Spiritual Formation Highest Priority for Christian Servants. The Seminary is a place for studies. But we recognize that growing in holiness and becoming more like Christ is more important for a Christian servant than knowledge. Therefore, the means and disciplines required for growth are given priority at PTS.
Evaluation of Spiritual Growth. Students tend to associate everything important with grades. This is natural, but unfortunate. At PTS, students will not be “graded” on their spiritual growth. This is not because spirituality is less important, but the state of your heart and your relationship with God is something best known by you and God. However, since God has given the Faculty the responsibility to “equip” God’s servants, some kind of assessment will be necessary. Of course, it will be a subjective assessment – that is, the Faculty often will have to depend on their impressions. Further, evaluation will be based on what can be seen – attitude to worship, way of life, etc. These assessments may be communicated to your sponsors, mentors or others who may be considering employing you. In fact, a person whose spiritual growth and maturity are below expectations may not be allowed to graduate from the Seminary, even if he/she has completed other requirements. Evaluations are done two or three times every year in a formal way, and spiritual growth is a major part of such evaluations.
Importance of Individual Worship.Christian life is a life of worship. We know that God has freely given us salvation in Christ. We can never stop praising and thanking God for that and for the numerous benefits we have in Christ. Through the Lord Jesus Christ, we also have access to our Father in Heaven. The Holy Spirit indwells the believer, helping him or her to become more like the Lord Jesus Christ.
Disciplined, personal worship time is a one of the first things that a theological student may give up. This is not always intentionally done. Theological studies are very hard, and require lot of study time. When the pressure of study comes our way – deadlines for assignments, tests that require a lot of review – we tend to give up on activities that are not graded. This is natural, but dangerous.
The danger is that our lives will become dry and ineffective. Without the help of the Holy Spirit, we will not be able to minister to others. We will lose the joy of salvation. These are very serious dangers.
How can we make time for God? Recognize that this is an area where all of us struggle. Do not get discouraged. As in all other things, ask God’s help. Understand and affirm (say to yourselves) that spending time with God and his word is important for you. Developing a schedule is very helpful, both in devotions as well as in studies. (See Student Handbook on Appendix A: “How to Use Time Wisely”).
How to have personal devotions. Please make your personal devotional time as meaningful and useful as possible. See Student Handbook on Appendix B: “Walking with God While at the Seminary”.
Corporate Worship. The Spiritual Life Committee of the Student Council, with the Faculty Advisor, is in charge of organizing chapel. During times of worship we are conscious of the fact that we are sitting in God’s presence. Therefore, it is appropriate that our attitude and posture must be one of reverence. Chapel service begins with a time of singing and praise led often by a group. Tuesdays and Fridays are especially devoted to the exposition of scriptures. On Mondays, students lead either with a meditation or by presenting accounts of ministry. On Wednesdays, the entire chapel is devoted to singing, praise and prayer. On certain Thursdays, the new students present their testimonies.