Friday, November 11, 2005
John Ortberg said the following in the November edition of MinistryMentor.
How should students think about spiritual formation during seminary?
I can remember when I was in school, people would come to chapel and say, “Here’s stuff that you need to think about when you get into the real world.” The reality is that seminary is the real world. There’s no place that you can go to escape the world.
When you’re in seminary, ask yourself introspective questions: How is my spirit being formed? What am I learning about myself in terms of the initiative that I take? How competitive am I? How often do I compare myself with other people? How honest am I when I write papers and take tests? How do I seek to follow God, and how do I resist God? All of those same patterns will be there when you’re working in a church, ministry organization, school, or wherever else you work.
How do you counsel seminarians to experience God’s presence while studying the nuts and bolts of ministry and theology?
The nice thing about seminary is that the discipline of study is woven into your schedule. One of the dangers is that it can become all head knowledge. Then a discipline of worship becomes very important.
While it’s important to worship in the context of church, it’s also beneficial to give pause while I’m studying, God must be great to have thought this up, or to have made this person to be bright enough to be able to write these words or to think these thoughts.
It’s important to build worship into the process of study.