There is not one major that every college student who is considering seminary should declare. Students come to seminary from many different backgrounds, and they have a variety of undergraduate degrees. At any given seminary, there are likely engineers, Bible college graduates, philosophy majors and musicians.
Although there is no one major that every prospective seminary student should have, students who are considering graduate-level theology school should choose their major wisely. Here are some considerations to think about when declaring an undergraduate major and thinking about seminary.
Will my college major help me find a job?
Most seminary students work, at least part time, while taking classes. Many must support a family, as well as themselves. It may be wise to pursue a bachelor’s degree that has a high post-college employment rate. Graduating with a degree that can help you land a good job will help with the bills during seminary. Some degrees to consider are:
- Natural sciences (Chemistry, Biology, Physics)
Will my college major help me understand my culture?
The ultimate goal of going to seminary is to learn how to connect the Bible’s message with your culture (or the culture you will be serving, if you are considering becoming a missionary). Seminaries, however, focus more on the Bible, unless you are in a specifically cross-cultural degree program. College, therefore, is one of the best times to learn about the culture you will be serving. Some degrees that can help you understand your culture are:
- Modern languages (French, Spanish, German, etc.)
Will my college major prepare me for seminary?
Seminaries are graduate schools. As such, their academic programs are more rigorous than those at undergraduate colleges. In theory, all majors will prepare you for graduate-level work, but some degrees will develop your critical thinking and writing skills more than others. To prepare academically for seminary, consider:
- Mathematics (develops critical thinking)
None of the above questions mention degrees in Bible or theology. That is because seminaries are meant to provide the theological training necessary to be a pastor, missionary or other Christian leader. While a degree in Bible or theology would not be a bad way to prepare for seminary, these other degrees would round out your education more. College is the perfect time to pursue training outside of theology proper, if your plan on going to seminary.(This is the second post in our Q&A series. The first post was about whether non-denominational pastors need seminary degrees).