I’ve heard it more times than I can count: “Church-based ministerial training is just as good as Bible college/seminary-based ministerial training.”  Personally, I think this statement is not well thought out.  The two training methods cannot be equal because they focus on different aspects of ministry.  In some matters, ministerial training within a local church from a pastor is superior to the training one can receive in seminary.  In other matters, the training one gets in seminary is superior to the training they could obtain from their pastor in the local church.  Seminary-based ministerial training excels at preparing one’s mind for ministry, while church-based ministerial-training excels at preparing one for some of the more practical aspects of ministry (such as performing ceremonies, administering the Lord’s supper, counseling, praying for the sick, etc.)  Both are needed, and thus whenever possible, both should be sought.

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