45 Ways to Waste Your Seminary Education

In Links, Spiritual life by adminmark

Last week, while I was vacationing in the Keys, Derek Brown posted a devastating list every seminary student should read, entitled “How to Waste Your Theological Education.” Here’s a sample:

1. Cultivate pride by writing only to impress your professors instead of writing to better understand and more clearly communicate truth.

2. Perfect the fine art of corner-cutting by not really researching for a paper but instead writing your uneducated and unsubstantiated opinions and filling them in with strategically placed footnotes.

3. Mistake the amount of education you receive with the actual knowledge you obtain. Keep telling yourself, “I’ll really start learning this stuff when I do my Th.M or my Ph.D.”


Nurture an attitude of superiority, competition, and condesension toward fellow seminary students. Secretly speak ill of them with friends and with your spouse.

5. Regularly question the wisdom and competency of your professors. Find ways to disrespect your professors by questioning them publicly in class and by trying to make them look foolish.

6. Neglect personal worship, Bible reading and prayer.

7. Don’t evangelize your neighbors.

As I read the complete list, I recognized myself all too well. It hammers mercilessly at the real dangers of seminary and ministry: pride, conceit, and Pharisaism, of exactly the type I’m so susceptible to.

My counsel: print the entire list, and review it at least once per semester during seminary.

Thanks to Travis for the heads-up.