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Part one was addressed to the grade nerds. Today, I speak to the rest of you.
No one else may care what your grades are in seminary…. but you should.
(Fair warning. Those who know me know that one of my finger wagging episodes is only moments away.)
You should care about your grades, to the degree that they reflect your stewardship of your education. The opportunity you have for a seminary education is a rare gift that many thousands of pastors all over the world would give their right arm for, if they even had the chance.
Can you stand with clean conscience before God about the effort you’re putting into your seminary coursework?
If you’re one of those students who want to get by with the minimum, who hang back and don’t exert or stretch yourself at all, then why are you even there? If you wanted an “easier” education, then spend $200 on crappy popular level books at your local Christian book store. Or just get some Beth Moore DVDs and call it a day. It’ll be easier, you won’t have to think, and it’ll cost you much less.
But if you’re preparing to lead God’s people, you’d better prepare well and be willing to work hard at it.
Several months ago, I interviewed a dean of students at a leading evangelical seminary. (I won’t say who, since at the time I interviewed him I had no intention of quoting him or publishing his comments here.) He told me that one of the two major problems he found with students was their glaring lack of industry, meaning of course, that they are lazy and don’t work hard at their studies.
I remember these students, especially in my Philosophy of Religion class. Our prof required us to read and think at higher levels than we ever had before. Some of the guys in there really resented it, and complained (i.e. whined) in class about how hard the assignments were.
Go to the ant. Study to show yourself approved. You should work hard.
Now, sometimes, even if you work hard, your grades won’t be that great. And that’s ok. The key question is the heart question: have you worked diligently and wisely?
About the AuthorMark Warnock is the founder and General Editor of Seminary Survival Guide.com. He serves as Associate Pastor of First Baptist Church of Columbia, Illinois, and is a Ph.D student in Christian Philosophy at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is working with Ed Eubanks on a book on how to survive seminary.
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