Now that I’ve graduated from seminary I suspect everyone’s expectation is that I will be a pastor or start a church. Though something like this may be in the plans for me in the distant future, this is not the case for everyone who attends and graduates from seminary with a master’s degree. Some of us come in one way and come out vastly different. Below are 4 Myths About Seminary Graduates.
1. Everyone graduates from seminary wants to become a pastor.
This is the furthest thing from the truth. There are quite a few seminary students who enter seminary with no intentions on becoming a pastor. Some seminary graduates will go on to work for or run nonprofit agencies, some may go on to work on government initiatives and others will do absolutely nothing with the degree at all.
2. Seminary graduates are eager to share everything we’ve learned with you.
While in seminary we learn a lot of truths about the Bible that challenge our faith and challenge everything that we were taught growing up as children. Because our faith has been challenged in such a grueling process, we will often be afraid to challenge congregants in the same ways that we were challenged in school. I’ve actually heard people say that they would never take “this stuff” back to the church because people couldn’t handle it.
3. Seminary students graduate less confused than they were when entering seminary.
A lot of students who come in and are willing to learn have a ton of questions. Once our questions are answered throughout the semester’s coursework and our professors’ instruction, more questions often arise. This often creates a cycle of never ending questions. As a result we leave seminary with a ton of questions on our minds.
4. Everyone graduates from seminary is super faithful.
Often, because of the new things that we’re learning, our faith is severely challenged. For some of us our faith is shattered and we are left to piece it back together. Some of us are able to piece our faith back together while we are in school and for others this is not the case. Some students leave seminary with no faith at all.
Sorry to lower your expectations but as you can see we have the same struggles everyone else has. Often times though family, friends and society places stereotypes on us. In school we learned more about the history of the Bible, church history, counseling and Jesus. This doesn’t mean we come out of seminary as Christ in the flesh.