"Only 41 percent of MDiv graduates plan to seek a career in full-time church ministry"

“Seminary grads who expect to pursue full-time ministry careers are down 10 percent over the past decade.”

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TylerR's picture

Editor

And full-time pastoral roles may be out of reach even for MDiv graduates who do hope to pursue church ministry careers: Today's seminary graduates are leaving school with more debt than ever before.

Praise the Lord for the GI Bill!!! 

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Jay's picture

And full-time pastoral roles may be out of reach even for MDiv graduates who do hope to pursue church ministry careers: Today's seminary graduates are leaving school with more debt than ever before.

And that's the little secret behind all of those wonderful Seminary degrees.  By the time you graduate, most students are carrying some sort of student loan debt that precludes them from taking churches - because they can't make it on what the church can/will pay and/or because they're carrying loans that they will repay for years afterward, combined with the fact that most guys are wanting to start a family with their wives earlier rather than later.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

TylerR's picture

Editor

Jay:

You make a valid point. This is why I believe online education in Seminary is truly a blessing. I have graduated from both brick and mortar and online schools. I see no quality difference. In the end, you get what you put into it - regardless of the method of instruction. 

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Ron Bean's picture

From my perspective, there don't seem to be many churches that have have openings for "full-time" pastors. 

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

TylerR's picture

Editor

I believe there is a great need for Seminary. I have a few caveats:

  1. If I didn't have the GI Bill, I'd probably go to a quality, unaccredited school like Tyndale that I could afford. Tuition rates are insane at most places. 
  2. I don't particularly care if I am a full-time Pastor. As it stands now, I am in Youth Ministry and work a full-time, secular job. If the Lord provides a full-time ministry, I won't complain. 
  3. Seminary provides a much deeper, more thorough Biblical education than an undergrad degree can provide. I believe this makes me more effective in ministry. 

However, is Seminary "necessary?" Do you have to have an MDiv before going into ministry? No, absolutely not. 

 

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?