Sunday, February 23, 2014

Back to Seminary?

Back in January, Caris Adel and I had a conversation about seminary, and I semi-joked that "if a seminary wanted to give me a full scholarship and let me do it ALL online and take many, many years, then I'd consider going back".  My reasoning for this is that with two young children and having moved multiple times, all online would work the best for my lifestyle and would cut out a lot of hassle.  However, it's uncommon to have an all-online seminary program.  Most require travel once or twice a year for one to two weeks at a time.  So I didn't think it was feasible so I wasn't being all that serious.

Then I saw this tweet the other day that caught my attention:
I looked and saw that Western Theological Seminary's Master of Arts degree can be done completely online, and half of the classes are electives.  I immediately filled out the inquiry form and can't wait to get the information in the mail.

Since last fall, we've been going through "The Story" at church.  The questions from the discussion guide that I have related to have all been about waiting and calling, such as:
  • Joseph waited two years in prison for someone to remember him and send help. Tell about a time you waited for months or years on an answer from the Lord.  How did you make it through this long season of waiting?
  • When God called Jeremiah to serve him, he assured him that his plan had been in place since Jeremiah was in his mother's womb.  In the New Testament we learn that God has a plan for each of us who follow him.  How has God gifted and called you to serve him and how are you following this call?  How can your group members pray for you and cheer you on as you seek to follow God with greater faithfulness and passion?
When I first began seminary, I started an M.Div. program, but it never really sat well with me.  I knew God was calling me to seminary, but to what program wasn't exactly clear, and I was never all that interested in becoming ordained, even though I initially began the process.  I never got very far in either of them before I quit

This morning, I talked with one of my pastors about a little bit about this possibility, and he commented that I had a bounce in my step.  It was true.  I am feeling happy and excited about starting to pursue higher education again.  I have written on this blog a few times about how I believe God was behind us moving here, in ways that I just cannot explain, and that it's been difficult for me to be only a stay-at-home-mom because I loved my last part-time job so much.  I have been patient, knowing that at some point, an opportunity would present itself.    

I spent some time journaling this morning, and looked through my Bible for a verse to help me focus and decided on this:
"I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you..."  --Ephesians 1:17-18
It's only the beginning of exploring this option, and there will be many questions to be asked and a lot to think about before making a decision.  But the path that has seemed so dark for so long is lightening up, and doors are beginning to open, even if just a crack.

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Tia said...

Just over a week ago I had a friend who is a chaplain tell me that I should consider going to seminary. Just days before that an acquaintance that has mentored me posted online that she was starting seminary. Now your post showed up in my news feed. I started a program in Women's Studies a few years ago, but my husband's unexpected deployment and two moves contributed to my inability to stay in the program. I too am exploring my options. Thank you for sharing!

Kelly J Youngblood said...

That's so great! Another friend of mine emailed me to tell me she was considering going to seminary, too!