I recently graduated with a MABTS (Master of Arts in Biblical and Theological Studies) from Western Seminary. My time there was overall a good experience. I often found myself in class thanking God for the opportunity to even be immersed in a school dedicated to teaching and learning about the Bible and theology and practical ministry. But while Western has given me a much more in-depth knowledge in these various areas, what made my experience most rewarding was having the opportunity to serve as an intern at Indelible Grace Church during my entire 3-year seminary stint. Serving in the local church while learning from and being mentored by Pastor Michael during my time in seminary has been invaluable and a huge blessing.
Seminary should not replace the local church in teaching and raising up godly men and women to do kingdom work, but it is a great supplemental ministry that works alongside the church. My experience was exactly that, and I am so blessed to have gone through my seminary experience in this way.
Seminary was also a very humbling experience. After graduating, I didn't and still don't feel as equipped as I thought I would be. There is so much more to learn, and most things were only touched upon in seminary, but the beauty of this is that there is much more knowledge to be gained and much more growth to be had. I still feel inadequate to be doing ministry work, but this is ultimately a good thing because it keeps me relying on God to sustain and empower me, and it keeps me hungry to learn and grow in understanding and continually work towards excellence in ministry.
But even more than just growing in biblical knowledge and practical application, the combination of my time in seminary while serving and being served at IGC has helped me to truly develop a greater longing for God and his glory and a deeper love and appreciation for Jesus Christ and the church that he loves and died to redeem. I am thankful for faithful churches and seminaries that boldly proclaim the gospel!