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Life in seminary: Mark Schultz

February 22, 2013 No Comment

For the January/February issue of The Canadian Lutheran, we’ve been discussing how God calls men to be pastors to serve in the Church. To that end, we asked four current seminarians for their take on life in seminary. Before reading the interview below, you might want to see the introduction here.

Mark Schultz

Shultz-web1School: Concordia Lutheran Seminary (Edmonton)
Studies: Fourth year
Status: Married with four teenage children
Interests: Woodworking, stained glass
Favourite movie: Old western movies (an interest that the rest of his family, alas, does not share)
Claim to fame: Survived a 28 km bike ride (uphill both ways) in his first week of seminary

CL: How did you end up at seminary studying to be a pastor?
MS: The desire to enter pastoral ministry came later in my life. I earned a ticket as a machinist and worked in that trade for twenty years. There were many unexpected twists and turns in those years. We moved a few times, and found ourselves in new churches and situations which fostered spiritual growth as well the desire to serve our Lord and the Church in other ways.

CL: What are the challenges of seminary life? The rewards?
MS:The work is demanding and sometimes difficult; you’re occasionally put in situations outside your comfort zone. But you go through it all with your classmates. Through it bonds are formed and faith is deepened. We are shaped into servants for Jesus’ sake. The formation isn’t always pretty, but as years pass, the rough edges are removed and the polished product begins to take shape.

CL: Who encouraged you to become a pastor?
MS: Encouragement came from a variety of places, especially from fellow church members. The bulk of it came at unexpected times and from unexpected sources. The decision to attend seminary was not easy and was ultimately mine to make, but encouragement in the years following has flown in abundantly, and served to confirm outwardly that the path I had begun was the right one.

There is no better vocation I can think of than to work for the people of God full-time.

CL: Why should our readers consider going to seminary?
MS: There is no better vocation I can think of than to work for the people of God full-time. At all times, seminary life is rewarding—especially through personal spiritual growth. At the same time, you grow in other ways as new skills begin to take shape. The most rewarding part is being formed to share the Gospel in various ways and various situations.

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This is one of four interviews with current seminary students which appeared in the January/February issue of The Canadian Lutheran. Be sure to read the others here.

If you’re considering pastoral ministry, contact one of Lutheran Church–Canada’s two seminaries: Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary (St. Catharines, Ontario) or Concordia Lutheran Seminary (Edmonton). They can help you discern whether seminary is right for you.

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