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My Advice to Students — Bill Mounce Says, "Don't Let Yourself Be Swallowed Up By the Academy"

Categories My Advice to Students

9780310287681For those of us who have been to seminary or are in seminary we know the funny pejorative term often given to that higher academic world: semitary, with a "T". As in, when one goes off to the Church's Ivory Tower to pursue graduate work in Bible or theology it's almost as if they crawl into a 6 ft. plot in an over-grown cemetery for 2-3 years, completely divorced from the real world.

There's something about going into this kind of graduate work where the rest of the world gets shoved aside in the middle of our hyper-focus on learning other-worldly Hebrew vocab words, conjugating those pesky Greek verbs, and writing papers on obscure theologians.

In our latest offering from our video series of advice from leading Bible scholars, Bill Mounce, Greek professor extraordinaire and author of Basics of Biblical Greek Grammar, cautions against this tendency by giving this sound advice:

"Don't let yourself be swallowed up by the academy!"

He acknowledges that graduate work requires a large degree of focus and concentration to get through such a rigorous program. But he also advises, "you have to remember that if you stay swallowed up, if you stay isolated from the real world, if you don't have relationships, then all of that information just sits off in an academic sphere with no real benefit to the Church or people."

Mounce gives some real sensible, practical advice here, that I'd encourage you to watch and take to heart. Because the world is aching for a Story that will help them find the rescue they so desperately need—and you've got that Story! So focus and work hard, but stay connected to people in the process.

-Jeremy Bouma, Th.M. (@bouma)


"My Advice to Students" is a weekly video series designed to advise and guide students who are studying for a future of ministry in the Church, whether in the academy or in congregations. In these specially curated videos, leading scholars of biblical studies share their seasoned wisdom to help you navigate this important season of preparation.

Can't see the video? Watch it here:

Does “open its/his mouth” mean anything? (Matthew 5:2) — Mondays with Mounce 206
Does “open its/his mouth” mean anything? (Matthew 5:2) — Mondays with Mounce 206 Matthew 5:2 says that Jesus “opened his mouth and taught them, saying” (καὶ ἀνοίξας τὸ στόμα αὐτοῦ ἐδίδασκεν αὐτοὺς λέγ...
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