So I spent a week in Kentucky. I was taking a class at Asbury Theological Seminary. I’d taken a class through their excellent online program during the spring semester and I will be taking two more this fall. But I needed to get another class taken care of and at least 1/3 of the coursework needs to be done on campus to graduate from there.
Do I want to graduate from there? I think I do. I had been throwing around the idea of seminary for a while though. Mostly just looking at it from afar wondering if I really want to do it or not. I had a handful of people encouraging me to do it. But I had (and still have) no intention of being a pastor of a church. I fully understand that God can change all that in a heartbeat though. But I realized that it (seminary education) could better equip me and educate me for ministry in general. But I was always hesitant.
When I found out about the ExL program through Asbury, it seemed perfect. It is one of the only seminaries in the country that allow much online coursework to be done, I think. And it’s still quality stuff.
I kept flirting with it until last winter I get the notice that my job description is changing. My position now requires either a degree or current pursuit of a degree to the tune of 12 hours a year. I almost went to Memphis Theological School, driving up there for one day a week. That would be lots of miles, hours, and schedule changing to make that work. And I would much rather have a degree from Asbury anyway. Call me conservative if you must.
Last Spring Semester was a good experience. I didn’t do awesome in that class, but didn’t tank it either. I still have a paper to write for the class I took last week. And the two classes I will take this fall will require a lot of reading/work/writing too. Yippee!!
But being on campus, in class last week was good. And it’s actually gotten me to thinking about doing that full time. Being a full time, on campus, in residence student. But that’s such a big change in my life. But I enjoyed being able to participate in classroom discussions. Have face to face contact with the prof. Meeting new people who seem to be people I’d like to hang out and connect with better. All that combined…then leaving after a short week. It left me wanting more.
And Wilmore is in the middle of nowhere. But w/in 15 minutes you can be in the heart of Lexington. Lex isn’t huge. But it’s big and seemed clean too. But going up there would mean no Kidd Kraddick or Southern Sports Tonight on the radio. I’d have to find a way to listen online. It’d mean having to wait til 11pm to watch the nightly news. It’d mean not getting to see Miss State play ball in person unless I championed a road trip. It’d mean saying goodbye to a church I’ve worked in for the last 7+ years and the kids I’ve actually watched grow up. It’d mean having to figure out something to do with a house that you still have years and years and years left on a mortgage. It’d mean trying to find a part time job to support my wife and kids while in school too. It’d mean finding a place to live. It’d mean not having parents and parents in law all w/in 30-60 minutes.
BUT….if I hear God calling me to that, then I know He’ll prepare the way. He knows all the details much more than I do. And to be clear about it, I’ve not really prayed a ton about this. It’s just been bouncing around my head the past weekend. Being on campus in class was nice. Do I really need an MDiv? Would an MA be just as good for me right now?
Gotta get to praying…