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Should a Pastor's Salary be Commensurate with His Level of Academic Training?
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Post Skinny...well, you may be right.... Aaron Scott
I've only been in, around, and immersed in the ministry for 57 years, so there's that.

I've been exposed to preachers who held everything from a doctorate down to far less than a high school diploma.

I've seen those with a doctorate fall flat.

I've seen those without much education say ignorant things.

Give me the latter group ANY. DAY.

I don't know if you were brought up in the Church of God, but if you could get in a time machine and go back to the 50s, 60s, and 70s, before education apparently became the sine qua non of ministry, you would find that these golden years of evangelism were led by men of God who didn't have near the education that you might wish they had.

Go on back all the way to 1886. Over and over, you find that while the COG respected education (we did start Lee, after all), the lack of an education had little or nothing to do with our effectiveness as a church.

So, let me think...2020 Church of God vs. 1970 Church of God...hmmm. Well, if we are now under the impression that more education translates into more effective ministry, then give me 1970. And give it to me every single time.


Last edited by Aaron Scott on 4/22/20 2:40 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post Dave Dorsey
Aaron... if ya had some more higher education, ya might know that the plural of anecdote isn't data. Wink Now 67% friendlier!
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Post Dr.Acts
Let's not forget the only reason the Christian Union became Church of God was because of a very well educated for his time A.J. Tomlinson who traveled and learned at schools like Zion and Frank Sandford's "Holy Ghost and Us" Bible School in Durham, Maine.

Let's remember Tomlinson was set by J.B. Mitchell to distribute religious literature (not moon-shine) provided by the American Bible Society. And also published a regular printed newspaper at the turn of the century instead of growing tobacco.

Let's also remember Elder R.G. Spurling wrote a book without which our holiness theology may have been nothing but shouting, snakes and a little bit of tongue babble. His book cited reformation theology, church history and extensive personal research. His son Richard G. Spurling, Jr. and Methodist preacher W. F. Bryant were both ordained prior to joining, which did not happen without education.

Our major revivals in the 70s were mostly done by Lee graduates Smile You cannot make a reasonable argument against education in ministry while typing on a ministry forum using a computer. Come on! Let's tell our story and tell it right - it's the first thing they teach you in seminary...
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Post Dave, you cretin! Aaron Scott
Dave Dorsey wrote:
Aaron... if ya had some more higher education, ya might know that the plural of anecdote isn't data. Wink


I know that that data is a guy on Star Trek...and an anecdote is a vegetable of some sort.

So take it back--and take it back now!
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Post Dr. Acts...no, no, no.... Aaron Scott
Dr.Acts wrote:
Let's not forget the only reason the Christian Union became Church of God was because of a very well educated for his time A.J. Tomlinson who traveled and learned at schools like Zion and Frank Sandford's "Holy Ghost and Us" Bible School in Durham, Maine.


If by educated, you mean men who delved into the Word, etc., then YES. If you mean doctorates or even college degrees, nope.




Let's remember Tomlinson was set by J.B. Mitchell to distribute religious literature (not moon-shine) provided by the American Bible Society. And also published a regular printed newspaper at the turn of the century instead of growing tobacco.

Indeed. And he was further schooled by R.G. Spurling and Bryant...in the things of God. I am not against education. As I said, I was blessed with a very good one. But I also know that a person having a degree should not be paid more JUST because of the degree. It's about like paying a prophet more because they have a degree.

Here's the deal: If a degree actually enables a person to do a better job at the church--whatever position--than otherwise, then OBVIOUSLY, just as with ALL workers who do a better job, they deserve more money.

But I would consider to offer to pay a pastor more JUST BECAUSE he has a degree. Consider how you would feel if you had an MBA, but a guy with a semester in seminary is offered more money than you. Fair? Not for me.








