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What to Expect in Seminary: Theological Education as Spiritual Formation [Paperback]

By Virginia Samuel Cetuk (Author)
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Item description for What to Expect in Seminary: Theological Education as Spiritual Formation by Virginia Samuel Cetuk...

Make the best of your seminary years instead of letting them frustrate you! Through the lens of spiritual formation, Cetuk examines your call, classroom learning, community life, field education, financial realities, and time management, stressing both the challenges and opportunities.

Publishers Description
In What to Expect in Seminary, Virginia Samuel Cetuk looks at the various facets of theological education -- the call to ministry, classroom learning, community life, field education, financial realities, time-management challenges -- through the lens of spiritual formation. In each chapter she challenges readers to view the particular topic as an avenue to spiritual growth instead of as an obstacle to the same. Offering readers the conceptual tool of reframing, she draws upon psychology, Scripture, and her many years' experiences in theological education to help readers see both the challenges and the rich opportunities of theological education related to ministry and spiritual formation.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Abingdon Press
Pages   200
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9" Width: 6.03" Height: 0.59"
Weight:   0.75 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Nov 1, 1998
Publisher   Abingdon Church Supplies
ISBN  0687017289  
ISBN13  9780687017287  

Availability  62 units.
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More About Virginia Samuel Cetuk

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Cetuk is Associate Dean for Contextual Learning.

Virginia Samuel Cetuk was born in 1951.

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1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Education > College & University > General
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Education > College & University
3Books > Subjects > Professional & Technical > Education > By Level > College
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Ministry
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Education > General
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Education > Seminary
7Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Bible > General
8Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about What to Expect in Seminary: Theological Education as Spiritual Formation?

seminaries in a state of change  Nov 6, 2006
Being a seminary student, i do not have the time to read this book (i have a pile a few feet tall to deal with already this semester), so my 4 stars counts for squat. I will say this though for anyone looking to enter seminary: many seminaries are in a transitional spot right now because the churches in America and around the world are in a transitional spot (i.e. cell church movements, emergent church, postmodern ministry) - the modern church is on a MAJOR decline (just check barna). Honestly it may not be the best time to enter seminary as many schools TRY to understand these movements. Also: Often we think our "call to the ministry" automatically equates to bible college/seminary but it does not, and for those who think it will be some "spiritual empowering experience" - you MAY be in for a rude awakening, even in evangelical/pentecostal schools. Seminaries are mainly for educational purposes, not spiritual formation. Right now there is a battle in many schools over the purpose or goal of seminary education, as more evangelical/pentecostal theology emerges, the deans of the schools are more interested in producing scholars than pastors, evangelists, prophets, etc in order to write the next 100 years or so of theology. My advice to those looking to enter is really seek the Lord on this, because unless you want to be a scholar or absolutely need credentials you maybe should only take a class here or there under your area of interest. Seminary has taught me how to study the Bible, how to write papers, and given me a handful of skills/wisdom to minister better, but honestly getting mentored in the context which i want to minister and taking classes here and there would have been much more productive (and thats how Jesus did it, minus the classes part), since the mission field, local church, etc. is the context of theology.
Great expectations...  Jul 22, 2004
Virginia Samuel Cetuk, an associate dean at Drew Theological School, put together this book in the hope that potential seminarians would gain some insight into what happens in a seminary setting. Cetuk set for herself a difficult task -- there are many different kinds of seminaries, different kinds of programmes at these seminaries, and different kinds of people enrolling in them.

Seminaries strive for community; some succeed better than others, but most have a continuing struggle to maintain a community setting -- in this regard, it matches many church settings, who have to continually work at maintaining community. But often the students feel they are alone (from my own seminary experience, I can testify that many feel this way) -- they feel lost, they question the appropriateness of the tasks of seminary education, they question their vocation and their hierarchies (both church and seminary). There are an increasing number of second-career seminarians, which means the students have been out of school for a time (some as long as twenty to thirty years), so the idea of regular reading, writing, research and study is daunting.

Cetuk looks at many practical issues, from time management and money management to how to approach courses in different disciplines. Being experienced with ATS-accredited seminary curriculum, her guidance here applies broadly -- most every seminary will require courses in Bible, church history, systematic and philosophical theology, culture, ethics, pastoral ministries and practical ministries. Some may have more of a direct applicability than others, but all are important in different ways (which is why the many schools of the Association of Theological Schools agree that these broad topical groupings are important components of the overall curriculum) -- Cetuk explores the different disciplines and relates them to the overall concept of ministry. There are some that could use a bit more development (given the reaction I've had in systematic theology classes I've taught, much more convincing needs to be done to show the worth), but overall it is a good development in the chapter dealing with classroom learning.

Cetuk also looks at the overall issue of call -- what is a call to ministry, and how does seminary help this call become something we call 'ministry'? Students come to seminary for a variety of reasons -- to try to experience God, because they have a desire to serve others, in order to grow spiritually, etc. Some students come for healing (of one sort or another) -- this is not always appropriate, but it is often difficult to determine. Most often, the reasons are a mixture of impulses and desires. Cetuk develops this along with historical ideas (she looks at Luther's idea of faith, vocation and priesthood; she looks at other denominations' ideas of ministry and ordination) as well as her own personal experiences.

Cetuk designed this book so that it might be useful as a course or a primer at the beginning of seminary (or perhaps a summer session orientation). It has some exercises for reflection at the end of the chapters, and includes appropriate prayers -- something any seminary student (and teacher, and administrator) will need!
A hollow defense against seminary criticism  Jun 14, 2004
As an entering seminarian I was hoping for real advice and insight into the seminary experience. This book was poorly written ad read like a defense against criticism of seminary education. The audience was not entering seminarians in my opinion. In fact, this read more like a doctoral thesis. I bought this book used and still feel that I was ripped off. It offered nothing new or unusual. What a dissapointment.
Good reading for prospective seminary students  Jul 24, 2003
"Theological education is not about learning, it is about change." This statement, not original with the author of this book, is nevertheless the most important sentence in "What to Expect in Seminary." The goal in moderate-to-liberal mainline seminaries is change, and just how the student will respond makes all the difference. She/he will be challenged with new ways of thinking, which may seem threatening to her/his faith. This book makes an attempt to equip the prospective student with a proper mindset to regard theological education as spiritual formation. Every aspect of seminary life is covered, from classroom to community life to financial and time management. I wish this book had been available when I first attempted seminary 25 years ago, and I'm glad to have it now when I am once again preparing to further my theological education.
A must read for seminary students.  Oct 21, 1998
In this pilgrim's progress of theological education, students of all ages and ethnic backgrounds will find wise counsel about the potential for positive spiritual formation in theological education as well as honest and sensitive discussion of various pitfalls. Spiritual formation is always part of the seminary experience, weither intentional or not. The issue is what kind of spiritual formation, and how are you responding?

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