Seminary Preparation

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Persons anticipating enrollment in seminary are encouraged to incorporate the following ideas if still completing undergraduate work. 

  1. A broad undergraduate liberal arts background in the humanities and in the natural and social sciences will assist in understanding and relating to persons in all walks of life and in various cultures. 
  2. A developed ability to think independently and critically and to communicate effectively is necessary for graduate work. Effective communication, including excellent English writing skills, will enable the student to engage well the issues and ideas of graduate education. If writing skills are particularly weak, a student may be asked to complete additional study in English composition. 
  3. Biblical language study, particularly biblical Hebrew and Greek, is a distinctive of TEDS and is required in several TEDS programs; modern language study is essential for those anticipating intercultural ministry or pursuing advanced academic degrees. Language requirements are often the aspect of the program curricula that either facilitates or delays timely program completion. Students are well advised to exercise careful discernment in following the counsel of faculty and department members related to these requirements. See the “Biblical Languages” in the Academic Life section in this catalog, as well as the Program section of the catalog, for specific requirements. 
  4. A strong understanding of English Bible content through personal study or formal coursework will provide a adequate background for Bible and theology courses. If an applicant’s undergraduate program includes courses that parallel required TEDS courses, opportunities for course substitution or advanced standing are possible. 
  5. Program-specific undergraduate prerequisites, particularly in the Master of Arts programs, often call for particular coursework. Completion of these courses will enable admission without deficiency. Otherwise, additional coursework at Trinity to remove deficiencies may be required.  

Reading List

The following reading list for seminary preparation represents a selection of basic Bible, theology, and writing works that provide excellent background for the incoming seminary student. These volumes are particularly helpful for those who do not have a Christian college background. 

Bible Study
  • The New International Version Study Bible. 
  • Newbigin, Lesslie. A Walk Through the Bible. 
Christian Living and Worldview 
  • Bonhoeffer, Dietrich. The Cost of Discipleship. 
  • Brother Lawrence. The Practice of the Presence of God. 
  • Carson, Don, and John Woodbridge. Letters Along the Way. 
  • Forsyth, P. T. The Soul of Prayer. 
  • Jenkins, Philip. The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity. 
  • Kempis, Thomas. The Imitation of Christ. 
  • Law, William. A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life. 
  • Lewis, C. S. Mere Christianity. 
  • Nouwen, Henri. The Wounded Healer and Reaching Out. 
  • Sire, James. The Universe Next Door. 
  • Tozer, A. W. Knowledge of the Holy. 
  • Wilberforce, William. Real Christianity. 
  • Wolters, Albert. Creation Regained: Biblical Basics for a Reformational Worldview. 
Theological Education 
  • Cetuk, Virginia Samuel. What to Expect in Seminary: Theological Education as Spiritual Formation. 
  • Dykstra, Craig R. Growing in the Life of Faith: Education and Christian Practices. 
  • Augustine. Confessions. 
  • Chesterton, G. K. Orthodoxy. 
  • Grenz, Stanley J., et al. Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms. 
  • Demaray, Donald E. Basic Beliefs: An Introductory Guide to Christian Theology. 
  • Oswalt, John. Called to Be Holy. 
  • Packer, James I. Knowing God. 
  • Packer, J. I. and Thomas C. Oden. One Faith. 
  • Phillips, Timothy, and Dennis Okholm. A Family of Faith: An Introduction to Evangelical Christianity. 
  • Stott, John. Basic Christianity. 
  • Thielicke, Helmut. A Little Exercise for Young Theologians. 
  • VanGemeren, Willem. The Progress of Redemption. 
Writing and Research 
  • Booth, William. The Craft of Research. 
  • Hacker, Diane. The Pocket Style Manual. 
  • Turabian, Kate. A Style Manual for Writers. 
  • Zinsser, William. On Writing Well.