by Deborah Forteza and Kevin T. Bauder
“But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man…”
1 Timothy 2:12
Is it ever right for a seminary to give theological education to a woman? That depends upon what you think the purpose of a seminary is.
Most of our seminaries claim to exist in order to assist local churches in training church leaders. They especially focus on preparing pastors. Even so, nearly every seminary has students that do not enroll with a desire to shepherd a flock or to enter vocational ministry. Some of these students want to be better disciplers; others hope to be good Bible study leaders; and some simply wish to understand the Scriptures better for their own personal growth.
One could argue that if a seminary has been established to prepare pastors, then people who do not intend to be pastors should not be accepted. Few, if any, seminaries are that stringent, however. Who would object to admitting a student who simply wanted to be a knowledgeable and faithful deacon, even if he never meant to become a pastor? Indeed, would it not be unreasonable to deny seminary education to any believer who sincerely desired to study the Scriptures, increase in knowledge, and nourish his love of God?
Read more about Suffering Women to Learn?