Are there different paths to pastoral ministry?

I was interviewed recently by Christianity Today about my unique journey into pastoral ministry. I didn’t attend seminary. I didn’t serve in an internship. I got hammered in hard churches and got good faithful pastoral mentoring outside of the local churches of which I served. I didn’t realize it at the time, but God in his wise and kind providence was preparing me for a unique ministry, Practical Shepherding being a key piece in it.

The full CT article is good and addresses that there are multiple ways God gets

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pastors where they are supposed to be to serve him. Here is a small portion of that article:

Brian Croft, 40, has pastored Auburndale Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky, for the past 12 years. Yet Croft has never completed a seminary degree. While studying at Belmont University in Nashville, and later finishing his undergrad at Indiana University, he realized the call to vocational ministry. He bounced around at four churches in eight years in positions from youth ministry to music ministry.

“At all four churches, I desired to be mentored,” Croft said. “But the senior pastors didn’t feel that that’s what they were supposed to be doing. I made a lot of dumb rookie mistakes.”

Another pastor, however, saw his situation from afar and met with him over a 10-year period.

“He bought me thousands of dollars of books,” Croft said. “He would meet me at the bookstore, he would go, ‘Have you read this?’ and I’d say no, and he’d grab it off the shelf. I would leave every time with my arms full of books.

I became a reader … for 10 years I devoured every book he bought me. He taught me what a pastor is, what a church is supposed to be.”

Croft said that because of the man’s mentorship and guidance, he felt strongly equipped for a pastoral position even without a degree. His mentor affirmed that assurance, adding that Croft should pursue language study as one missing piece…

Read the full article…Here

Here is the book that describes how our local church trains future pastors: Prepare Them To Shepherd


Posted in Training for Ministry
One comment on “Are there different paths to pastoral ministry?
  1. Jerry McDowell says:

    it does not take a degree to pastor .they are helpful but a mentor someone to go to for advice helps. todays church world lots simply do not have a clue what a church is. what a pastor does they have no idea the amount of research that goes into a message. they also have no idea what a pastor goes through. when he steps into the pulpit see pews empty. thoughts of will they be back, did i say something wrong. i just came out of a church i was voted in with %99 approval vote . 2 months alter every thing fell apart. 1 woman was going to leave the Church . a person requested i meet with her i agreed . she brought in a outsider plus another member. her entire beef was 1. i mentioned foot washing one time. 2. she found out i was general baptist in a southern baptist church. even though my doctrine of salvation was we can be secure in Christ. needless to say she planted her seeds of poison deceit . the so called board had the nerve to say it was the will of the church i resign. amazing how 6 people become the will of the church. give that pastor %100 support as long as he is in the word. pray for him encourage him. follow these steps and you will have a good pastor and a good church. a church is only as good as a pastor is. and a pastor is only as good as the congregation is.

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