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Frequent Questions

Why TMS?

TMS is strategically located on a local church campus. It’s the most practical, most effective place to train for pastoral ministry. At TMS, you not only train on the campus of a local church; you sit under the men who lead it—a doctrinally united faculty of pastor-theologians.

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How do I know I'm called to ministry?

If there is anything else a man can do other than preach, Martyn Lloyd-Jones maintained he ought to do it. The pulpit is no place for him. The ministry is not merely something an individual can do, but what he must do. To enter the pulpit, that necessity must be laid upon him. A God-called man, he believed, would rather die than live without preaching. Lloyd-Jones often quoted the famed British pastor Charles H. Spurgeon: “If you can do anything else do it. If you can stay out of the ministry, stay out of the ministry.” In other words, only those who believe they are chosen by God for the pulpit should proceed in undertaking this sacred task.

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Do I need to go to seminary to be a pastor?

Put simply, one does not have to go to seminary to be a faithful pastor. After all, seminary training—as we know it today—is not explicitly in the Bible.

There have been faithful pastors for centuries who had no formal training. For many throughout church history, such training was simply not an option. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, pastors who have letters behind their names will receive a crown no more glorious than those who do not (cf. 1 Peter 5:4). At the end of time, what is required of stewards—seminary trained or otherwise—is that they be found trustworthy (cf. 1 Cor. 4:2).

Having said that, however, if a man wants to be faithful to the weighty calling of a shepherd and all that this sacred office entails, then yes, he must be trained by someone, somewhere. Because while seminary is not explicitly in the Bible, pastoral and theological training is (cf. 2 Tim. 2:2). In our context, seminary is often where that much-needed training is given. And in a day such as ours, with cultural chaos and complicated ecclesiological issues, perhaps the time has come when self-study will simply no longer do.

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How should I choose a seminary?

When a student comes to seminary, he is coming to be trained for the most weighty task anyone could ever undertake. So how one chooses a seminary ought to be primarily dependent on which seminary can best equip him for his God-given task.

With that in mind, there are three questions that must be asked when considering how to choose a seminary. If we think about seminary training and pastoral ministry from a big-picture perspective – from an eternal point of view – these are questions that need to be considered.

  • What does it mean to be successful in ministry?
  • Understanding that faithfulness to Christ is the goal, what are the major areas in which pastors are called to be faithful?
  • What seminary can I choose where I will be (a) discipled in the area of personal character and (b) trained to understand and teach sound doctrine?

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