I often get asked what makes The Pillar Seminary different from other seminaries so I figured I would put it into a blogpost...
1. Designed for People in Ministry
The Pillar Seminary was built for people in ministry. Everything we offer is focused on meeting their needs. We flipped the classroom because it's a more efficient use of your time. We surround you with others in the trenches because you breathe life into one another. And we create space in the classroom to sharpen one another, rather than wasting time together listening to lectures.
Yes, we have a few students who are not in vocational ministry. But those are our outliers, and every single one of them had pastors asking us to train them because of their significant volunteer roles in their churches.
2. Seminary without Debt
I made the mistake of putting my family under a tremendous debt load to get through seminary. Then when I got my dream ministry gig the $39K what I was making didn't cover the bills. This created tremendous back pressure -- making me constantly wonder if I should get out of ministry so I could better care for my family. This isn't good for the kingdom. My experience gave birth to the vision of meeting 100% of a student's demonstrated financial need. When a student registers they are asked if they'd like to apply for financial aid. They then fill out a form that allows us to assess what they can afford through a combination of their own and their church's contributions to their education. The difference between what they can contribute and the cost is made up via scholarship, not loans. We couldn't do it without the extreme generosity of our donor base.
3. Bible and Leadership
Typically seminary curriculum is designed to introduce the student to a wide range of issues a pastor might face without making them particularly good at anything. It's a generalist curriculum appropriate for those seeking to get into ministry. Since our students are already in ministry we can focus our curriculum on Bible and Leadership. We do those two things better than anybody. Not because we're better or other programs are weak. It's simply because of the focus. If you need a general introduction to various aspects of vocational ministry, I'm happy to help you find the right seminary for you. But if you want to get awesome at Bible and tangibly grow in your leadership then we might be right for you. Thank you for taking the time to read today. - Eric Smith