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So You're Thinking about Going to Seminary: An Insider's Guide Paperback – November 1, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Brazos Press (November 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1587432145
  • ISBN-13: 978-1587432149
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,128,383 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

I think I want to go to seminary, but is it right for me?

If you or someone you know is asking that kind of question, this book is for you. A true insider, Derek Cooper writes for anyone considering or starting seminary. He explains what seminary is, how seminary can provide the right training for different kinds of ministry, the practical aspects of going to seminary (money, location, theological affiliation, etc.), how much time seminary takes, what classes are like, and what the different degrees entail. The only book of its kind, this engaging and user-friendly guide helps both prospective and beginning students make wise choices and know what to expect as they begin this life-changing experience.

"Derek Cooper has given us an excellent guidebook for those who are thinking about attending seminary. Like the best of travel guides, he knows the territory well. He has a clear sense of what questions people are asking--and also the ones they ought to ask--when they are thinking about taking this journey."--Richard J. Mouw, Fuller Theological Seminary

"Derek Cooper's conversational style and personal reflections make this book accessible and easy to navigate. He takes what is often a complex set of personal, spiritual, practical, and ecclesial decisions and offers history, perspective, and very practical counsel. It's an excellent resource for anyone contemplating theological study or who is already engaged in it."--Philip D. Krey, Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia

"Why has no one published a book like this before? Derek Cooper draws from his experience, research, and wisdom and mixes it all together in an eminently informative--not to mention fun--read. For anyone contemplating the Amazon-like jungle of seminary options, here is your travel guide."--Nicholas Perrin, Wheaton College

"A seminary education requires an enormous investment of time, energy, and finances while simultaneously having an enormous impact--for good or bad!--on the intellectual, emotional, and spiritual formation of the student. Choosing a particular school is therefore a serious matter that needs to be evaluated from multiple perspectives. Derek Cooper anticipates nearly every thoughtful question that might be raised by prospective seminarians and provides a wealth of information to help them make an informed decision."--David G. Dunbar, Biblical Seminary

About the Author

Derek Cooper (PhD, Lutheran Theological Seminary) is visiting professor of New Testament at Biblical Seminary. Due to work, family, and program requirements, Derek has attended classes at six different seminaries. He lives in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, with his wife.

More About the Author

Dr. Derek Cooper is Assistant Professor of World Christian History at Biblical Seminary in suburban Philadelphia, where he is also the Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program.

Derek is the author of "Christianity and World Religions: An Introduction to the World's Major Faiths" (P&R), "Unfollowers: Unlikely Lessons on Faith from Those Who Doubted Jesus" (WPH), "So You're Thinking about Going to Seminary" (Brazos), "Thomas Manton: A Guided Tour of the Life and Thought of a Puritan Pastor" (P&R), and "Hazardous: Committing to the Cost of Following Jesus" (CLC).

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Aaron Rathburn on April 20, 2009
Format: Paperback
I was browsing Christian book publishers one day and came across the newly published title, "So You're Thinking About Going to Seminary" by Derek Cooper. Of course, since I am trying to figure out which theology graduate programs I should apply for, this instantly went to the top of my reading list!

This is an unprecedented book, that takes a look at the ins-and-outs of seminary, and helps provide a road-map for navigating the terrain. As the cover attests, it helps choose the right seminary, discern if seminary is right for you, explore degree options, what to expect, how to finance the escapade, and more. The author explains his somewhat tumultuous experience of shuffling between a whopping SIX different seminaries, before finishing his academic career.

The book is divided into four parts: (1) Orientation to Seminary, (2) Things to Consider Before Seminary, (3) Things to Consider During Seminary, and (4) Post-Seminary Things to Consider While in Seminary.

The book is packed with information that would take a very long time to accumulate through one's own experience alone. One interesting thing I learned in the orientation is what exactly "seminary" is. Cooper explains that a "Divinity School," a "School of Theology," an a "Seminary," are all theological schools that fall under the big-umbrella term "seminary," but that have important differentiations. The primary point is that a "divinity school" or "school of theology" is usually a theological department/college of a bigger mainstream university, whereas the term "seminary" is often used in independent educational institutions without affiliations to another school.

Part 2 offers chapters on theological affiliations of schools, the "outside" factors to consider (locale, etc.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Ed Cyzewski on November 12, 2008
Format: Paperback
What's great about this book is the sheer breadth of topics Derek covers. He begins with the basic question about whether or not someone should attend seminary in the first place, and walks readers right through the process to the point that he suggests possible professions and career paths.

While this book will undoubtedly help Christians decide whether or not seminary is the right choice or which seminary is the right fit (denominationally, theologically, etc.), it seems that Derek has left no stone unturned by providing guidance through seminary classes and other issues that will come up while attending seminary. He doesn't just provide insight into step A, but rather goes from A-Z with his ideas, check lists, and questions.

If you really are considering seminary, then you will find this book an engaging read. Derek has made this topic as compelling as any human being possibly could, while the designers have done an amazing job pulling key quotes, inserting charts and graphs, and breaking down ideas into lists. Each appendix at the end is a gold mine of information.
[...]
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By AK on May 12, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was just what I needed to read before making a decision about going to seminary or not. It has lots of helpful insights and really helps you look at all the options and possibilities before making such a large decision.
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By Mike V. on December 7, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Derek provides a clear and thorough overview of the seminary experience. His perspective comes across as balanced and unbiased. He approaches it by making recommendations based on what one may or may not be trying to accomplish with a seminary education. Very helpful.
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10 of 25 people found the following review helpful By David A. Anderson on December 12, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While presenting many good ideas I must take issue with the author citing Joel Osteen as an "excellent preacher." Osteen is not a gospel preacher. He is a great communicator of heretical concepts (prosperity gospel). If he attended seminary he may be more doctrinal sound. He possible could be used as a reason why someone should go to seminary. (pg. 36). Also, he approves of universalist, Brian Maclaren. Maclaren propounds a false gospel and once again is a good argument why one should go to seminary. Those issues aside (and they are big issues) the book does provided many helpful insights in the the nature of seminary.
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