Character Traits For A Seminarian

What kind of person do you need to be to go to seminary? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Suppose you’re wanting to go to a seminary or Bible College. What traits do you need? Here are some that come to mind.

First, you need to have good Christian character. In saying this, I am assuming you want to go to a theologically conservative seminary, although more and more I am thinking it needs to be politically conservative as well. This doesn’t mean you have to be perfect or none of us could go, but it needs to be something you’re striving for.

Already at my seminary, all the guys were brought together for a talk. The girls were as well, but since I wasn’t there, I can’t tell you what was said. One message given to us clearly was about the dangers of pornography. A good seminary will also have help available for you if are struggling with that.

We also hear regularly that when you start studying the Bible academically, it can be easy to lose sight of studying it devotionally. It’s easy to have personal Bible study and your prayer life falter. Be prepared to make sure that you are willing to do those things.

Next, you need to be a reader. For my first semester here, I have three classes and reading is a big part of them. I suspect before it is done there will have been around 2,500-3,000 pages read of schoolwork this semester for me. (Note I still do my own personal reading on the side.) You will also have to read books you don’t particularly care for at times. I remember telling people in Bible College that one of the complaints I had was they gave me books to read which kept me away from all the books I wanted to read.

Third, you will need to be someone who is diligent and willing to work hard. It will require a lot of effort. Yes. There are times where all of us turn on YouTube or Facebook for awhile and have to wrestle with that. You will also need to have the time to do other things like clean your place where you live, grocery shopping, and events like that.

Having said that though, please be someone who sets aside time for pure fun. Hang out with your fellow students. I am working on meeting my fellow students and if the opportunity arises, getting to date as well here. Seminary is hard work, but let it be a time of fun and enjoyment and build up Christian fellowship.

The fourth trait is you will need to be teachable. I do understand that you want to show your professors what you can do. At the same time, realize you can learn from them. It doesn’t mean you have to agree with them, but realize they came upon their positions seriously. Try to learn what you can from them. Form friendships with them.

Definitely, you need to be wanting to do ministry. It has to be something that is a high goal in your life in whatever field you’re going into. You will be studying for awhile and that requires a long-term commitment.

Note in all of this I have not said anything about a call or a subjective experience. That doesn’t mean there aren’t other qualifiers. I plan on posting on those perhaps tomorrow, but if you want to go get an education in the ministry field, then consider working on these. (And really, most of us could bear to work on them regardless anyway.)

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

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