Does My Pastor’s Education Matter?

Should your pastor have a Master’s degree in theology? How about a bachelor of arts in Biblical Studies? Can a man be a pastor with just a “secular” degree?

These are tough questions because they aren’t directly addressed in the Bible. Paul gives some pointed qualifications of a pastoring elder, but since he was not alive at the time seminaries were being started, we are isolated to our own opinions.

Personally, I feel at peace about my pastor’s theological training when he has studied to receive a degree that, in some way, incorporates Biblical Studies. Whether or not he has a Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctorate degree does not matter to me, so long as he has one of the three. Obviously, the last two follow after the first, but I think you know what I mean.

Spiritual maturity is not directly related to the level of education one has received. Character and the condition of the pastor’s heart should be the main concern. However, theological training does help sharpen the tools that God has given him.

In conclusion, a four-year degree that focuses on Biblical Studies is my preference. However, God is not bound by man’s ability to train each other and he can use any man he wants to accomplish his mission on earth.

For further reading, check out Al Mohler’s (President of Southern Seminary) thoughts: