5 Benefits of a Seminary Degree for Ministry Leaders

by Tobin Perry

You’re in ministry to make a difference in your community. You want to encourage others’ faith. You want to comfort the lonely, feed the hungry, and heal the broken. Being effective in ministry is about impacting people with the transformative work of the Gospel. That’s why you may want to look into pursuing a seminary degree.

As a minister, earning a seminary degree isn’t a matter of vanity—nor is it about adding a piece of paper to your office wall. A seminary education helps you deepen your community impact with a Christ-centered ministry. Here are five ways a seminary degree can support your efforts.

1. Sharpen Your Skills

A seminary degree can help you further develop your ministry skills. You’ll hone your approach in areas like preaching, counseling, biblical exegesis, and missional practices while getting constructive feedback from seasoned leaders and fellow students.

2. Develop Relationships with Ministry Mentors

All ministry leaders should have access to mentors who can provide guidance and help them succeed, yet it’s not always easy to find them. In seminary, you’ll be surrounded by experienced leaders with a unique calling to train and mentor others.

3. Prepare for Future Ministry Opportunities

Although the message of Christian ministers is timeless, their work must constantly change as society shifts. A seminary education can help you prepare for these changes as you minister within today’s context.

4. Enable Networking with Other Ministry Leaders

As a seminary student, you’ll regularly meet future leaders who have a passion for developing their ministry skills. During your time in school, you’ll have an opportunity to build lifelong relationships with these peers as you support and inspire one another.

5. Access Ministry Resources

As a seminary student, you’ll be able to tap into resources you can’t easily find anywhere else. These resources will not only help you while in seminary, but they’ll also help you become more effective in your present ministry context.

Ministry Resources Available Through APU

Azusa Pacific Seminary is committed to helping ministry leaders succeed. Seminary programs—including the Master of Divinity (M.Div.), Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies, Master of Arts (Theological Studies), and Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.)—are offered at Azusa Pacific University’s main campus, as well as its locations in Los Angeles or San Diego.

The school provides a variety of tools designed to help ministry leaders be more effective in their lives and work:

  • Partners in Ministry (PIM): This relationship-based program is available to anyone working at local churches and parachurch organizations. As part of the program, ministry leaders get access to annual conferences, APU discounts, opportunities to audit courses, and more.
  • Center for Vocational Ministry: Through support from the center and its mentors, students get help clarifying God’s call in their lives as they learn to integrate their spiritual journey with their ministry path.
  • El Centro Teológico Hispano: Hispanic seminary students can tap into unique courses, guest speakers, and relationship-building opportunities through El Centro Teológico Hispano. It also provides a place where students and pastors can meet to discuss issues related to ministry in a Hispanic context.
  • HomeWord Center for Youth and Family: APU began partnering with HomeWord in 2009 in response to the overwhelming needs of parents and families. The school now hosts a number of seminars that strengthen families and prepare them for the growing challenges they face today.

Interested in learning more about the resources available to Azusa Pacific Seminary students? Check out the seminary’s resources webpage.