It has been said that “An education cannot make the most of a person, but a person can make the most of an education.” Some of the greatest men in the modern history of Christian ministry were without any formal theological training. Such a list is too long to include here, but names many will recognize are Charles G. Finney, Dwight L. Moody, Lewis S. Chafer, and A.W. Tozer.
On the other hand, the names of countless persons who have served in ministry (following graduation from well known schools), who could parse both Hebrew and Greek, explain complicated doctrinal theories, and argue apologetics with crisp reasoning, have passed though history scarcely known.
This is because obtaining a formal education is no more a guarantee of a successful ministry
than owning the best and latest tools will make anyone a master mechanic.
Obviously, as the president of a University dedicated to Biblical Higher Education, I strongly recommend formal, and continuing learning. On the other hand, I also know that those who think formal education alone is enough, will be sadly disappointed. Even advanced degrees in theology will not automatically propel anyone into a more successful ministry.
Having tools is critically important, but tools alone cannot make one an excellent mechanic. Tools are not made to have, but to be used. Education is a tool, and must be used to be mastered.
In fact, the diligent and proper use of only a few tools can make a person a master of great art.
As the simple chisel and hammer of a Michelangelo illustrates.
Having a library full of books will not make a person a literary, but one Bible diligently read, studied and applied may make a former shoe salesman like Dwight L. Moody one of history’s great revivalists.
If you have only a little Biblical education, then make the most of it. Then, If you have a great deal of Biblical education, then make the most of it.
If you believe you need more Biblical education, then by all means pursue it, and get the most of it, while in the meantime making the most of what you already have.
Get all you can only if you will determine to get all you can from it. To do less will only contribute to a false sense of accomplishment.
Here is the greatest statement of truth concerning Biblical Higher Education:
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (II Timothy 2:15 KJV).
Here is the greatest statement of truth on the purpose of Biblical Higher Education:
“And He [Jesus] said unto them, Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick” ( Mark 4:21 KJV)?
Therefore, make the most of Biblical Higher Education by studying and shining!
Dennis D. Frey, M.Div., Th.D., President,
Master’s International University of Divinity