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How Do I Choose the Best Seminary College?

Seminary colleges may provide opportunities for students to go on mission trips.
A seminary degree is intended for students who desire to enter some form of ministry.
Article Details
  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 15 December 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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Determining which is the best seminary college will not yield the same answers for every person. There are so many things that these colleges can be: training grounds for ministers, education for people who wish to teach or simply learn about theology, or a place to begin religious service for both women and men. Clearly there are factors that will help people make the right choices, and these come down to denomination or religious orientation of the seminary college, the ability to have units earned there be transferable elsewhere or recognized by academia and the religious community, personal factors such as distance and expense, and ultimate goal in studies.

Denomination of the seminary college comes first in determining where to go. People who want to become Lutheran ministers won’t be interested in a Methodist or Catholic seminary. The best way to search for seminaries of a specific denomination is to search online, or to get advice from local ministers within a church on where to look. This can give people opportunities to evaluate the different seminary college types available to them that will be most directed toward a particular sect.

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College work should always count and be accepted by other colleges. One thing that is valuable to verify is the accreditation of any seminary college. There are accrediting agencies in most countries that will allow people to look up the status of each college, and since there are now many online seminaries, these can be searched too. No matter what the goal at point of exit, people want to make sure that their work is fully accepted wherever they go, and thus students should not plan to attend anything but an accredited seminary college. Fortunately there are many of these.

Some people could have many choices in seminaries to attend and others, especially in less common denominations, may only have a few. When there are lots of choices, students can think about where they might want to live and the costs of each college. Since many universities that have seminaries are private and not state-run, costs can be high, but some may have good scholarship programs or a small amount of tuition forgiveness if the person enters the ministry. Talking with each school about how to finance an education and the additional costs of living on campus or off, or of living in a specific area can be valuable in making these comparisons.

Another factor when determining which seminary college to attend is educational goals. Some seminaries offer degrees up to the doctorate level, which might be necessary for ministry in certain fields or if people want to teach at the college level. Other schools are four-year universities and won’t have advanced degrees. There may be different types of degrees offered also or different specializations. It's wise to find a school that meets specific degree plan.

So many choices exist for the student entering a seminary college, and these can sometimes feel a little overwhelming. It helps to get advice, create notations about each school, and keep a record of the good and bad points of schools researched. Reviewing these records and recommendations from trusted sources is often handy in making an individual choice on the best college.

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