New to SSG.com?

Welcome to Seminary Survival Guide. If you’re new to the site, I’m glad you stopped by. This site is intended to give seminary students a perspective on their study from the vantage point of people like me in mid-ministry.

A couple of suggestions:

  • The latest postings will be featured on the front page.  In addition to those, you might browse through the category pages (links at the top of the page, just under the header).  You might find some useful posts that aren’t so recent.
  • I strongly recommend subscribing via RSS. This way, all new posts will come to you, relieving you of the need to surf over here all the time. See the “Subscribe” page for fuller information. The email subscription is probably the easiest. I personally use Bloglines, which is a web-based RSS reader, and is free. If you’re new to RSS, check out this entertaining video introduction to the concept.
  • We’re very open to your comments and suggestions, so fire away.

This is the introduction I wrote when SSG got started:
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Do you want to survive seminary?

We hope you will. Frankly, we want you not just to survive seminary, but to survive ministry, too. But the statistics aren’t good.

  • Half of all seminary students drop out before they complete their degrees.
  • The protestant clergy divorce rate equals that of the general population.
  • The average seminarian in 2001 graduated with $25,000 in debt
  • Of those who begin a career in full-time ministry, only one in ten makes it to retirement.

No one wants to become a statistic.

Seminary is hard—primarily because of all the things you must balance at once. You have multiple demands on your time and energy, and the unspoken expectation is that you’ll be perfect in every area. It’s a lot like ministry in a local church.

We believe that people entering ministry develop their self-management habits in seminary, for better or for worse. This is the moment you need the best counsel you can find, to increase your chances of success.

So who are “we,” anyway? We are a group of friends in ministry who are contributing to what we hope will become a book on the subject. Most of us are seminary grads, and all of us are in full-time ministry. Three of us serve on staff at the same church together. Our church has four young men in seminary right now, with more on the way. We want them to survive. We want you to survive, too.

Our heart is to pass on to current students the wisdom that comes from having been there, done that, and made it through. We’re not always right, of course, and some of our suggestions won’t work for you. We trust your judgment. But wisdom calls out in the streets, and we hope by giving a good listen here, you will hear her voice.

This blog is a place for us to test-drive ideas, and for you, hopefully, to glean helpful bits of wisdom as we put it together.

We’ll be posting regularly on a number of topics, including:

  • Time management
  • Spiritual life
  • Emotional health
  • Financial matters
  • Marriage and family
  • Friends and dating
  • Calling
  • Exercise, rest and nutrition
  • Ministry during seminary
  • Ministry after seminary
  • Stories
  • Random ideas

We’d love for you to be part of this community. Leave comments, share stories, share ideas. We welcome your praise and your good-spirited criticism. Your participation can only make our work more effective.

And pray for us. We’re hoping this effort will help you be wise, strong, encouraged, and fruitful.

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