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SEAN McDOWELL Author and assistant professor of Christian apologetics Biola University I have been fortunate to go through college and two different graduate schools for training in theology and apologetics. While all my training was valuable and life changing, my time at Talbot Theological Seminary, where I earned an M.A. in Theology and an M.A. in Philosophy, was absolutely formative. My wife recently commented about how that time in my life—three years in my mid 20s—was the time where she saw the most growth in my intellect and passion for Christ. I didn’t have kids yet, and my wife was working full time to help support me, which really freed me up to commit myself to studies and to build relationships with some of my professors and fellow students. This was a special season in our lives, and I wouldn’t change it for anything. I realize everyone may not have the interest or resources to go to grad school. But if you’re planning to work with students and desire to be a resource for the church, grad school training in theology is a necessity. Paul said to “study to show yourself approved by God” (2 Tim. 2:15). So much confusion and errors in the church come from poor theology. Taking a season in your life to commit to study can help prepare you for lifelong influence that is faithful to the gospel. cha ri s masbe st.co m
I’m so thankful that I was able to attend a Christian grad school because it enriched my life both professionally as a writer and personally as a follower of Christ. Because of my education at Fuller Theological Seminary, my novels became much deeper and theologically rich. New ideas for stories came out of class discussion and digging into what Scripture had to say, particularly in the original languages. I especially came to love New Testament Greek! After I graduated, I was then able to write a different kind of book— nonfiction that incorporates fictional sections, academic insights, language analysis and deeply personal insights to explore the journey of biblical characters and how they relate to our lives today. I love the integration of seminary learning with the biblical lessons of life. These rich explorations of life and the Bible are only possible because of my seminary training. Personally, attending Christian grad school has benefited me even more. Through studying original languages, biblical exegesis and God’s history with His people, I’ve been able to discover more of the amazing nuances and beauty that lie in Scripture. I have fallen more deeply in love not only with the Bible, but with the God of the Bible Himself. I have discovered more of the wonder of God. Christian grad school has been God’s gift to me!
DR. MICHAEL RAKES Author and pastor Winston Salem First Winston-Salem, North Carolina I attended and received degrees from three different Christian grad schools. Sometimes you’ll hear someone in the ministry say, “They never taught me that at seminary,” and the answer to that is a definite yes. But having served as an adjunct in several different graduate programs, the best response to that statement is, “How could we?” Life and culture move and change, and grad school prepares you not with technical skills necessarily but theological and philosophical skills to help you create solutions, lead organizations and respond to the ever-increasing anti-Jesus mindset. Learning requires humility on the side of the learner. I attended Baptist, Presbyterian and Assemblies of God seminaries and gained so much from each institution. You need grad school because you need perspective; you need God’s grace to help you brighten the city where you live and be the love of God in a pluralistic culture. The best advice I have for someone thinking about grad school is: Do it but with the attitude of a seeker, a learner and an actor in your educational drama, not just a spectator. Embrace and engage the challenges and threats to your deeply held beliefs, loosen your stance a little and trust the Holy Spirit to guide you into all truth. 2 01 6 | C H A RI S M A ’S B EST
Published on Mar 30, 2016
Charisma's Best Graduate Schools, Seminaries and Online Education is an exhaustive list of Christian advanced-education institutions organiz...