Of course the right answer is: “Biblical Seminary is the ONLY seminary where you’ll get the best masters in counseling education.”
But in case you’d like a little more depth and breadth in answer the question about whether seminary is right for you, Derek Cooper has a new book: So You’re Thinking About Going to Seminary (2008, Brazos). Derek came by this wisdom by attending several seminaries and so if you want a good feel for what seminary is like and how you can decide if it is for you, you ought to buy the book.
In it he orients readers to what seminary is and isn’t, the kind that is attached to universities and the free-standing kind. That would probably have helped my wife back when she showed up for summer Greek, about a year after becoming a Christian. When she first heard about seminary, she assumed it was a place only for priests.
Cooper also helps the reader to consider the value and benefits of non-denominational versus denominational seminaries, the kinds of degrees available as well as potential jobs with each degree. Even better, he helps the newbie think through the kinds of courses likely to be taken in some of these degree courses. What I like is that he gives numerous school examples so that by the end of the book, the reader has truly been exposed to the best of theological education in the United States and Canada.
The middle section of the book helps the seminarian find ways to finance, survive, even flourish during grad studies. Yes, you don’t have to lose your faith or your marriage if you go to seminary. But don’t assume your studies alone will promote spiritual growth.
He has one chapter that covers matters of ordination and licensure. If you are considering becoming a licensed counselor AND you are thinking (rightly) that seminary is a great place to do that, be sure to read his admonition to check with your licensing body (State or Province) to see what THEY require and do not assume that the school automatically covers every required course.
My only negative is that he didn’t say on every page that BIBLICAL SEMINARY (www.biblical.edu) is by far the BEST school in the world. But then, if he did, that would make us look bad since he would be lying. But, if you do want to hear Derek in the flesh, join our counseling program and take his “Counseling and the Biblical Text” course since he adjuncts for us.
I’ve asked Derek a few questions and so tomorrow, I’ll post his answers. Really, this is a good book if you are considering a ministry career and wonder if Seminary is necessary and what it is all about. And if you are the “cut to the chase” kind of reader, he has really good summaries and charts to help you make your decision.