When I was 8 years old, my Grandpa bought me a red, Craftsman toolbox.
Every year after, he added a tool to my box–first a hammer, then a pipe wrench, a set of sockets, wrenches, pliers, a measuring tape, etc. By the time I graduated from high school, I had a complete set of high-quality tools and a sturdy box to store them. Little did I know back then how much I would need that box and its contents. Over the years, I have learned how to use each tool and grown my collection by acquiring new ones. Despite living in a digital age, I regularly use tools that have existed for decades.
When God saved you, he gave you a new heart and supplied you with spiritual gifts. In his creativity, he crafted a blueprint of the good works that he designed you to do (Eph. 2:10). He even placed you in the exact time and place where you are now serving (Acts 17:26). Your moment in human history was marked out long before you were born. When God first called you into ministry, he entrusted you with a set of tools, and gave you the responsibility to gain the knowledge and experience necessary to use them.
You and I live in a digital world filled with more information than we can digest in a million lifetimes.
With countless resources at your disposal, why should you consider going to seminary? What does graduate school have to offer that you cannot gain freely on your own? …For starters–a degree! Whether you like it or not, we live in a world where credentials matter. A credible masters degree opens doors. Degrees do not qualify us for ministry. However, they do represent a toolbox of gathered knowledge, skill, and experience. Seminary offers something you cannot get on your own–a master’s degree. Whether you need one for your current ministry or not, someday, you will probably wish you had invested in acquiring the knowledge, skills, and experience that it represents. Seminary provides the structure and accountability for gaining a well-rounded theological education guided by frontline leaders, ministry coaches, and academic mentors. At Grace, seminary involves academic and applied learning, education and transformation.
Seminary is one of the best ways to furnish your ministry toolbox. It’s like going to the hardware store and not only stocking your box with tools, but learning from master craftsmen how to use them. Grace Seminary equipped me for a lifetime of faithful, effective ministry. Skilled faculty helped me to discover what tools were in my toolbox, and they collaborated with pastoral mentors to coach me in putting them to work. Getting a master’s degree not only added to my toolbox, it gave me the proficiency and confidence I needed to skillfully use tools I already possessed. Every class provided fresh insights, greater knowledge, and new skills that complemented the tools I already possessed. I learned how to use my tools with greater precision and impact.
In 2 Timothy 2:15, Paul exhorts Timothy regarding his toolbox: “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.”
That commission applies to us.
Seminary equipped me for that calling–it guided me in cultivating a pastor’s heart and the skills needed to rightly handle the word of truth. Seminary transformed my life and character. It strengthened my ministry and taught me the importance of adaptive leadership. It not only supplied the tools I needed, it showed me how to use them. Seminary equipped me for a lifetime of ministry… how to serve an ever-changing world by showing them the love and truth of an unchanging God.
Grace Seminary offers numerous master’s degrees that are designed to fit your life. You can come to campus or you can stay in your context and learn ministry while doing ministry. Grace Seminary integrates knowledge + character + skills to produce competence through coaching and application. Deploy allows you to stay in your context and work at your own pace–it’s flexible, affordable, and accessible. And, every Deploy student receives the Logos Bible Software, Gold 8, at no additional cost.
Seminary = A great strategy for building a top-notch and versatile toolbox.
Gabe is the Director of Deploy, a Competency-Based Theological Education program. He gives oversight to the operations and student support of the Deploy program.
- M.B.A. (In-Progress) Business Administration, Grace College
- M.Div. 2010 Pastoral Studies, Grace Theological Seminary
- B.S. 2006 History and Secondary Education, Manchester University