Let's also remember Elder R.G. Spurling wrote a book without which our holiness theology may have been nothing but shouting, snakes and a little bit of tongue babble. His book cited reformation theology, church history and extensive personal research. His son Richard G. Spurling, Jr. and Methodist preacher W. F. Bryant were both ordained prior to joining, which did not happen without education.

I think you are equating formal and informal education. To my knowledge, neither Bryant nor Spurling had much, if any, formal higher education. I am not at all advocating for ignorant men to fill our pulpits! I am simply saying that an educated person is not automatically the best pick, is not automatically worthy of a greater salary.




Our major revivals in the 70s were mostly done by Lee graduates Smile

Please tell me you're joking, and that you don't really believe this. Yes, many excellent ministers came out of Lee, but there were many more who were just plain ol' men of God. Further, even back then there was a degree of thinking Lee graduates weren't as "Church of God" as other preachers, so while the larger churches might have had Lee graduates, the many, many more small churches were delighted to be using "plain-jane" evangelists who had awesome revivals.



You cannot make a reasonable argument against education in ministry while typing on a ministry forum using a computer. Come on! Let's tell our story and tell it right - it's the first thing they teach you in seminary...

I hope you will read my comments again. You will find that I am NOT against education! I have been blessed with one myself. However, I am against acting like an educated preacher is AUTOMATICALLY, sight-unseen, worth a greater salary or better at preaching, etc. THAT is what I am opposing!

God bless you.




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Post Re: Skinny...well, you may be right.... skinnybishop
Aaron Scott wrote:
I've only been in, around, and immersed in the ministry for 57 years, so there's that.

I've been exposed to preachers who held everything from a doctorate down to far less than a high school diploma.

I've seen those with a doctorate fall flat.

I've seen those without much education say ignorant things.

Give me the latter group ANY. DAY.

I don't know if you were brought up in the Church of God, but if you could get in a time machine and go back to the 50s, 60s, and 70s, before education apparently became the sine qua non of ministry, you would find that these golden years of evangelism were led by men of God who didn't have near the education that you might wish they had.

Go on back all the way to 1886. Over and over, you find that while the COG respected education (we did start Lee, after all), the lack of an education had little or nothing to do with our effectiveness as a church.

So, let me think...2020 Church of God vs. 1970 Church of God...hmmm. Well, if we are now under the impression that more education translates into more effective ministry, then give me 1970. And give it to me every single time.



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Last edited by skinnybishop on 4/22/20 3:30 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post Re: Dr. Acts...no, no, no.... autumn trees twice dead
Aaron Scott wrote:
Dr.Acts wrote:
Let's not forget the only reason the Christian Union became Church of God was because of a very well educated for his time A.J. Tomlinson who traveled and learned at schools like Zion and Frank Sandford's "Holy Ghost and Us" Bible School in Durham, Maine.


If by educated, you mean men who delved into the Word, etc., then YES. If you mean doctorates or even college degrees, nope.




Let's remember Tomlinson was set by J.B. Mitchell to distribute religious literature (not moon-shine) provided by the American Bible Society. And also published a regular printed newspaper at the turn of the century instead of growing tobacco.

Indeed. And he was further schooled by R.G. Spurling and Bryant...in the things of God. I am not against education. As I said, I was blessed with a very good one. But I also know that a person having a degree should not be paid more JUST because of the degree. It's about like paying a prophet more because they have a degree.

Here's the deal: If a degree actually enables a person to do a better job at the church--whatever position--than otherwise, then OBVIOUSLY, just as with ALL workers who do a better job, they deserve more money.

But I would consider to offer to pay a pastor more JUST BECAUSE he has a degree. Consider how you would feel if you had an MBA, but a guy with a semester in seminary is offered more money than you. Fair? Not for me.








Let's also remember Elder R.G. Spurling wrote a book without which our holiness theology may have been nothing but shouting, snakes and a little bit of tongue babble. His book cited reformation theology, church history and extensive personal research. His son Richard G. Spurling, Jr. and Methodist preacher W. F. Bryant were both ordained prior to joining, which did not happen without education.

