Seminary is an important step toward ministry—but only when you make the most of it.
Many seminarians finish their education with regrets and missed opportunities. They feel spiritually drained, they never connected with their professors or colleagues, they are plagued with a long list of "What Ifs?," and worry they wasted this time. And many, as they enter the ministry, discover gaps in their education and are left thinking, If only my seminary had taught me that.
Prepare for your calling and make the most of your theological training with Succeeding at Seminary. Seminary president Jason K. Allen provides guidance for incoming and current seminary students on how to maximize their education experience. You'll learn how to select the right institution and weigh the pros and cons of online or in-person classes. You'll also receive tips for developing rapport with peers and professors and get insights for how to navigate a work, study, and family-life balance to help you survive the rigors of advanced theological learning.
Seminary can offer the opportunities and education you need to flourish in ministry, but only if you are ready to make the most of it. With Succeeding at Seminary, you'll get the guidance and encouragement you need to maximize your seminary opportunity and excel in your calling.
Praise for Succeeding at Seminary
"This book serves the health of tomorrow's church. We need men who aspire to the work of pastor-elder and get a focused season of training to acquire the skills they will need to preach and teach well for a lifetime. Seminary is not about filling your freezer with fish but learning how to fish for yourself—acquiring the mindset and abilities you need to keep reading and learning and freshly teaching God's Word for decades. I love that Jason shares this vision—and that he checks our subjective sense of "call" with the objective reality of marriage. If you are married, that calling is clearer and surer than any "call to ministry" you may be pursuing. From beginning to end, this book rings with such wisdom, and will not only help you stay Christian in seminary but perhaps even find what it means to flourish in this important season."
—DAVID MATHIS, executive editor, desiringGod.org; pastor, Cities Church, Saint Paul; adjunct professor, Bethlehem College & Seminary, Minneapolis; author, Habits of Grace: Enjoying Jesus through the Spiritual Disciplines; coauthor, How to Stay Christian in Seminary
"Many students have questions about preparing for seminary and about whether they should attend seminary. Jason Allen's book on succeeding at seminary is a must-read for students thinking about going to seminary, planning to go to seminary, and for those already in seminary. The book exudes the kind of wisdom we find in Proverbs and is full of the practical advice that is fitting for those who desire to live in a godly and mature way during their seminary years. I recommend this work with enthusiasm."
—THOMAS R. SCHREINER, James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation, Associate Dean, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY
"For an aspiring minister, where to attend seminary is a defining decision. It should not be made lightly. Drawing from seasoned experience, Jason Allen will help you ask the right questions not only for choosing a seminary but also for getting the most out of it while you're there. Succeeding at Seminary brims with practical wisdom for the journey. Read it and benefit."
—MATT SMETHURST, managing editor, The Gospel Coalition; author, Deacons: How They Serve and Strengthen the Church and Before You Open Your Bible: Nine Heart Postures for Approaching God's Word
"Compelling, clear, and concise, Succeeding in Seminary is a remarkably helpful resource for those seeking to prepare for a lifetime of faithful Christian service. Kudos to Jason Allen for recognizing that a call to ministry includes a call to preparation and for providing such careful and thoughtful guidance regarding the importance of study, theological conviction, personal and family commitments, the place of church and friendship, as well as mission and ministry. Church leaders should keep several copies of this little book on hand to give to men and women contemplating God's call on their lives. Highly and heartily recommended!"
—DAVID S. DOCKERY, president, International Alliance for Christian Education and Distinguished Professor of Theology, Southwestern Seminary
"Anyone called to ministry should read this book. Anyone! In it are nuggets of wisdom that will help one start, run, and finish the race well. I will be quick to recommend it to prospective seminarians."
—DANIEL L. AKIN, president, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
"This easily digestible work is both timeless and timely. Potential seminarians, you need to be asking every question listed in these pages. I found myself wishing that it had been written in 1991, when I needed it the most. Thanks to Jason Allen, you need not have any such regrets."
—BART BARBER, pastor, First Baptist Church Farmersville, TX
"Jason Allen knows how seminary works. His experience as a student, professor, pastor, and administrator gives him unique and comprehensive insights into the seminarian adventure. When God calls you to preach (or to church leadership of any kind), God calls you to prepare. If you are thinking about committing to this level of preparation, you should read this book first."
—JIMMY SCROGGINS, Lead Pastor, Family Church, West Palm Beach, FL
"For all prospective or present seminary students, this book is a priceless gem and a must-read. Jason K. Allen, one of our generation's most outstanding seminary presidents, has laid out a brilliant case for making the most of your theological education. Well-developed and practically applied, Allen will help you strategically maximize your seminary training. I urge you to read and follow this book's insightful wisdom and sound advice."
—STEVEN J. LAWSON, president, OnePassion Ministries; professor, The Master's Seminary, teaching fellow, Ligonier Ministries
"This is exactly the right book for seminary students—or anyone considering a call to ministry. Jason Allen wonderfully combines the most practical observations and the most passionate encouragement for those called to serve the church—and are therefore called to prepare for that service. Sound wisdom is found here, and Jason Allen writes not only as a seminary president, but as one who knows the student experience firsthand."
—R. ALBERT MOHLER JR., president, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary