Pros and Cons of the Seminary (and to a lesser extent Bible Schools). This assumes the initial basis of that seminary or school is solidly biblical. An error filled or liberal Bible School or Seminary is utterly always useless.
Pro: Where else can you get thorough & solid biblical Greek and Hebrew?
Pro: Until that School declines (they all do eventually) it may provide a very good Bible education. Moody, and DTS of the past, are good examples.
Pro: In some third world places there is terrible teaching and a dearth of bible knowledge among elders & teachers, and a Bible School can be a great short term help. Especially where many are being saved.
Pro: Fills the knowledge training gap when the local churches have weak or carnal leadership.
Pro: A great place for making lifelong Christian friends that are interested in minstry, fellowship.
Pro: Can give wisdom in how to run a local church's finances, programs, etc...yet can this be considered a Con, since it is a movement away from NT simplicity?
Con: The school is not God's pattern, the local church is God's training ground.
Con: The seminary or Bible School graduate becomes the only one with credentials (sic) to minister. This is a terrible pattern and brings a worldly professionalism into the functions of the local church.
Con: When that school/seminary goes down the drain so does the entire denomination and/or local churches whose leaders come via that school.
Con: It undermines the NT pattern of raising up leaders, replacing learning and patient training with short cuts that can encourage pride and a clerical attitude of being the one trained to minister in the local church. The leader doesn't grow with the local church, he is removed from it. When he then returns to the local church, is he content there, or seeking a position?
Con: It takes people out of the local church and places them in an unscriptural environment. Perhaps a liberty yes, but not a scriptural environment for raising up leaders.
Con: It elevates the woman to leadership, whereas the scripture is careful to distinguish roles of male & female.
Con: The seminary can be a channel to introduce widespread error, though it usually begins in a subtle way. Social Gospel, and Progressive Dispensationalism are but two examples.
Con: Many mission agencies require a degree. Though their reasoning is understandable based on how christendom functions at large, one still cannot help but think, God help us. The local church pattern of sending missionaries called by God, trained locally, submitting locally, ministering freely....this was God's pattern. We've encumbered things very much.
Con: The school never makes a person godly or spiritual.
Con: If there is real or even perceived weakness in the local church leadership, the seminary or bible school can foster a pride, ambition, discontent, in the student who may come out of that school as the "expert" and be even less able to function within the local church due to discontent and ambition.
Con: Seminaries and Schools foster the one man minister system. They also foster the permanent creation of a music minister position which is totally unseen in the bible. A liberty yes, but liberties in church structure become permanent growths hindering that which began so simple. Rome didn't come about in a day you know.