Choosing a seminary – a pastor's opinion

by on October 31, 2007

In my never ending quest to provide information that will help you decide on the right seminary for you, I occasionally find other people who have weighed in on the subject. Today I came across an older post by Mark Denver at

In his post, Mark explains five factors to consider when choosing a seminary. They are:

  1. Confession of Faith – “…Look to be trained at an institution which seems to be committed to a right understanding of God’s Word…
  2. Quality of Education – “…While there is no precise way to measure such quality, factors which indicate it are the school’s faculty, the required curriculum and the library facilities…
  3. Cost – “…The calling that you are following doesn’t usually pay the kind of salaries doctors, businessmen or lawyers may receive. It is part of your being a good steward to consider the cost of the education you are pursuing…
  4. Church – “…you must also consider if there is a good church nearby that could be a place of ministry and spiritual encouragement and direction while you are in the seminary…
  5. Connection for Life – “…consider what connections for the rest of life you might make by attending this seminary or that theological college…

His points are good and certainly ones that I agree with. His points about indebtedness and the fact that pastors aren’t making the same kind of money that MBA’s will be making after they graduate is a really great and something that we’ll discuss in the paying for seminary section in the near future.


The author of this post is noted above. and were created by Ryan Burns. He is currently on staff at Redemption Hill Church in Richmond, VA, and recently launched a site to help people find Seminary Scholarships and anther site to help people find Church Jobs. He also writes about his experiences doing GORUCK events on his hobby blog.


That’s Mark Dever, not brother of John Denver 🙂

I think his second point is equally important as the first he gives, and for one reason: the faculty. I found that the men I learn the best from are those who have been battle tested and been pastors themselves. And especially who are not arrogant. Yes, convictions are necessary and I want to be persuaded and to have a deep resonance thrust into our souls on the authority of Scripture, the sufficiency and historicity of Christ dead and resurrection, the necessity of Christ as the conscious object of all saving faith and the complete omniscience and sovereignty of God (among other essential doctrines). But pride in one’s self stands in opposition to the Gospel. The worst thing for future leaders is to learn from arrogant ones, who argue from being right, rather than from being rescued.

Let’s embrace a Humble Orthodoxy, being convinced of who God is, and who we are in light of Him.

Just my two cents.

And that is what I’ve found here at Multnomah in Portland.