Who is responsible for training pastors?

Most evangelicals believe the answer to that question is obvious: seminaries are responsible. A man who decides he wants to be a pastor should go to seminary, get a degree, and then presto! He’s ready to be a pastor.

But that’s not how the Bible describes pastor training. In 2 Timothy 2:2, Paul writes, “What you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” Paul tells Timothy, as the leader of a local church, to personally train other men for ministry who will be able to teach the church.

Training pastors is the responsibility of both church leaders as well as churches as a whole.  Churches are responsible to support their pastor’s work in training men for ministry, give whatever resources they can to train men for ministry, encourage and equip men themselves, and ultimately to select their own leaders, which implies some kind of responsibility to oversee their training.

In other words, seminaries don’t make pastors, churches make pastors.