How important is seminary training?

Seminary training is one way to develop some tools that are useful for pastoral ministry. Specifically, seminary is a good place to learn theology, church history, the biblical languages, and the tools of exegesis.

On the other hand, personal ministry within the local church is absolutely essential training for a pastor. It is in the local church that a man’s character is formed and assessed, that he learns how to disciple and counsel others, and that he learns how to preach and teach.

So if you can get a seminary degree, do so. Make the most of it. Soak up and diligently use the specialized and valuable set of tools it will give you for pastoral ministry. But don’t neglect the local church. Churches make pastors, not seminaries.