How to Stay Christian in Seminary by David Mathis & Jonathan Parnell

It is common knowledge that seminary can be a spiritual graveyard (pp. 18, 34).  Intellectual accessibility exceeds spiritual capacity in a hurry (p. 16).  The purpose of this small book is “not to steer Christians away from seminaries, but to help those studying at seminary, or preparing to do so, in their expectations and approach to this season of life” (p. 19).  The authors, who both are on staff at, want to help seminarians keep and develop the heart from which they will minister.   They offer seven ways to do this and devote a chapter to each, which are:

  • Know Your Value of Values
  • Be Fascinated with Grace
  • Study the Word for More Than Words
  • Push Your Books Aside and Pray
  • Love That Jesus Calls the Weak
  • Be a Real Husband and Dad
  • Keep Both Eyes Peeled for Jesus

This volume offers helpful insights, important cautions and valuable direction to those presently attending seminary or preparing to do so.   My only concern is the last chapter that pushes the Christocentric hermeneutic (without naming it).  That our lives and ministries should be Christ-centered is not in question.  That Jesus is found in every text of Scripture is.  With this caveat aside, How to Stay Christian in Seminary is a useful read and would make a nice gift for the seminarian in your life.

How to Stay Christian in Seminary by David Mathis & Jonathan Parnell (Wheaton: Crossway, 2014) 80 pp., paper $ 7.99

Reviewed by Gary E. Gilley, Pastor-teacher, Southern View Chapel