Friday, February 10, 2012

Many Single Seminary Graduates

ATS, the Association of Theological Schools, is the largest accreditation organization for theological schools in North America. It is affiliated with 173 theological graduate schools. When looking at their data from graduate surveys since year 2000, 37% of the graduates who are leaving seminary and beginning ministry are single.[1] The data from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, one of the largest seminaries in the world, says the same.  It’s data since 2005 shows the annual numbers of single graduates at 37% to 40%.[2]

These numbers are not an indicator of the percentage of ministers who will remain single throughout their ministry, but they do show that there is a sizable number of singles in ministry today. Whether they are becoming pastors, worship leaders, youth ministers, children’s ministers, missionaries, chaplains, or another type of minister, there are many who are serving Christ as singles. 
If that is your story, make the most of it. Walk humbly with your God and follow God passionately. Your ethnicity, your financial standing, and your marital status are merely adjectives that describe you. But "called of God" is really who you are. Be about His business and trust Him with the rest. Life is too short to be distracted by the adjectives.

[1] The Association of Theological Schools Commission on Accrediting, “Graduating Student Questionnaire, 2000-2011,” (accessed June 2, 2010).
[2] Mark Leeds, interview by author, phone / email, Fort Worth, Tx., 8 June 2010.

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