Successful Seminarians

Somewhere I heard that most of today’s best-known pastors didn’t go to seminary. As I recall, this observation was brought up in the context of criticizing the very concept of graduate-level ministerial training. The implication was that the time spent learning about the Bible would have been better spent learning about marketing (or the internet or psychology or something practical).

This criticism didn’t have a lot of weight for me – I just knew seminary had been good for me and I continued to recommend it to any minister who loved learning.

But I realized this morning that the allegation was untrue. Not only have lots of the big-name pastors gone to seminary, I would say that the majority of those that we first think of are seminarians.

  • Andy Stanley – Dallas Theological Seminary
  • Craig Groeschel – Phillips Theological Seminary
  • Rob Bell – Fuller Theological Seminary
  • John Ortberg – Fuller Theological Seminary
  • John Piper – Fuller and the University of Munich (Ph.D.)
  • Tim Keller – Gordon Conwell and Westminster Theological Seminary (Ph.D.)
  • Rick Warren – Fuller Theological Seminary

There are several who haven’t. Bill Hybels hasn’t gone to seminary, for example. I don’t think Ed Young, Jr. has, either. Joel Osteen hasn’t. Mark Driscoll is, I believe, finishing up a seminary degree right now.

But from what I can tell the majority of nationally-known Christian pastors have gone to seminary.

I’m not saying that going to seminary will guarantee you a numerically fruitful ministry – but I can guarantee you that it won’t prevent you from building a numerically fruitful ministry, either. And you’ll be a better person for having gone.

In an age when seminary gets a lot of knocks, I thought that was worth sharing.

Introducing Alexander Davis

Alexander Davis was born 11/17/2006 at 12:24pm after a very quick labor (from the time Paula began to push until the time he was completely outside was four minutes). He weighed 6lbs and 7oz and was 19.75 inches long.

Our plan is to refer to him as Xander (instead of the full Alexander or the briefer Alex). We’ll see how it takes. Dana seems to like it, so that’s a plus.

We’re still deciding about the middle name. We’ve got it narrowed down to three and we want to sleep on it before making our choice.

I’m too wiped to type much more now, check back later for more details. Until then, enjoy the photo gallery.