As Dr. J mentioned in his recent podcast, “Build a Pastoral Library” (Lighting the Lamp #183), there are pastors who were able to attend seminary as well as some who have not attended. With a decidedly audacious title, The Portable Seminary seeks to deliver “A Master’s Level Overview in One Volume.” The print edition is over 750 pages; but, of course, in Accordance it fits nicely on even your smartphone!
Edited by David Horton and written by over 70 contributors, this one volume “offers an introduction to a full range of subjects: Theology, Biblical Languages and Interpretation, Background and Survey of both the Old and New Testaments, Christian History, Apologetics and World Religions, Missions, Christian Education, Leadership, Christian Ethics, and Homiletics.”
You may be asking, “Can a book replace an entire seminary education?” The writers have anticipated your question. As stated in the preface,
Can one volume replace a seminary education? Absolutely not. There is no way to replace the depth of teaching or the personal interaction one receives in seminary or graduate school. Again, what The Portable Seminary offers is an introduction—an overview—to a graduate-level education.
Who will benefit from it? Readers contemplating seminary will gain a taste of what lies ahead. Those in ministry who have had neither time nor opportunity for a formal graduate program will likely deepen their biblical and theological knowledge. Some may discover a great refresher course and a handy reference tool. For laypersons who aspire to ministry—as a full-time calling or as a volunteer—The Portable Seminary is designed to expand knowledge as well as vocabulary, to stimulate thinking, and to provide resources for further study.
The Portable Seminary can serve a good one-stop—or at least a first- or quick-stop—reference for any of the subjects it covers. The sharp eye may notice that there was nothing in the list related to practical matters that are also covered in any seminary education such as pastoral care and counseling, administration, church finances, and rites such as baptism and communion. The new pastor often finds these more practical issues take up more of their time than theological ones, so perhaps a second volume can be offered one day. Regardless, the target audience of The Portable Seminary should find that what’s here is helpful to have all in one place.
The Portable Seminary
Regular Price $39.90