Note: this blog post is based entirely on personal anecdote. It is possible that your personal experience with the subject will differ from mine. Because I cannot find any studies that even address the matter, let alone does so in a reasonable matter, this subject will naturally be confined solely to personal anecdote and theory.
One thing that I’ve noticed about men who have graduated from preaching schools is that they a) are not particularly good at preaching (though many are good at public speaking), b) are not adept at thinking theologically (but are good at thinking doctrinally), and c) are not good at using logic (but many are rhetorically gifted). This seems highly problematic to me, for the general result of preaching schools is that they teach young men what to think and how to speak instead how to think and how to preach. This has led to what amounts to an assembly-line approach to preachers and preaching, wherein it is assumed that by taking the right inputs—evangelistically-minded, easily-molded young men—and sending them to the right throughputs—in this case, preacher schools—will result in the right outputs—dogmatic, rigid men who will rail against denominationalism.
The question that remains unasked is this: is the church well-served by these type of men? By extension, is the church well-served by preacher schools?
What good are men who can memorize doctrinal talking points and spew them out when door-knocking if they have no understanding of God and his nature? Keep in mind that Christians are expected to be imitators of God, which requires an actual knowledge of God, and not simply a familiarity with Biblical doctrine. What is God like? What is his character? These are theological questions, not doctrinal questions, and graduates of preaching schools are generally ill-equipped to answer them.
And what good are men if they can only speak, not preach? There is a difference between the two, after all. The former refers simply to the ability to convey an idea clearly; the latter refers to the pricking of men’s hearts. Many graduates can articulate Biblical concepts in clear, easily understood ways, but they do not change anyone’s hearts and therefore do not change anyone’s lives. Their preaching is formulaic, generally consisting of a clear introduction, three points with three sub-points, and a concise conclusion that summarizes the lesson. The problem with this is that the church needs preachers, not college professors.
Finally, what good are men who cannot think logically? Many graduates seem unfamiliar with formal logic (i.e. the syllogistic form), and few are familiar with any of the various informal fallacies (e.g. the “fourth term” fallacy, ad hoc fallacy, and ad hominem fallacy). They do not, and apparently cannot, think rigorously. They can’t recognize term conflation, leading them to offer invalid arguments as proof for their predetermined doctrine. When confronted with their illogicality, they bray loudly, hoping that volume will trump reason. And when they finally ignore their opponent into leaving, they brag about how well they have stood for truth.
As should be clear, the church is not well-served by these types of men. The church needs men who can preach, who can think about God, and who can think logically. And these men do not come from schools of preaching.