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Go Figure  |  Deborah Coe & Andrew Whitehead

What seminary can do for you

go figure aug14
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Do you live near a PC(USA)-related seminary? Besides providing congregations with theologically trained pastors and serving as centers for discourse and research, seminaries have much to offer Presbyterians. They provide continuing education for pastors and lay leaders, and they often offer workshops, retreats, lectures, and other special events that are open to the public.

But that is not how most Presbyterians engage with their local seminaries. More likely, someone from the seminary comes to their congregation. About a third of Presbyterians (on average) have had at least one intern from a PC(USA)-related seminary serve in their congregation within the past five years. Additionally, almost half have had a speaker from a PC(USA)-related seminary visit their congregation to preach, teach, lead worship, sing, or speak.

Nevertheless, most Presbyterians are hard-pressed to identify any PC(USA)-related seminary besides Princeton, a name recognized by about two-thirds. This is probably because most Presbyterian congregations are small, while most of the seminary interactions occur with larger congregations. This is unfortunate, since smaller congregations could really benefit from the many resources that seminaries have to offer.

Survey respondents expressed particular interest in seminary-generated Bible studies and devotional materials.

For more information on ways that you can engage with PC(USA)-related seminaries, visit


See other findings on the Research Services website