My oldest son, Allan, is off to US Marine boot camp in a couple of weeks. On Saturday, he persuaded us all to watch a PBS documentary on the US Marine training. I thought it would scare me witless and reduce Shona to tears. Instead, it was inspiring and encouraging, especially the part about the Officer Candidates School. In one section, Col. Robert Chase, Jr., Commanding Officer, Officer Candidates School, said this:

My job is to screen and evaluate potential candidates for being officers in the marine corps. I made a promise to every marine I’ve served with over 33 years that no one will walk across that grinder to graduate that I would not want to lead my son or my daughter. Simple as that. If I would not trust them with my child, I will not trust them with yours.

As the father of someone going in at the lowest rung, I found that comforting; but also challenging.

Because if that’s the standard for US Marine Officer Candidates School, should it not also be the standard of every Seminary training officers for the Church of Christ? Perhaps Faculties, Boards of Trustees, denominations, and federations should adopt that simple gold standard.

We will not let any student graduate that we would not want to lead our sons or our daughters. Simple as that. If we would not trust them with our own children’s souls, we will not trust them with yours. 

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  • Blue nosed hun

    Hang on, I’ve already been through infantry training. I’m not doing it again!

  • Dave

    That’s a cool idea but might it run afoul of accreditation?

    Maybe give everyone who passes a diploma and to those who have passed the “son & daughter test” give a ministry endorsement?

  • Shawn Anderson

    I like this idea, but it would have to function both ways. The seminary would have to equip the potential pastors to intentionally shepherd the youth of the congregation, and to work with parents and ruling elders in order to better engage and equip them to shepherd the youth as well.

    Thankfully I did see this as an emphasis in your classes. But I have to admit it is not something that I was regularly challenged with in my seminary courses.

  • wvkeeper

    As a former Marine Semper Fi! to your son and God’s blessings on his service.

    2nd Recruit Training Battalion, Platoon 2097, Parris Island, SC. :)

  • Steven Birn

    What if they pay their tuition on time?