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Why seminary? Each person’s decision about enrolling in seminary is different, but one thing is certain: the decision is life changing. This short video presents several Andover Newton students, alums, and faculty discussing the different reasons why they chose to come to seminary.

The decision to enroll in theological school can be both an exciting and a fearful one. It may be a desire that has been with you for many years and just would not go away, or it may have occurred recently and unexpectedly. For many people the decision to attend seminary may come later in life after a first or second career or possibly after raising a family. Others pursue it directly after college. Some experience feeling a “call” from God, or a distinct sense that this is what they must do. This sense of “call” may lead to many different vocational paths including ordained ministry, chaplaincy, campus ministry, nonprofit work, theological education, and scholarship to name a few. Others may not feel a sense of “call” but have a strong desire to work toward social change from a theological and spiritual perspective. Others simply report feeling a deep desire to delve into the study of their faith and sacred texts in a much deeper sense.

The many reasons for enrolling in seminary are as diverse as the people on our campus, but no matter why you choose seminary, you will find both an academic program to suit your specific vocational goals as well as a supportive community at Andover Newton Theological School.

Discerning your sense of “call” or whether you want to attend seminary can be a difficult process. Many people experience much love and support from their friends and family when deciding to enroll in seminary, but this is not always the case. Sometimes friends and family may not understand this desire to pursue theological education, making it a more difficult and confusing time for many. Because of this, we have provided a few resources for you as you decide whether seminary is right for you. Below are a few links that we think you might find helpful. We have also provided some definitions of the different terms often used in describing institutes of theological education.


The terms “seminary”, “divinity school”  and “theological school” are interchangeable.  The Association of Theological Schools does not differentiate among schools based on these terms, nor do the religious organizations that authorize graduates for ministry.

Andover Newton’s name was adopted in 1965 when Andover Theological Seminary and Newton Theological Institute merged.  We are an independent, fully-accredited graduate school for theological education. 

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