When the speaker was finally allowed to approach the microphone, he was anything but haughty. In addressing the crowd, he told them not to be too impressed by all his degrees. He put it this way: “Well, you see, I was given this Doctor of Divinity, and this Doctor of Laws. So, since I had a D.D. and an LL.D., I just decided to go ahead and get myself a Ph.D. That way, I had myself a PhiddleDeeDee!”
If you are troubled by the thought of overeducated clergy, my friend, then try an undereducated one! I once knew a minister who, perhaps troubled by his own lack of formal education, used to proudly proclaim: “I don’t get my sermons up; bless the Lord, I get them down!” Trust me when I say that it showed! To be sure, such expressions almost always garnered a few good laughs. But the sad truth was that the humor failed to cover for just how shallow his sermons often were!
For my own part, I am thankful for the opportunity for formal education that God gave it to me. He has certainly used it to open many doors for me in my life and ministry. Far more importantly, He has used it to better suit me for the ministry to which He has called me.
This is one reason that I am so glad to be affiliated with the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. I serve as the Director of the East Tennessee Extension Center. We have around fifty or so students enrolled in some stage of graduate education at any given time.
We hosted our annual open house this week; and were honored to have several prospective students in attendance. If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about accredited graduate theological education as a working professional, feel free to check out what Southern has to offer at: http://www.sbts.edu/extension/centers/east-tennessee/.
But whether you decide on Southern Seminary or not, I encourage you, as I do all who would serve the Lord in ministry, to get all the education you can. If not, then it might be wise to be prepared to attend another prominent school: the University of Hard Knocks!