Seminary Deal Breaker?

26 01 2008

Our Lead Pastor resigned almost one year ago return to his native Colorado. He’s working for one church, planting others in the area. It’s what God has called him and equipped him for and he does it well. This left our congregation with two remaining pastors. One is our “Pastor of Community Life” and the other is our “Pastor of Student Ministries.” Our “CL” pastor has been with us for almost two years. Our “SM” pastor was born in our church, left for YWAM and college, and returned to the church. We’ve been searching for a new “Lead Pastor” since. We are releasing our interim pastor this week after about 7 months of great leadership (a financial decision). Our search committee has a very good candidate they are about to bring to the congregation for a “look see.” For those of you who are familiar with this type of process in church leadership, you may be thinking “oh yeah, I’ve been down this road before.” For those who’s churches do not fill their pulpit this way, it may seem completely foreign. I grew up in churches who’s constitutions and bylaws call for this very process and it’s foreign to me sometimes.

I don’t have a problem with the process itself so much as the politics that always seems to accompany something that should be at all times, in complete unity with what God is willing for the particular body of believers. Why are a certain list of “requirements” necessary, outside those listed in scripture for a pastor (see 2Timothy as well as others). Our church’s current dilemma is whether or not a man who does not have a post graduate degree from seminary is qualified to hold the position of “Lead Pastor.”

What are your thoughts? Is a seminary degree required for one to seek this position? Is is possible for a man to be the “right man for the job” without this box checked off on his resume? I’m pretty sure the Bible doesn’t say anything about seminary so I’m not questioning the scriptural validity of the “requirement”, but rather why it seems so important to some and not to others. Is is a deal-breaker? Why or why not? The more details the better.




5 responses

28 01 2008

I think some formal Bible training is nice, but not necessary. I really feel that God can use anyone. If you interview someone, you should be able to get a feel for if they are the right fit for the church.

I just hate to to say such and such is required. Ministry positions require a lot of schooling (in my experience) and don’t really pay the person back for it. I think if we as a church could switch to apprenticeship type training it would be hugely beneficial.

28 01 2008

I don’t claim to know much about this subject at all. But I know that I think our pastor is wonderful, and he did not attend formal seminary. He has had awesome experience in ministry and significant mentoring previous to the senior pastor position. But he did not go to seminary. In fact, now that I think of it, only one of our pastors has a seminary degree. But they are all wonderful men who love and fear God and definately have callings on their lives to pastor the people in our congregation.

28 08 2008

Beth – as someone on the other side of the lecturn, you can see how destructive an uneducated pastor can be, on my blog –

I hope this is of some value –

a Seminary education is imperative


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