A Strange Trend for Seminary Students

16 04 2008

I find that more students in Seminary (at least at Truett) are finding themselves in a strange situation – we don’t really want to work in a church.  What is more, we don’t really know exactly what it is that we want to do.  And so the big question is: What in the world are we going to do with an MDiv degree?

The common theme is that we all feel called to do the work of God.  We want to participate in the ministry of the Kingdom, and we feel that Seminary is one of the best places to learn about that ministry.  And at the same time so many of us are frustrated with the traditional/institutional way of doing things – so much so that it leaves a bad taste in our mouths.  And so much so that it makes us dread working in a church.

But we certainly can’t support our families and make any kind of income with an MDiv degree outside of the church.  So what are we to do?  I feel that I would be doing a disservice to the church if I were to work in one right now, namely because my attitude would not be right.  At the same time, I need income, and I don’t want to work at Target.

It seems that there are a couple of possibilities to pursue.   Church plants are an appropriate option.  Establishing a community of believers who are committed to a similar purpose outside of the institution seems like a good option.  Another option might be volunteer ministry.  One might work full time for a business or teach at a public school and get involved in organizations like Mission Waco.  An MDiv would  certainly be an asset for this kind of ministry.  Then there’s the more difficult road of doing PhD work, which involves more school and more money spent.

But that’s all the ideas I have for now as far as long term plans.  I know that there are more of you out there with this problem – I’ve talked to you.  Any other ideas?  How can we use our MDiv outside of the institutional church?




One response

1 05 2008
David Knapp

This is all so new to me but then again it is not. I have had this feeling that there is more to being a Christian than showing up to “church” on Sundays. I still go to an institutional church and enjoy it somewhat but I do not consider that to be what church is. We are the Church. Where we go there Church is. Right now I am getting ready to do a research paper and my topic is going to be on the missional church. I am new to the term but it intrigues me. Living like Jesus no matter where I am. We are supposed to go into all the world, not stay locked up behind four walls.

I like your idea of planting churches. Plant them without the hierarchy. We are a community and all have something we can attribute to the service. Also I would recommend reading Pagan Christianity? by Frank Viola and George Barna because it speaks on the issue of hierarchy. No matter what you decide to do, be the Church. Grace and peace to you.
Because of Jesus,
David Knapp

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