Seminaries and graduate schools of theology generally stress a broadly based liberal arts education and a core background in the academic discipline of religion.
The American Association of Theological Schools recommends the following areas of study as the best preparation for theological studies:
- English language and literature
- History, including non-Western culture
- Natural sciences
- Social sciences—especially psychology and sociology
- The fine arts
- Biblical and modern languages
- Religion—both Western and Eastern
In addition, pre-ministerial students are strongly encouraged to acquire reading skills in Classical or New Testament (Koiné) Greek; and study a language likely to be spoken by those whom they may be called to serve (e.g., Spanish for those with an interest in urban ministries).