What are we looking for in a seminarian?
Or, for those of you who are considering going into the ministry, how should you evaluate yourself to see whether you’re likely to thrive throughout training for the pastorate?
The four traits currently examined for our Honors Scholarship Program summarize what we at The Master’s Seminary look for when we evaluate men for ministry.
As you prayerfully think about how you will serve God and Christ’s church, we encourage you to consider the following areas of your life.
If you are serving the church now, you can have reason to be confident that you will be able to lead the church in the future. Those who are faithful with little will be faithful with much, and unless you have shown yourself to be trustworthy and one who cares for people’s souls, there is no reason to presume to be a teacher in the church. If anyone who desires the office of overseer, he desires a noble task, but such men must be tested in the crucible of service. So, do you serve? Are you committed to the church now, outside of leadership? Do you minister?
The Bible is clear on the type of men whom God calls to lead his church. 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:7-9 make it clear that elders and pastors must be godly men. The pastor must be a man of consistent character, blameless before others as he walks with Christ. This is not something that develops when you receive your M.Div. degree or first pastorate. And while seminary and ministry are certainly sanctifying experiences, if you do not have a pattern of character and growth in godliness now, you cannot assume it will simply develop when people start calling you pastor. How is your life? When you examine your character, do you see the qualifications of 1 Timothy 3:1-7?
This training is not easy, but it is worth it.The pastor is the theologian for the church. He is the man who goes to the Scriptures and wrestles with the text, as it was written, in its contexts, and brings a well-informed understanding of what God has said to the people. This is a rigorous calling. Because of this weighty call, we train men to know the biblical languages, theology, history, interpretation, homiletics, counseling, and the structure and development of the whole Bible. This training is not easy, but it is worth it. Are you willing to put in the effort to rightly divide God’s Word to His people?
We are not interested in training men who only want to build themselves up. All training, all of what we do at The Master’s Seminary, is investing in men who will invest in others. We are interested in multiplying ministries. Our desire is to see churches grow, the lost come to salvation, and believers walk more closely with God. We train men because lives depend on it, and we only accept those who want to see God work in the world and among His people. What is your heart? Do you long to see God’s churches filled with souls coming to salvation and growing nearer to Christ?
If this is you, we encourage you to consider joining our calling to serve Christ’s church.