I’m Not in Seminary Anymore (sort of)

Why is it that we have to make tough choices? Like, why can’t they be soft choices? Easy choices? Fluffy choices? Anything better than tough choices.

You know the ones: the kind of choices that make you sweat like you just ran a marathon. The kind of choices that make you question yourself in every possible way. The kind of choices that distract you long enough so you accidentally put Dr. Pepper in your coffee.

I bring this up because I had to make a tough decision in 2015 already. I decided I’m not going to be in seminary anymore.

Well, for a semester at least.

You see, I started seminary in the fall of 2010. I’ve been on this grind for four years, working on Master’s degree. I did the math (trust me, it took a long time) and I learned that, with as long as I have been in school, both Bachelor’s and Master’s, I could have been a doctor by now. Or a veterinarian. Wait, they handle cats, right? Never mind. Cats are evil.

And honestly? I’m burnt out. The mere thought of sitting in a class, listening to a guy talk about theology in a monotonous tone does not have the same appeal as it once did. I had to step back from the books and the papers and ask myself, “Is my heart really in this anymore”.

Now, before any high-and-mighty Christian gets all uppity in my business for that last sentence, and starts pointing his bony finger in my face, telling me to man up and do what God has called me to do, let me just say this: I really think God is telling me to do this.

Okay, I get it. The moment someone says “God told me to do this” they sound like a lunatic. I totally agree in most cases. Especially when a student in the church uses it as an excuse to break up with a sweet girl so he can go chase some other girl whose role model is Nicki Minaj and her vocabulary consists of 5 words that are no longer than 4 letters.

But I’ve had to face the facts: I was so focused and stressed out over school that I:

  • Neglected helping my wife keep the house clean
  • Stopped taking my wife out on dates (men, always date your wife, don’t care how old y’all are)
  • Started slacking off at work
  • Ignoring all of my friends
  • Stopped studying Scripture for growth
  • Stopped praying
  • Became overwhelmingly apathetic towards ministry
  • Stopped going to church

To put it simply, I’m not being a good husband to my wife nor am I being a faithful follower of Christ because I have made seminary my idol. And it is suffocating me. I need to get my priorities in order and get straightened out.

Don’t hear m–hear? Read? Read. Don’t read me wrong: I’m not in anyway saying seminary is bad and you should not go. Seminary has helped me think more critically, interpret the Bible more correctly and opened up doors for me, while introducing me to life-long friends. I would encourage you to go, if God is really calling you there.

But the one advice I can give you is this: don’t pick the popular degree.

You see, at my seminary, the big mama-jama, the big kahuna degree is the M DIV, aka Masters of Divinity. It is a 93 hour degree. That is a lot of school. And it isn’t for everyone. I thought that’s the degree I needed to get a good church job, which, it might be. Really though? I only picked it because a few of my mentors at the school got that degree. What I quickly found out was that I am way out of my league.

That’s why halfway through, I switched to the MACE. It already sounds cooler! And it’s only 36(?) hours. Even better.

A lot of my M Div classes don’t carry over? Well, crap.

To be honest, if I took some classes this semester, and in the summer, I would probably graduate in the fall. But with the shape that I’m in now? Seminary needs to take a back-seat while I get right with God, get back to dating my wife and restore what work ethic I had.

It wasn’t an easy decision. Then again, I guess that’s why it’s called a “tough decision”.

16 thoughts on “I’m Not in Seminary Anymore (sort of)

  1. lenasclove says:

    Thanks for your honesty about your decision. I am not a Christian but I very much relate in my way to feeling pulled in one direction or another. Sometimes I feel it so strongly inside me, and I’m not sure what it is, and then I make a pro/con list or journal or something and find that, indeed, the choice my insides have been screaming at me to make is the choice that makes sense for ME. We are all on our own paths. I appreciate your post. -Lena

  2. PDorsey1 says:

    Great blog! Enjoyed reading it especially since I graduated last Oct and opted to get an MA in Pastoral Counseling midway through my MDiv degree. It was the best decision I could have made and I realize, as a peer back over my shoulder, God was orchestrating my steps all along! Yes, we must do what God is calling us to do and to do that, we must be in conversation with him. You have made a WISE choice. Thank you for your transparency in sharing it! (I’m watching you saved people — in my progesso soup commercial voice haha!)

  3. John's Point of View says:

    I’m not as far along, but I know how you feel! School drowns out so much of what is important. I will finish my undergraduate this Spring and I am certainly applying the brakes (at least for a while).


  4. adangomiadonye says:

    Thank you for your honesty and sharing. I encourage you to continue to step out in faith, wherever that may take you.

  5. jtmichelsen says:

    As an MDiv student and newlywed, I understand your choice. You have to go where you are called to go, and if school is hurting your marriage, God WILL call you to take a break. Remember that most of the Biblical giants were married, but none went to seminary! Good luck!

  6. kimberlykeene71 says:

    Your honesty is refreshing. and I am happy for you, for making the decision to honor your first ministry, which is with your wife and home. I pray that the Lord will lead and guide you, into what He has for you.

  7. higherpowerliving says:


    Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you are doing the wrong thing when you are motivated to get closer to God and your family. It has been said that ministry is to happen out of overflow not over work. In other words you cannot give away what you don’t have. I can very easily get to the same place you are. I feel like I have been in school forever. All I can say is that you are wise in understanding you need some time to reorient yourself.

    I pray that God would bless this time and this decision you have made and that you would grow more and more in love with Him as He supplies you with more faith than you ever thought possible. May this be a time of restoration, rejuvenating, and of building as you continue to step out in faith and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.

  8. malakh ahavah says:

    My experience with a theology major, is that it is not intended to enrich your relationship with Christ, it is totally independend on that, it is not biblestudy persé, and you need to make time for that too, even in a theology major if you’re a christian… Further your wife comes in first… it is important to keep your relationship healthy, even when you study, your relationship is much more important than any job you will ever get… I don’t know where you study, but wasn’t it for instance possible to cut back in studypoints? Hope you all the best in what you decide to do…

  9. Joel.D.Freeman says:

    Hey bro, blast from your past. Its Joel, I haven’t lived in the US in almost 6 years now. I dread going back to school too. I switched from the Mdiv to the MACE too, but right now my degree is on hold while I earn my teaching certificate. Have any kids yet? Sorry to be blunt. We haven’t talked in ages. I have 2 daughters now, they are 4 and 2. Message me soon so we can keep in touch.

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