Seminary is one of those words that people think of as both religious in nature in archaic. Because of that, many people are unaware of what a seminary is. This is especially true of those born outside certain doctrines that never run into the word or the institution. However, it’s important that people have an understanding of what a seminary is and isn’t. There are people who will want to join one and not even know it because they have no clue that it’s the thing that they’re looking for.
What is a seminary?
For most purposes, a seminary is a theological college. Theology is a broad umbrella term, but mostly a seminary is for continued religious study, mostly of Abrahamic faiths. It’s important to remember that this designation for Abrahamic faiths is not always the case. Many other schools of religious thought offer education and schooling as well, and these two are mostly known as seminaries.
In addition, some uses of the word do not necessarily imply religion. Just as theology encompasses both religious and philosophical schools of thought, there are also seminaries that offer schooling in secular fields as well. In practice, the term can also serve as a word for any place of growth and nurture.
Who goes to a seminary?
Some people attend a seminary because they simply have a religious calling. Those are the people that want to become ministers, priests or rabbis. Both the religious and non-religious will attend a seminary school. For the non-religious, going to a seminary is a good way to gain a fuller understanding of the church, religion and the rules that guide these things. They may even have their own calling through this process.
For the religious, it’s usually to study and further understand the teachings of the church. They can take that knowledge in move forward in religious circles. Many people would like to join the higher church positions but don’t realize there is a lot of training involved. The seminary facilitates that training which will allow that person to serve in the church at a greater capacity. This goes for anyone that would like to attain ordination and those that would like to become ministers. It’s also a good way to find like-minded but diverse people for discussion and fellowship.
An important thing to remember about seminary is that it prepares people for working with and within the church. Many people may want to go through continuing education with a focus on more secular education for a position outside the church. To that end, many colleges offer seminary as a part of their educational offerings.
Like any school, attending seminary comes with some issues for many people. Some may attend it as a part of their continuing education. Many seminaries will require that the applicant has a degree, but that’s not true of all seminaries. Some have different requirements. It’s important for applicants to look around to find what works for them.
Also like any other school, many options exist in the form of financial aid, flexible scheduling and curriculum. It’s possible to go to a dedicated seminary or a seminary that’s a part of a larger, secular school. It’s also possible to attend seminary online. Those who attend seminary can expect to spend two to six years depending on what their degree program entails.
There is a process involved and applicants must adhere to the process of their perspective seminary. Some seminaries have more prestige than others do, and as one may reasonably expected, it’s harder to gain attendance to some.
Seminary schooling is still schooling. That’s something that people need to keep in mind. A seminary is a university, so applicants should expect to spend time studying, testing and learning. A calling can get you down the right path, but it still takes hard work and dedication to achieve that degree.