Deciding to attend seminary is not one that anybody should make lightly. Before beginning your seminary education, it’s essential to be sure that it’s the right choice for you. Is studying in a seminary program the best way for you to serve God and others? The answer to that question is deeply personal, but it’s one of many you must consider when deciding whether to go to seminary.
Questions to Consider When Deciding to Pursue a Seminary Education
When choosing a seminary, it’s important to consider why you are doing so and the road that has led you to this point. Examine your faith, your calling, and how attending seminary can shape your future. Answering the following questions may help guide you as you make this critical decision.
Am I Passionate About My Faith?
Passion is perhaps the most vital ingredient in achieving success in seminary school and the work you do after graduation. Are you passionate about your religion, and do you have the desire to spread God’s word to create new disciples? Further still, do you aspire to deepen your understanding of your faith through studying history, the Bible, and the church? Attending seminary will require you to be motivated by faith and will challenge you to strengthen your relationship with God as you bear witness to today’s church. Suppose you feel compelled to explore the life-changing power of the Holy Spirit and find yourself continually striving to become more Christ-like. In that case, you may discover seminary education is the best way to honor your passion for your faith.
Has God Called on Me?
Another key ingredient in the recipe for a successful seminary journey is a calling from God. Have you been called by the Lord to serve? And if so, what do you feel is the best way to honor that calling? A life of ministry is also a life filled with selfless sacrifice and unrelenting dedication as God works through you. It is not always easy to do God’s will, even when you are committed to living a life of service. Take time to consider your calling, and if you need guidance or reassurance, that’s when you turn to God. Ask Him to show you the way, to help clarify His will.
If you feel that passion in your soul that is undeniably God’s calling, have faith as you step into your seminary education that He has set you on the right path.
What Kind of Theology Degree Should I Earn?
Not all seminary degrees are alike, and it’s essential to know the differences between them and choose the course of study that best aligns with your calling and goals. At United Theological Seminary, six different degree programs are available at both the masters and doctoral levels.
If you’re interested in pursuing your master’s degree, you can choose from the Master of Arts (MA), Master of Theological Studies (MTS), Master of Ministry (MMin), Master of Divinity (MDiv), and Master of Arts in Christian Ministries (MACM) programs. While all of these options will provide you with an education rooted in the historic faith of the Holy Spirit, each course of study is unique. The Master of Divinity program best suits pastors or those who wish to become pastors or professional lay ministers. On the other hand, the Master of Theological Studies course takes a more academic approach to religion. Those seeking leadership roles within the church, specifically those who wish to become a Deacon, should consider the Master of Ministry program. For those who wish to pursue leadership and service roles on a community level, the Master of Arts in Christian Ministries course may be ideal. The Master of Arts program is intentionally flexible and can be customized to support a wide range of needs and interests.
If you have already completed graduate-level seminary education and are interested in earning a doctoral degree, United Theological Seminary offers a Doctor of Ministry (DMin) program. The doctoral program was created with religious leaders in mind and provides the tools and skills necessary for you to expand your ministry and create more disciples of God.
Before applying to seminary school, you should ask yourself which program most appeals to you and how your course of study applies to your path of ministry after graduation.
What Do I Want to Do After Graduation?
The question of what you’ll do after graduation goes hand in hand with choosing the appropriate course of seminary study. It’s important to have a general idea of where you’re going before you embark on your journey of seminary education. Are you interested in becoming a pastor? What do you imagine your future ministry to be? Or are you interested in pursuing a career in academia? Seminary graduates have many jobs and are not limited to preaching to their congregations on Sunday, though that is certainly a viable path. If you decide to attend seminary, you can choose to become a chaplain, a social worker, a leader at a nonprofit organization, a teacher, or even an artist. God calls upon seminary graduates to serve in many ways, and setting goals for what you’ll do after graduation can help you select the course of study most beneficial to achieving them.
How Can I Expand My Faith?
If you find yourself wondering how you can nurture your faith so it will grow and flourish, you may find that seminary is the best place to do just that. Seminary provides you with the tools you need to be of service within your community and connect with other believers. By engaging with fellow members of the church, your faith will expand. You will also find that you will become involved with local ministries, develop relationships as both a mentor and a mentee, and grow spiritually and professionally. Sharing your faith with others is often the catalyst for its growth and expansion.
- Am I passionate about my faith? Are you passionate about your religion, and do you have the desire to spread God’s word to create new disciples?
- Has God called on me? Have you been called by the Lord to serve? And if so, what do you feel is the best way to honor that calling?
- What kind of theology degree should I earn? Not all seminary degrees are alike, and it’s essential to know the differences between them and choose the course of study that best aligns with your calling and goals.
- What do I want to do after graduation? The question of what you’ll do after graduation goes hand in hand with choosing the appropriate course of seminary study. It’s important to have a general idea of where you’re going before you embark on your journey of seminary education
- How can I expand my faith? If you find yourself wondering how you can nurture your faith so it will grow and flourish, you may find that seminary is the best place to do just that. Seminary provides you with the tools you need to be of service within your community and connect with other believers.
Fulfill Your Calling at United Theological Seminary
Once you have received a calling from God and have prayed to Him for guidance, you may find that seminary is the path you are meant to take. United Theological Seminary’s mission is to prepare faithful and fruitful Christian leaders to make disciples of Jesus Christ. At United, the Bible lies at the core of theological formation and reflection, and each day you’ll turn to the Holy Spirit to guide your transformation through faithful discipleship. Regardless of which of United Theological Seminary’s six degree programs you choose, you will receive the educational foundation you need to go forth into the world and fulfill God’s calling through a lifetime of ministry and service.