I think you are equating formal and informal education. To my knowledge, neither Bryant nor Spurling had much, if any, formal higher education. I am not at all advocating for ignorant men to fill our pulpits! I am simply saying that an educated person is not automatically the best pick, is not automatically worthy of a greater salary.




Our major revivals in the 70s were mostly done by Lee graduates Smile

Please tell me you're joking, and that you don't really believe this. Yes, many excellent ministers came out of Lee, but there were many more who were just plain ol' men of God. Further, even back then there was a degree of thinking Lee graduates weren't as "Church of God" as other preachers, so while the larger churches might have had Lee graduates, the many, many more small churches were delighted to be using "plain-jane" evangelists who had awesome revivals.



You cannot make a reasonable argument against education in ministry while typing on a ministry forum using a computer. Come on! Let's tell our story and tell it right - it's the first thing they teach you in seminary...

I hope you will read my comments again. You will find that I am NOT against education! I have been blessed with one myself. However, I am against acting like an educated preacher is AUTOMATICALLY, sight-unseen, worth a greater salary or better at preaching, etc. THAT is what I am opposing!

God bless you.


as was what I oppose. I am also those who could get an education refuse to due to being comfortable. It is each person life and therefore their choice, but if you can do something that would be a blessing to the Lord and the church - why not. Many people base their choice on money. Both those seeking more and those who value the cost not worth the additional learning.

The CoG had to get their polity from the methodists because they had nobody educated in that field ( 1 st Methodist Cleveland taught AJT). The founder f that church, John Wesley, who led a great revival said "if you have 30 years to preach, spend the first 29 on learning".

I think we need the anointing and doing our best to be as knowledgeable as we can be. The early church had to break out of their culture and ask the Methodist for help so just because it is the culture, doesn't mean it is right for everything.




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4/22/20 3:29 pm


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Post Dr.Acts
Aaron,
as usual in what you wrote you agree with me more than you disagree Smile

In my filed, I've never seen a high school graduate allowed to operate on another human - dissecting frogs obviously doesn't matter
How can we let high school graduates operate on human souls?

I return again to the oversee's real-life example:
no education pastor with 500 members over 15yrs
OR M.Div. with 100 or so

Which one would you chose?
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Post Re: Dave, you cretin! Dave Dorsey
Aaron Scott wrote:
I know that that data is a guy on Star Trek...and an anecdote is a vegetable of some sort.

So take it back--and take it back now!

Laughing Laughing Laughing
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Post Dean Steenburgh
A good friend I've known for over 40 years is a pastor in OKC & he merely holds a high school diploma.
His church has grown from a hand full to almost 2,000 in regular Sunday morning attendance.
When he pastored in Fresno, CA. it was the same scenario, he went to a small struggling church & it grew to well over 1,500.
Another pastor friend of mine at an indie church with his high school diploma has a strong congregation of over 500.
My dear friend Dr. Allard pastors a church here in Modesto & he is a professor at Fuller Theological Seminary but his church averages around 250.

The education will not create growth nor will it become the equation for growth to initiate itself.
A church with a heartbeat for evangelism will see growth take place.

For the last few years a lot of negative things have been said about big churches putting on rock concerts & Broadway style productions with huge crowds but very few ever mention a divine move of the Holy Ghost.

I'll take a smaller group with a desire for revival & evangelism over the promise of a big salary with a big crowd but no move of God any day.


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Post From experience, ... caseyleejones
My wife and I have moved around a lot due to job issues. But I have sat under some very highly educated and those that had nothing. The one pastor who had one home course was one of the best bible teachers to this day that I have had as a pastor. He would take the Word and make it apply to your everyday life. I had a pastor who was off the charts educated, had a Doctorate, legit one that is that could not take the Word into practical terms.

