When I came to Fuller NW, I had read less than ten Christian books in my adult life. I believed everything I needed to know as a Christian was in the Bible. I thought that people who believed the same things that I did were Christians and everyone else was suspect. I did not believe that I had any questions and I was suspicious and 'on my guard' when I attended my first classes. I was certain my teachers were going to try to strip me of my faith. I had heard the horror stories of Christians going to seminary and coming out as atheists. I was not going to let that happen to me.
I came to Fuller because God wanted me to go to school to become a pastor. I did not know what that was going to entail; as usual that was a good thing. The education at FullerNW was rigorous academically, but more importantly it pushed me on many core beliefs, especially the one that said everyone had to believe the same thing I did if I were going to consider them Christians. As I attended classes with others from various denominations and studied church history, I was able to look at that core belief and many others and realize I had added things to the Gospel and had put myself in the place of God. I learned I did not have to understand all of what others do (Amish, Greek Orthodox, UMC, Lutheran, Reformed, etc.) to know that they were Christians.
God took me on a five-year journey to complete my MDiv to shake me out of some harmful thought patterns and behaviors. Fuller Theological Seminary's main challenge is to get Christians to dialogue with one another and the rest of the world. Fuller has prepared me to enter a 'conversation' that has been going on since God revealed himself to humanity. Fuller is the place I discovered my calling and learned to embrace it and to walk in it. This was accomplished by some professors who love the Lord and view students as the next pastors and theologians. It came about through ample opportunity to read books I never would have picked up myself and through discussions I would never have dared to engage.
I never imagined myself in seminary. I was not studious; I did not have the money; I couldn't even type. God overcame all of that to show me the Right way. Every minister should take the time to come to seminary. I had been in full-time ministry for over twenty years before I came to seminary. I believe Fuller has made me a better minister of the Gospel than I was before. With God, all things are possible. If you are a minister and have not been to seminary, it would be good to begin praying about 'when.' If you want to learn about the rest of the Christian world, Fuller is a great 'where.' Leave the rest to God to figure out 'how.'