A person recently asked me this on a YouTube video of mine:
“Kerrigan, what’re your thoughts on college, particularly Bible colleges? Should one attend such places?”
Here was my response to him:
“I don’t know of one that will help you to stay in prayer, interpret the Bible properly, lead you to the streets to evangelize or that won’t leave you worse off spiritually, then you were when you got there. There may be one out there, but I’m not aware of one. The most Biblical way to study God’s Word is to be in a Godly Church with Godly leadership that will teach you sound doctrine, disciple you and model the Christian life for you. There’s no replacement for this, including “Bible colleges”.”
I’ve been asked this question, many times in the last 10 years or so. In fact, about 4 years ago, someone asked me a similar question on Facebook. His question was about seminaries. Here was my response to him:
I recently had a brother in Christ ask me about a seminary or seminaries that I could recommend to him for study. I have considered seminary and getting a “Master’s Degree” many times in my recent past. Having prayed about it many times, I have decided not to go. I really am the type of person who learns better on my own anyway. I read lots of books (especially the Bible) and strive to study to show myself approved. If you are considering seminary, please consider my response below. I am NOT “anti-education”, BUT I don’t know of one “seminary” that I can wholeheartedly recommend. I pray you are blessed and edified by my response to Brother ____:
Brother ____, the only “Theological College” that I can really recommend in this day and age is the “College of the Prayer Closet”. The good thing is that it won’t cost you a penny of money. There are no forms to fill out and no entrance exams to pass. You can go everyday and it doesn’t have to be too far away. No books to buy, all you will need is your Bible. There are no desks to sit at, for you will be on bended knee. You will need a pen or pencil, a notebook, an open Bible and a willing and obedient heart. Your teacher will be the Holy Spirit, God Himself. The student-teacher ratio is 1:1, so you will get all of the time and attention that you need. You won’t need a tutor, for He will answer all of your questions and is eager to do so.
If you do this everyday for the rest of your life, my friend, you will be a “College Graduate” in the end. Except no diploma will be given to you. No big deal, for all those things usually become is an expensive piece of “artwork” to hang on your wall and collect dust. Moth and rust will destroy such things. You will receive something of much more worth: the crown of life and the words of Jesus, “Well done, good and faithful servant”, as long as you endure in this “school” of training until the very end. 1 John 2:27
Brother I mean all of this in all seriousness and sincerity too. Please don’t take these words light heartedly. Don’t waste your time and money going to cemetery (seminary). You might come out the other side dead spiritually. Rather, spend the time and effort you would have spent at cemetery in seeking the face of God and allowing Him to reveal truth to you in the “College of the Prayer Closet”. This “college” has proven true in my life and many others down through the ages.
If you are looking for “learning tools” in your study, I suggest a concordance, a Greek/Hebrew Interlinear Bible, a Greek and Hebrew Lexicon (Dictionary) and your regular Bible. Take lots of notes and seek the wisdom/advice of God before the wisdom/advice of men. Read the Bible everyday, but also study it everyday. Read through the whole Bible as often as possible, but also take time to study it in detail. Put what you learn into practice (obey it), preach/share the Gospel as often as you are able. God Bless…
The only thing that I would add to this is that some of you might have a hard time finding a “prayer closet”. If that is so, then pray to the Lord for help with this. Many of us have a spouse or children. All of us have work to do and “busyness” in life. These are NOT excuses for not getting in your “prayer closet”. Here are some qualifications for a good “prayer closet”:
1) A quiet place
2) A place where there are no distractions
3) A place where you can be alone
If you aren’t getting in your “prayer closet”, then start today! If you are, then keep it up!
The state of the modern-day American “bible colleges and seminaries” is pitiful. They are overrun with Calvinistic theology, a lack of prayer, a lack of concern for souls and not enough focus on Holy living. Get in your prayer closet, read/study the Bible for yourself, join a Godly local Church that is involved in evangelism and preaches sound doctrine and get discipled by one of the Godly people at that Church. This, my friends, is God’s answer.