Another pastor with a legit doctorate was a good bible teacher. It would seem from my experience that a good education or not was not a determining factor in being a good pastor or minister.
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Post Re: From experience, ... Dave Dorsey
caseyleejones wrote:
Another pastor with a legit doctorate was a good bible teacher. It would seem from my experience that a good education or not was not a determining factor in being a good pastor or minister.

Isn't that the case with most any field, though? Two doctors could have the same education and one be absolutely terrible and the other great... or one doctor could be much better than another doctor who spent an additional decade studying, or vice-versa.

Education isn't necessarily what gives someone the right heart or the right approach, but I believe it enhances someone who already has the right heart and the right approach. I think we should always look first for a pastor who has a heart for God and God's people, and who labors in spiritual disciplines and seeks closeness with God. But if I had to choose between two people who did that, one of whom had higher education and one of whom didn't, I'd be hard pressed to find a reason not to prefer the former.

That's not to denigrate the latter, or to suggest in any way they are not qualified... but all things being equal, I would think the former would always have an edge.
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Post Well autumn trees twice dead
Paul did say - I have become all things to all men, so that by all possible means I might save some. 23I do all this for the sake of the gospel, so that I may share in its blessings. 1 Cor.9

I know that with some people, they only listen if you have an education. With others, they might be at first hesitant if you have an education to listen.

The one with an education can simplify things, but the one without one can't really make it more academic.

Paul said the goal was to win all so I want to do everything to win that prize (converts)

I have become all things to all men, so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, so that I may share in its blessings. 24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way as to take the prize.

Sometimes with differents skills like biblical languages, history etc. you can get a deeper understanding and so you can take a complex scripture and make it quite understandable to all.

It is using all your gifts to be able to "simply teach the bible simply". Yes you get the anointing and teaching of the Holy Ghost, but He uses your best efforts too.

I want to reach all and so to qualify at first in many situations, I must be able to speak the language that all understand. All people are worth the effort to be able to reach them.

But remember, when you break it down and are able to communicate to all wherever you are at, you must do this:

Reach up and take the cookie jar off the top shelf, bring it down where folks can get at it, take off the lid, place their hand in the jar and help them grab one, lift the hand up to their mouth and help stick it in. Let them do the chewing BUT ALWAYS WHEN YOU PREACH OR TEACH

Preach Jesus - nothing more
Preach Jesus - nothing less
Preach Jesus - nothing else

You'll be ok as the Holy Spirit anoints when by prayer, you submit it all to Him and start to share the wonderful gospel of Jesus and the great things He has done. I have found once you start teaching the thrilling, exciting stories and teachings in the word, people will listen usually as God is the one drawing them by His grace. God uses us to reach them though.
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Post Dr.Acts
No it is firmly, absolutely and undeniably not the case with any field. In my field, they will not let you operate on a human being without being a doctor first. Why should we not allow people to operate on human souls without proper formal education? Because the risk is immense.

Would you entrust your whole youth group to a bus driver with no CDL license? Sure it could be done, but what are the risks? Sure non-surgeons operated during the Civil War and we ended up with a handicapped generation - about right for our churches today. While education is not guarantee for the anointing, it is certainly a guarantee against ignorance.

Bro. Dean,
I enjoyed your examples as I am personally familiar with some of them, but let's face it:
- your recent growth was promoted by AB who is working on his second doctorate
- while Bro. Williams was AB, you had a well functioning college on the camp ground and Patten College was a Church of God thing
- the ARC program promoted by the Church Bank was designed by well educated ministers
- the 24-to-double program you've bragged abut was crated by doctors in ministry
- your largest church in CA is pastored by a college graduate (both East and West campus), while the very anointed and respected by myself prior pastor didn't get very far with it
- how is bro. Duncan's Christian College doing in Sacramento doing?

