Prospective Students | Explore Your Calling
Reasons to Get a Seminary Education
Below are several questions posted by The Fund For Theological
Education (FTE).FTE's original documents can be found
here. NES has developed a response to each question based
on our unique perspective.
Why attend a Theological School?
Students are attracted to theological schools for a variety of
reasons. Most theological students have an interest in some form of
ministry. This might mean a professional and/or ordained calling to
work in a parish setting. Other students attend these schools to
prepare for work in church-related organizations that specialize in
social service, missionary work or ministry to particular
populations. Still other students are interested in theological
scholarship-pursuing doctoral work that will prepare them for
teaching and leadership roles in the academy. Students also go to
theological schools to be formed in a distinctly Christian setting
in order to extend their witness in their non-theological
vocations. With all these differences in mind, remember that there
is no "typical" theological student, no mold from which one must be
cast in order find the right place in theological education.
Regardless of the specific path, most people choose to enter
seminary because of a sense of calling. For some, this call emerges
from a deep relationship with God, through prayer, a spiritual
practice or some other spiritual discipline. Sometimes this calling
is expressed in community, with a congregation, pastor, mentor or
friend "calling out" a person's specific gifts for ministry.
Sometimes the call is not to an end, but to the process of knowing
God more deeply through the study of theology. Regardless of place
and time, a vocational calling should be one that reflects one's
own passion, motivated by a real desire to engage in the
complexities of a theological vocation, and to extend that passion
into the world in transformative ways.
NES: More than 50 percent
of our Masters degree graduates are serving in ordained church
settings. Others are serving Christ as chaplains in military,
hospitals, or prison settings. Approximately one-third of all
entering NES students enter theological training with a general
sense of God's call; seminary helps them develop their