Choosing a seminary is hard. Unless someone tells you that you have to go to seminary X or they will shoot your dog, you have to sift through a surprisingly large number of schools, weighing things like cost, location, theology, personal fit, and mascot quality. That’s a lot of work.
And who needs more work to do? Not me. I have a hard time keeping up with my favorite TV shows as it is. And I bet you’re pretty busy too. So, I’d like to help. I’ve been in the seminary world for a while now and I know what it takes to choose just the right seminary for you. Some people will try to make this rather complicated. It doesn’t need to be. Just follow my tried-and-true method, and you’ll be fine.
10 Steps for Choosing the Right Seminary
Step 1: Apply to Western Seminary
Step 2: Pray
Step 3: Wait anxiously for a response from Western Seminary
Step 4: If you are accepted into Western Seminary, go directly to Step 9; if you are not accepted into Western Seminary, continue to Step 5.
Step 5: Panic
Step 6: Spend the next several days trying to combat your depression using whatever coping mechanisms are available to you.
Step 7: Apply to Western Seminary again. This time, send your application to the academic dean along with a suitable “love gift offering.”
Step 8: If this is your first visit to Step 8, return to Step 2. If you’ve been here before, I’m sorry, but it’s time to start considering other options. I know it’s painful, but maybe you need to apply to other seminaries. You don’t have to tell anyone, though. Just buy a Western Seminary shirt and wear it a lot. We won’t tell anyone. (If you’re in this camp, William Evans offers some really good advice in On Choosing a Seminary. He’ll help you think through the different kinds of seminaries, so you can pick the next best option for you.)
Step 9: Rejoice!
Step 10: Make fun of those who ignored Step 1 and applied to a different seminary or anyone who gave up at steps 5 or 6. But, don’t make fun of the people who had to bail out at Step 8; they already feel bad enough as it is.
If you’re specifically looking for a Th.M. program, you need to modify the process slightly. Don’t bother with steps 1-6. Just skip straight to Step 7 and you’ll be all set.