Size and Emphasis
The size of the school is another important consideration. Some people feel more comfortable in a smaller setting, where students and faculty have close personal interaction. There may only be one professor who teaches New Testament studies, but there is an intimate sense of community on campus.
Other students prefer a larger seminary offering a broader range of courses. They may be able to choose classes from five New Testament scholars, each with his or her own specialty. With the wider academic choice, however, may come a more limited sense of community. Both settings require trade-offs; both can train people well for Christian service. The choice probably comes down to one’s own personal style.
Seminaries differ not only in context and size, but in their emphasis. At seminaries focusing primarily on rigorous academics, the professors may be world-class scholars who are given plenty of time for research and publication. The worshiping life may be optional, something students experience as part of a local church. Individual professors, especially in university settings, may see themselves as scholars of religion, but may not necessarily profess a personal religious commitment.
Seminaries emphasizing spiritual formation over academics may provide community worship experiences every day of the week. Professors may be selected not only on the basis of scholarship, but by what they personally espouse and live.