Dr. Adam Stewart and I recently submitted an article on “Spiritual Vitality among PAOC Credential Holders” for the forthcoming summer edition of Enrich. One thing we didn’t comment on in the article is an interesting shift regarding the spiritual practices of PAOC credential holders according to their education levels.
Back in 1985/86 Carl Verge concluded that “those clergy of the PAOC who have completed a graduate degree in theology or religious studies are less committed to a number of Pentecostal … practices than those who have completed only a Bible College education.”
This might make one think that if you go to seminary, you go to the cemetery—that is, graduate level theological education will kill you spiritually!
BUT…that doesn’t seem to be the case . . . at least not among PAOC credential holders.
Even in 1987, Verge noted that the differences between the two groups were not significant.
Dr. Stewart and I found that in 2014 PAOC credential holders who had a master’s degree (or higher) in religion/theology on average reported:
- spending more time each day praying (a couple minutes a day more 🙂 )
- spending more time each day reading their Bible
- fasting more for spiritual reasons (on average 6X more each year)
- praying or singing in tongues more in a year (although the numbers were almost the same here)
So, what does all this mean? If you pursue graduate level theological education, you are not likely to die spiritually.
So, go ahead, get yourself more edumacated (consider Horizon Seminary). Just be careful that you don’t start preaching longer.