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As I've looked around Theologica, read through the forums, blogs, and comments, I feel quite young. There seems to be such a wealth of knowledge and experience among the members here (something I am taking advantage of while it is available) that it is almost intimidating.

Many of you have been so kind (relatively ;-p) to answer questions I've had, or post comments on my blog posts. I was wondering if I might be so bold as to ask you of your experience. What is your background? Did you attend Bible College, Seminary, etc.? Did you read everything you could get your hands on? Did you have someone who had gone before you to help lead the way? Do you teach, preach, or simply study that you might love the Lord our God with heart, mind, and soul?

I'm curious because I've learned, and I am learning, by way of hard knocks. I read everything I can. My Bible is my Bible and I can't live without it. I'll be starting school soon to pursue Theology further. Any advice?

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Thank you, and amen and amen!

The reason I study and read everything I can is not for the sake of knowledge alone, but to love the Lord with all my heart, all my mind, and all my soul. I grew up in a church who held closely to the teachings of a man that seeks to make Scripture fit his purpose and desires. I was lied to...a lot. I seek God's Word first and always foremost to know Him.

I've recently been accepted into Liberty University B.S. in Religion distance learning course. I plan to pursue that and then move on to a M. Div. What would I use it for? What ever the Lord desires. I'd like maybe to teach, or become a Chaplain in the military, but who knows, maybe I'll be a janitor somewhere who volunteers his time to help clean the church on Saturdays. :-) Whatever it may be, may it be to the Glory of Christ!
Great attitude Michael. Myself, I have some online Bible college (Moody), focused on theological courses, but do not have a degree (yet). I've also been an avid questioner and reader throughout my life. I too am a little intimidated by some of the knowledge on Theologica, but am learning as I interact.

I'm 52 and currently full-time staff at an evangelical church. We're about 300 people with a staff of three, so we all do what's needed, though each of us has primary responsibilities. I fix computers, handle much of technical ministries, teach/preach as needed and lead music as needed. I'm currently going through a year-long ordination process, where leaders of our association/denomination assess our qualifications for ordination. They say they're looking for a seminary level of knowledge. So far, they seem to think I'm doing OK. After this prep process is finished (January or so) I'll sit before an ordination council, who will give either a thumbs up or thumbs down recommendation. That, plus a transcript of the council will go to association/denomination headquarters back east for the final word.

I study primarily for my own understanding, unless it's sermon prep or something. My experiences with Moody have been good. For online courses, just as in the classroom, the instructor makes a big difference. I've had some who have been very involved and interact with students daily and some who have handed everything off to TAs and then assigned a grade at the end.
Michael, I feel the same as you do about a lot of the folks here.

I am in fellowship in an assembly of the so-called “Plymouth Brethren” (as is Rey Reynoso, although he is much more well-read than I am).

I’m 51, and have a degree in journalism and graduate work in fiction writing. I have been in advertising for … well, since the 20th century. My wife and I operate an ad agency, which we founded in 1994. I have no formal theological training, but I have become addicted to reading the Word of God. I guess I spend about 45 minutes to an hour a day with it.

I have been blessed with some brilliant mentors—a judge from Scotland, a professor from Ireland, a couple of professors from Wales, a couple of retired missionaries, several traveling Bible teachers, and Godly and knowledgeable parents in law. So I have good people to answer my questions.

My wife and I also spend a great deal of time listening to teaching on CD. We have about 300± hours of it, and we spend 8-10 hours a week listening. So there’s that.

I teach HS boys and speak from the platform occasionally (about once every 4-6 weeks). I love that you make it about the Lord and the Word. Cling to that, brother.
As a Lutheran, I am in favor of a well educated ordained male pastors and pastors that seminary trained. Our pastors always say that they want a well read laity so that the laity will know if the pastor is teaching false doctrine. Luther said to continue to study after ordination. Yet for the minister study should not be an end in itself. His care and concern for others should motivate him.

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