Succeeding at Seminary Review

Book Review: 

In today's age, it's possible to find books on almost any topic. Want to learn beekeeping? A search will show over a thousand results for books on the subject. Interested in quilting? There are over 10,000 of them. And there are almost a thousand listings for how to become an adult. (I didn't realize that so many people struggle with that.) Essentially, you can find a book for pretty much anything that interests you.

Succeeding at Seminary is another example of such a book. How many people do you know who are interested in attending seminary? Probably not many. But if you're one of that select group, this book offers valuable advice. Written by the president of Midwestern Baptist Seminary, Jason K. Allen has the experience and expertise to help those interested in pursuing a seminary degree. It just so happens that I'm one of those individuals. I consider it God's providential timing that I ran across this book while I was already considering going to seminary.

The book's subtitle is 12 Keys to Getting the Most Out of Your Theological Education and it covers the topic from the first step (clarifying your call) to the last (finding a job). In between the covers, there are chapters on finding the right seminary for you, the advantages and disadvantages of online versus on-campus classes, how to carefully steward your time, financial considerations, and tips for studying. The book is only 128 pages so it doesn't dive deeply into each topic, but it contains enough information to provide some useful guidance. I found the chapters on stewarding your time, prioritizing your family, and studying tips to be particularly helpful.

The book is well-written and easy to read. Allen presents the information in a clear and orderly way. I only have two minor critiques of the book. First, the author primarily focuses his attention on those seeking to become pastors. However, there are various degrees in seminary and not everyone attending is being called to lead a congregation. Second, at times it sounds like an advertisement for Midwestern Baptist Seminary, particularly in the first several chapters. That being said, the book contains some useful information that helped me not only get into seminary, but should be very beneficial as I work towards my degree.

Overall, I rate this book 3 out of 5 stars.

I received a free copy of this book from Moody Publishers in exchange for my honest review.