About the time when PEW bid our organization among the lowest of education, AG promoted the idea of formal education for every young minister. Though they did not follow fully like other denominations did, this push made them the fastest growing Pentecostal group by 2017.
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Post Well autumn trees twice dead
The AG also started to use different methods/programs and started to distance themselves from the Pentecostal Stereotype. They also had a woman GS and softened their stance on divorce. I won't comment on the trade-offs, but it is more than education that brought growth. So many just need a charismatic personality, good musicians, funding and the ability to follow the McGavran/Fuller play book. There are way too many variables at play with the AG, and many in the CoG have taken notice.
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Post Gifting and Ability: Ronald
There are ministers with Certified Earned Doctorates who cannot preach their way out of a proverbial wet paper bag. They have the learning yet no ability to communicate effectively.
Then, there are ministers who have no professional teaching who may slaughter the kings english yet they win souls and pastor effectively.
I would say that it all boils down to calling, giftedness, and presenting themselves as available to be used of God. Yet. it all come down to the truth that: one plants, another waters, yet God and He alone gives the increase!
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Post Re: Gifting and Ability: autumn trees twice dead
Ronald wrote:
There are ministers with Certified Earned Doctorates who cannot preach their way out of a proverbial wet paper bag. They have the learning yet no ability to communicate effectively.
Then, there are ministers who have no professional teaching who may slaughter the kings english yet they win souls and pastor effectively.
I would say that it all boils down to calling, giftedness, and presenting themselves as available to be used of God. Yet. it all come down to the truth that: one plants, another waters, yet God and He alone gives the increase!


Can I ask you what is your educational level. No value judgement, but i wonder if our level dresses our viewpoints. Thanks Smile
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Post Either Way Should Be The Same spartanfan
A great Biblical education should result in effectiveness in ministry which is rewarded in our system. No need to demand it coming out of the gate with our diploma in hand- if we are willing to put the time in to properly prepare then what we want should come soon enough. But I can see why those who doubt the value of their education would want immediate reward as they are fearful that they haven't been adequately prepared for success in ministry.

Last edited by spartanfan on 4/26/20 6:49 am; edited 2 times in total
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Post Autumn...are you really that off the wall on this? Aaron Scott
Do you truly think that someone with a theological degree is automatically a better preacher, teacher, pastor, etc.? Or for that matter, worthy of more salary, NOT because of how good they are as a minister, but because they went to school longer than the other person?

I cannot for the life of me see how you could say that with a straight face.

Let me give you an analogy....

One guy has an advanced degree. The other guy is a great athlete. They are both going out for a professional sports team. Do you suppose that the one with the degrees will get the offer because, well, he has a degree?

Let's assume BOTH are hired. Do you think that the one with the degree should get the biggest salary...or the one who can "bring it" should get the biggest salary?

EVEN IN ACADEMICS, ACADEMICS CAN BE OF MINOR WORTH! Here are some more analogies....

Would I rather have Queen Elizabeth teach a class on geopolitics...or someone with a degree in political studies? I'd much rather have the Queen teach--she has 94 years of being in and around world politics--which trumps anything a political scientist can bring to the table.

Would I rather have Doyle Dykes teach me how to play guitar...or someone who has a degree in music theory?

Who would you rather have inventing things: Thomas Edison or someone with a degree in design? Edison was homeschooled mainly. Kind of like many preacher were, in a sense--getting their Bible education from pastors and Bible teachers, rather than via the formal route.

I am NOT saying that those with academic degrees are worthless! Obviously, I prefer an educated doctor performing medicine one me. But in terms of the CHURCH, academic education is of secondary (or tertiary) importance AT BEST.
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Post Re: Autumn...are you really that off the wall on this? Dr.Acts
Aaron Scott wrote:
Would I rather have Queen Elizabeth teach a class on geopolitics...or someone with a degree in political studies? I'd much rather have the Queen teach--she has 94 years of being in and around world politics--which trumps anything a political scientist can bring to the table.


Queen Elizabeth received private training from none else but Henry Marten of Eton College and the Archbishop of Canterbury. Obviously not all of us can afford that, but if our Founding Fathers did what you said we would still be colonial royal subjects BTW which Bible College did you study at?
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