What can I do to prepare for seminary? Dr. Ligon Duncan provides practical tips and encouragement for those who may be considering or preparing to enroll in seminary.
You will not be surprised that I am very often asked, “What can I do to prepare for seminary?” As a person who’s been teaching at Reformed Theological Seminary for over 30 years, I’ve had a lot of people ask that of me over the years. You should know that I provide a little guide to that topic that you can get via the Reformed Theological Seminary website or app. You can just write in, give your address, and it’ll be mailed to you for free, with no obligation. I tell you some things that you can read and do to prepare.
Know Your Bible
The better you know your Bible coming into seminary, the better you will know your Bible coming out of seminary.But basically, let me say this: there’s nothing more important for you to do in preparing to come to seminary, which is designed to prepare people for gospel ministry, than to know your Bible. The better you know your Bible coming into seminary, the better you will know your Bible coming out of seminary, and the more you will benefit from what you will learn in the courses that you take at seminary. And so starting right now, I trust that you have read the Bible through, perhaps many times, but undertaking a course of deliberate study of the Scriptures will enhance what you get out of your seminary learning.
Participate in the Life of the Church
Of course, participating in the life of the local church is vital. We are not meant to be lone rangers as Christians. We are part of a family. We’re part of a body. And it’s vital to be a part of a healthy, Bible-believing local church in preparation [for] coming to seminary. In fact, ideally, we would like the leaders of that local church to say of you, “We think this person has the gifts and character necessary to serve the Lord in ministry in some capacity.” That is so important for your personal formation and discipleship as a Christian, but it’s also vital for you getting out of seminary what you need to get.
Now, I also recommend, in my little “how to prepare for seminary” packet, some books that you could read that will get you into basic Christian doctrine, some of the hot issues of today that you have to address, and then, understand more how seminary education is supposed to help you prepare for ministry. You can get that and read that, but those are some ideas on preparation for seminary.