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Seminary theology is the study of religion at the graduate school level and covers how religion affects societies. This study often focuses on Christianity and prepares pupils to become pastors and other religious leaders. A seminary theology training program introduces students to world religions and the requirements of ministry, and typically leads to a two-year master’s degree of divinity. A doctoral degree also can result from four additional years of seminary study.
An important part of seminary theology is a focus on world religions and missions work. Theology in seminaries examines common contemporary Western and Eastern religions and their roots. For instance, many modern religions stem from now-defunct religions such as Green and Egyptian. Less common religious ideas such as Wicca and Native American beliefs also are important aspects of a study of God at the seminary level, along with the Jewish belief system primarily based on the sacred book called the Torah. Religious leaders must understand views of God from different world perspectives steeped in tradition. This allows pastors and missionaries to reach people of various religious backgrounds.
A study of God in graduate school additionally includes a look at the history of Christianity and a deep look at the major religious book in Christianity, the Bible. A development of a working knowledge of Greek and Hebrew is a valuable part of seminary theological studies, as almost all of the Old Testament of the Bible originally was written in Hebrew, while the New Testament was written in Greek. Courses in theology go over the modern church as well as how the church functioned hundreds of years ago. Even a study of the devil and demons, which are mentioned constantly throughout the Bible, is critical in seminary theology because contemporary religious leaders emphasize the devil’s activity in modern affairs.
Aspiring religious leaders also study pastoral care and how to handle a congregation while in theology training. Seminary theology students learn how to approach families and couples in their ministries, as well as crisis intervention and the dynamics of loss and grief. These concepts are important in seminary because they prepare future pastors to handle a variety of emotional problems that arise when tending to congregations of church members or people who they serve in the missions field.
To complete theology training that leads to a master’s degree, an individual should have a four-year Bachelor of Divinity degree or the equivalent certification. Applicants additionally must submit transcripts of past courses taken and fill out their chosen schools’ admissions forms. Recommendation letters typically also are a requirement to get into a seminary theology training program. Admission to a four-year doctoral degree program in seminary requires completion of a master’s degree.