As part of my application to seminary, here’s my second essay:
Reflect on how attending Fuller Theological Seminary would complement your present Christian experience and/or help you to achieve your future professional and vocational goals.
Although I am an avid self-educator through seminars, reading, and podcast listening, I am often acutely aware that University training has benefits which are hard, if not impossible to get otherwise. These benefits include
(a) regular, interactive contact and friendship with scholars and thinkers,
(b) access to thoughtfully designed curricula that are modern, holistic, and complete in their coverage of basic pastoral knowledge and skills, and
(c) the provision of an external impetus to complete projects, something which even the most self-motivated person can require periodically.
As I surveyed the various top evangelical schools I could attend, Fuller stuck out to me for all of the right reasons. While aiming at the traditional and honored goals of the spiritual formation of students and basic Biblical literacy, Fuller appears to also focus on and value intellectual excellence, theological praxis that considers modernity, and holding to a generous respect for other traditions and perspectives without abandoning Christian distinctives.
I was especially won over by the nuanced yet Orthodox discussion of inerrancy on the ‘What we believe and teach’ page – an important perspective which I agree with, and that needs to be openly discussed and affirmed – and a conclusion to which I myself had to wrestle my way to with some difficulty. I am often dismayed that this doctrine, among a handful of others, has driven away some of the most devoted thinkers due to its overreach regarding the nature and plenary accuracy of Scripture.
I desire to be well informed in the intellectual matters of philosophy, ethics, history, and doctrine, the practical matters of leading and running an organization and people, as well as in the spiritual disciplines of private devotion, spiritual formation, mission, and service.
I intend to become a local pastor, and hope to influence an even wider sphere through writing, speaking, and evangelism.
I apprehend that Fuller Theological Seminary, which is located near to my home, also shares these priorities, and I am very excited to attend and sharpen my skills for service to Jesus and His Church.