Archive for November, 2013

Who are the 81%

by   |  11.15.13  |  Uncategorized

Recently, the blogosphere has pursued the topic, “the value of a seminary education.” One of the statistics that has grabbed the headlines is “81% of all incoming students do not expect to have a full-time position in parish ministry according to the Association of Theological Schools (ATS).” The headline begs the question, “Who are the 81%?” The short answer is, “godly men and women who desire to serve God for the sake of the world.”

What the headline fails to report is that ATS indicates that the Entering Student Questionnaire (ESQ) also has findings for a total of 23 items including chaplaincy, missions, youth ministry, and campus ministry, which are not included in the sound byte. When all of these wonderful forms of ministry that make up the 81% are included, the alarm is but a clanging cymbal. For example, one year the ESQ for the GST indicated that 50% of our incoming class planned to enter foreign missions, church planting, and youth ministry. We were proud of that entering class even though it had fewer students indicating pulpit ministry. As described below, 66% of the GST’s graduates do plan to work in church ministry in one form or another.

I entered seminary indicating I wanted to do a church planting in Utah. I graduated taking a position to plant a church in New Jersey. I spent 17 years in full-time domestic missions and pulpit ministry. My story is part of the 81%. I do not believe my story should raise any red flags for the demise of a seminary education.

More telling is the story told by the Graduating Student Questionnaire (GSQ). Our sixteen-year story is summarized in the chart below highlighting last year’s graduating class.

GST Graduate Student Questionnaire  (MDiv, MACM, MAMI, MA)



       16 Year Average More »


by   |  11.14.13  |  Announcements

eConnections is launched!

Classes for our inaugural session of this new online continuing education project are: