Over at the Alpha & Omega Ministries blog, Jamin Hubner posted this humorous piece about the reactions people give him when he tells them he’s a seminary student. It’s funny because it’s true. In my own experience, the last response is usually the one I get. Maybe it’s the increasingly secular nature of our modern culture, but there’s usually an awkward silence after I reveal to some people that I’m a seminary student. People get uncomfortable pretty quickly.
The other common reaction I get is comical as well: “So are you going to be a priest?” Apparently in many circles the word “seminary” is synonymous with being Roman Catholic. Most of the people who respond this way are Northerners and aren’t used to dealing with serious Protestants. At least that’s my guess. It seems to be a cultural thing. Or else they think Protestants are largely uneducated. Either way, it’s still an awkward moment.
Hubner is right. When you’re a seminary student, you really do lose your identity. It’s amazing that theology used to be called the “queen of the sciences” and yet today most people don’t seem to have a clue. What a sad decline we’ve witnessed. Welcome to Western civilization in the 21st century.