I’m hoping to begin my PhD in Religious Studies through the University of Cape Town in early 2015; as such, I’ve been thinking more about my formative years in seminary.

The following are several exhortations for the young, aspiring theologian:

1. Read Helmut Thielicke’s A Little Exercise for Young Theologians and Kelly Kapic’s A Little Book for New Theologians.

2. If you have the means, get a formal education. Although there are myriad means for informal education, conventional degrees provide more “street cred.”

books-1e8981e2635d91219b772a863092544cd5b9bab1-s6-c303. Complete as much education as possible prior to marriage.

4. Once you’re married, complete as much education prior to having children.

5. Don’t go to the same school for more than one degree (i.e., don’t get your bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees from the same institution). It will be most beneficial to “mix things up.”

6. Study for your bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Evangelical institutions.

7. Do not study for your doctoral degree at an Evangelical institution.

8. Read just as much from those you disagree with, as you do from your “heroes.”

9. Begin the task of writing now. Whether blogs, articles, or books, you cannot get enough practice.

10. Learn languages (e.g., English, Greek, Hebrew, German, French, and Latin – for starters).

11. Don’t fear error.

12. Stay humble.

13. Most importantly, commune with God often. Make this a regular occurrence.

What advice do you have?