A YOUNG OBSCURE GALILEAN PEASANT begins a ministry of preaching, teaching and healing, lived out primarily among the disenfranchised, outcast people of the oppressed nation of Israel. Along the way he becomes closely related to twelve people, who leave their “steady vocations” to respond to the “sure but uncertain” calling to follow him. For three years he teaches these disciples in a seamless curriculum of wisdom and practice. Curious, breathtaking signs unfold. Blind see! Lame walk! Lepers are healed! Deaf hear! Dead are raised! Poor receive Good News!

YOU, TOO, HAVE HEARD THE GALILEAN’S CALL. Your life has become a crossroad, leading not to a destination but a door. Places of arrival, college degrees, successful careers, established families, and good lives have become points of departure. Now strewn nets and spilled coins litter your landscape. You find yourself longing for intensive apprenticeship to Jesus, a season of rigorous learning and intimate fellowship. You dream of your life and work becoming a demonstration point of the signs of God’s Kingdom.

 

So why are you here?

Seminary… a place like most other places, filled with temptations, distractions and a thousand detours. Seminary… a place like no other in its possibility, brimming full with the promise of real formation. Seminary… a call to holiness, a mind shaped by mercy and justice, a heart stretching out to comprehend the vastness of the world: a season of intense discipleship, of focused apprenticeship to Jesus, of preparation for a life of service in God’s Kingdom. Whether you’ve just arrived from college or dropped your nets somewhere in the middle of life, you are here.

 

 

Definition: Education

What if the goal of education is learning and the outcome of knowledge is humility? Learning Humility. Interesting… the word “learner” derives from the Greek term maqhthv” which means “disciple.” The word humility comes from the Latin term “humus,” meaning from the ground. Now, what if discipleship became the model for education? Learning Humility. With this understanding, study can legitimately become a practice of worship.

 

You are here… where discipleship meets the mind, as in:

Have the same mind in you that was in Christ Jesus, who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself.

…you know the rest of the Story.

But it’s worth remembering again.

And became obedient to death—even death on a cross. (Philippians 2)

In this model, learning transcends information. And when learning transcends information you get transformation. In fact, it’s not about a model at all but a Person. Education, the discipleship of the mind, consists and coheres in learning Christ.

 

Now isn’t that why you came to seminary?

 

Good. Because you are here we believe education’s primary concern is formation. Preparation for ministry looks like a season of intensive discipleship. But what is the goal of formation?