BOOK REVIEWS

15 Things Seminary Couldn’t Teach Me – Collin Hansen and Jeff Robinson

semCollin Hansen & Jeff Robinson, Ed. 15 Things Seminary Couldn’t Teach Me Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2018, 155 pp. $16.19

It’s been nearly twenty years since I graduated from seminary. Those days were filled with loads of coursework, Greek, Hebrew, and theology classes. I look back with a sense of wonder as I remember some of the deep lessons that captured my heart and informed my mind. In Seminary, I was introduced to the Puritans. During these days, I became friends with Jonathan Edwards, Martin Luther, John Owen, and John Bunyan. These were rich days that helped prepare me for a lifetime of pastoral ministry and teaching.

But seminary has some weaknesses that need to be addressed. 15 Things Seminary Couldn’t Teach Me tackles these weaknesses with tact and pastoral care. Edited by Collin Hansen and Jeff Robinson, this book pays homage to seminary education but acknowledges some areas that fall short.

Seasoned pastors present fifteen areas that are typically not covered in seminary. An overview will set the stage and will welcome seminaries to devour this excellent book:

  1. Knowledge and Credentials Aren’t Enough
  2. What to Do When My Church Is Dying
  3. How to Shepherd My Wife
  4. How to Pastor People Who Are Different From Me
  5. How to Follow My Lead Pastor When We Disagree
  6. How to Lead My Leaders
  7. How to Raise My Kids to Love the Church
  8. How to Shepherd My Congregation through Season of Suffering
  9. When to Accept a Call or Leave a Church
  10. How to Handle Conflict
  11. The Need to Fight for My Relationship with God
  12. The Time it Takes to Become a Shepherd
  13. The Temptation to Make a Name for Myself
  14. The Joy I Can Know Over a Long Tenure
  15. What to Do When No Church Hires Me

Each chapter is loaded with real-life help from pastors who have been through the trenches. Two areas are unaddressed, however, and should be included in future editions. First, the matter of loneliness should be addressed. Second, the matter of discouragement/depression should be broached.

This is a deeply encouraging book that will serve pastors well in the days to come. This book should be required reading for every seminarian. The lessons taught here will be a significant source of strength for the next generation of shepherds.

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.

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