Counselor.

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