The Seminarian’s Wife’s Church Life

One of the great inconsistencies of seminary life is church.  You might assume that as future pastor’s wives we would be extremely active in church but that generally is not the case.  Sure, most of us go to church on Sunday and perhaps attend a Wednesday night service or two (especially if our dear husbands are preaching).  However, I’ve heard many wives say explain that they used to be extremely active in church but now they don’t do anything.

Granted, this isn’t true of every wife.  Some wives either work for their husband’s field work church or work for the school associated with their husband’s field work church, enabling them to be easily folded into the life of the church.  I’m sure there are even some wives who are able to make this connection with their husbands’ field work churches without even having a job associated with the church.  But for many of us, the field work years are the church limbo years.  We worship consistently at one location but we don’t quite fit into the life of that church.  Many of us are firm in our Lutheran faith but we don’t contribute our time or talents any more.  We are part of the church but we aren’t members of a church.

It’s hard to explain why this disconnect happens.  Distance can certainly be a factor, especially since some families travel up to an hour to get to their field work church.  Perhaps it has to do with the fact that this is the first time many of us don’t get a say in where we worship–what may be a good learning experience for our husbands may not be a church we can call home.  Perhaps most of all, it’s because it is the first time we leave the comfortable placement of being one of the congregation and start taking our first steps into the role of “pastor’s wife.”


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