How long is seminary school? Seminary school can take between three to four years to be completed, and it requires a previous Bachelor’s degree. Therefore, the prerequisites for seminary school are high school and an undergraduate degree in any field.
Seminary schools are meant to teach individuals to become priests and serve the community. It prepares them for ordination and to serve as clergy. Seminary usually teaches subjects like theology, philosophy, history of the Catholic Church, and many other topics.
In other words, a seminary is a graduate school that provides theological education to individuals. After this education, a person has a global understanding of God and his Word and knows how to convey it across the community and parishioners practically.
In some cases, a person can shorten the time of seminary school trying to access it without a bachelor’s degree. In fact, the ATS (Association of Theological Schools) has made an exception allowing seminary schools to allow a limited amount of people to join without a Bachelor’s degree.
The criteria for such admissions are based on students who have vast life experience or based on the 15% rule, which allows up to fifteen percent of students to enroll without a Bachelor’s degree.
For those managing to access seminar school in this way, instead of 8 years of training (4 for undergraduate studies and 4 for seminary school), a person can get through seminary doing only four years of studies.
What is Seminary School Like?
Seminary schools are structured similarly to universities. Students are required to attend classes, do assignments, and pass tests. Professors are there to teach lessons, and some of them are lectures. Students finally graduate with a Master’s degree or doctoral degree.
Seminary schools are not meant only for people who want to become ministers or serve as part of the clergy. More people can decide to attend seminary schools in a university environment to get a Master of Divinity degree.
Even though most people attend seminar schools because they feel that God has called them, others want to attend seminary schools for academic purposes. For example, some people may enjoy studying the bible or the scriptures or wish to become teachers, counselors, or social workers.
People who completed seminary school can do other professions other than a pastor or as part of the clergy. For example, seminary graduates can pursue a career in creative arts, music, or missionary work.
Seminary graduates can find themselves being hired to write, design, and do other creative jobs like sing, composing music, or even as musicians. In addition, some graduates may end up as missionaries or other humanitarian activities.
How Long Is Seminary Online?
Online schools can be done at a faster pace. For example, there are programs to become a Master of Divinity or a Master in Theology that can be done within 2 to 3 years. But, students do online courses typically when they are already attending work or have a family to take care of. Therefore they may take longer to complete their program and graduate.
Several colleges and schools now offer various courses in alignment with seminary programs. For example, it is possible to get seminary degrees online and other core programs such as biblical studies, church history, apologetics, ministry, pastoral counseling, and many others.
Programs, prices, and curriculum can vary greatly depending on the school. Expenses can range between $ 3.500 to $10.000.
A student wanting to get a seminary degree at the master’s level has many choices. Most of those courses can be done online, while some require some practice or work done in school.
Can You Become a Pastor Without Going To School?
A person who wishes to become a pastor doesn’t need to have a degree. It depends on individual churches to decide who is a good fit or qualified to be a pastor. However, in more modern times, churches want to have knowledgeable people in theology and that know the Bible.
Seminary schools provide the necessary knowledge to individuals to perform their functions appropriately as pastors and convey the right message to the community. Besides the school education, a person who wants to become a pastor has to feel the call and the desire to help other people.
Many people become pastors without formal education because they have a lot of life experience and gain their position through their actions, for example, missionary work, helping people in foreign countries, spreading their message through their actions, and doing charities.
Ultimately, it is up to the individual churches to decide the qualifications for their ministers. It is not uncommon for many of them to require qualifications such as master’s degrees or the completion of seminary school.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s The Difference Between Master Of Divinity And Master Of Theology?
A Master of Divinity degree can be earned at a seminary school. However, it requires a previous bachelor’s degree. In addition, it may require essays addressing the applicant’s personal history, faith, and any letter of recommendation if available.
On the other side, a Master of Theology requires a person to have already a Master of Divinity degree or equivalent, and in some cases, the student should know Hebrew and Greek. The two courses of study may be very similar. Still, people going for a Master of Divinity degree do so because they want to become ministers or preachers, while people pursuing a Master in Theology are preparing for an academic career.
How Much Seminary School Cost?
Seminary schools can cost anything between $3.000 to $50.000 depending on the type of school and the kind of program one is following. However, there are financial aids in place for people who want to do seminary school, available at the school level or in the form of grants from local institutions.
What Is The Difference Between Major And Minor Seminary?
College studies in subjects like theology are called minor seminary. Advanced studies to become a priest or minister are commonly called major seminary. Major seminary is a study done after an undergraduate degree and results in a Master’s Degree.