The Things You Should Learn at Seminary…..

I think I’ve found my purpose in life. I am going to start a ministry school. Not the usual kind of school, but the kind that teaches you the REAL stuff that theological seminaries leave out.

Just kidding. I’m not really going to start a ministry school, but if I did….this is what the course overview would look like.

Maintenance 101:
This is the first required course for the program. You must learn the ins and outs of church maintenance. You must learn how to clean the toilets, carpets, kitchen, baby poop, toys from the nursery, snacks from the preschoolers room, and the crayons from the elementary kids.  You will also be introduced of how to say  “no grape juice in the sanctuary, please!” delicately.

Church Women 101: You will learn how to deal with the women of the church. You will be introduced to the following things:

  • what kind of dish is worthy to bring to the covered dish dinner
  • why some churches think you’re only allowed to be a sunday school teacher
  • how to convince the mom’s that the nursery keeper isn’t going to kill their precious infant
  • when you’re single how to approach men of all ages.
  • how to run from gossip
  • 7 different ways to preach the proverbs 31 passage.

Church Men 101: Topics will include:

  • the real reason why men call each other “brother” in the congregation
  • why men are usually the ushers
  • how to cope when a woman enters the pulpit
  • how to take your child out when they are screaming bloody murder
  • it’s okay to dance
  • why it’s “cool” to be a deacon

Music 101: You will learn:

  • How to have music that pleases the masses!
  • Mixing Southern Gospel and Contemporary (the do’s and don’ts)
  • Chris Tomlin is your middle ground.
  • Soundtracks are a no-no…find another way!

Tithing 101:

  • Why you should never start a message with “I will never talk about money… except today.”
  • 15 ways to spin the “first fruits” scripture
  • Why Jesus didn’t give you $100 after you put $10 in the offering last week.
  • Why buckets are better than offering plates.
  • Why KFC buckets dominate all.

Beating the Lunch Crowd 102: This is an intense course that covers:

  • Why you must end at 12:00 on the dot.
  • The earlier/later service start time the better.
  • How to preach over the sound of growling stomachs.
  • What to do when everyone stares at the clock on the back wall.
  • How to avoid being stampeded when you dismissed at 12:05.

How to avoid… 101: You will learn how to avoid the following:

  • saying the word “sex” in your sermon
  • insane marriage proposals
  • bad singers in your choir/worship band
  • ridiculous questions/interpretations of Revelation.
  • the Harry Potter subject
  • the calvinist vs arminian debate.

Servanthood 201: This is a secondary course because you must have knowledge of the former courses to even begin to understand this one. The following subjects will be covered:

  • When your doorbell rings at 6am
  • Turning your home into a daycare.
  • Fastest routes to the nearest hospital.
  • How a clergy badge presented at hospital parking garage will save you tons!
  • Becoming “tight” with the funeral home staff.

Single Ministers 201:
This course is not for the faint of heart, it will take a lot out of you, you have much to learn, for example:

  • How to tell Miss. Edna that you are not interested in dating her sweet grandson who is “struggling” but just needs a woman to “love him to Jesus”.
  • How to tell apart the “creepy” old men from the sweet ones.
  • My fridge is already full of “thank you” food, now what?
  • Dodging the “my daughter is looking for a good man” from the big scary father.
  • Explaining how you know you’re not called to celibacy.

Married Ministers 102:

  • What to do when your kids can’t find their Sunday shoes.
  • Why you need to wake up ten times earlier than the normal congregant.
  • Why you should NEVER use your children as an example in a sermon.
  • Why your kids are often the ringleaders of the misbehavior
  • Making your children work the church Yard Sale.
  • Rescuing your wife from the church women.
  • Rescuing your wife from the church men.
  • Your child’s birthday vs. A congregant’s mother’s sister’s brother-in-law’s funeral? How to choose.
  • Why you can’t let your kid draw pictures in the service.


Altar calls/invitations 101:

  • Why “Just As I Am” is always a winner.
  • Explaining why you alone can’t pray for every single altar comer.
  • How to steady your breathing when the keys start jingling.
  • Not laughing when someone trips/can’t get up.
  • What to do when the same member gets “saved” every week.
  • Exiting out the side door.

So obviously, I have a passion for church humor. In the event that I do ever start this school, I don’t forsee having many students. These are just some of the things that I wish we innately had in us when we decide to become “ministers”.

I would also like to state that I would have this sign put up in every class room. It’s a quote from a hilarious book I’m reading by Beth Pattillo.

“You see, the in the ministry there’s a fine line between leader and servant. The minute you stand up for yourself, a parishioner is quick to remind you that Jesus washed the disciples’ feet. But nowhere in the scripture does it say the disciples asked him for a pedicure while he was down there.”

There are many questions I have about many of these topics….maybe I’ll cover a few someday! Any suggestions besides these??

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One thought on “The Things You Should Learn at Seminary…..”

  1. Ashlin! This is the funniest thing I’ve ever read! I love you and miss you so much girl! We need to get together and talk about Jesus! 🙂

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