Full time

So I have really been thinking about the possibility to going to seminary full time.  Reasons? 

  1. I feel divided: work/school.  I know this is something many people deal with (and overcome!) for instance those who are married and going to school and working AND parents! (or some combination of those things) but in those cases, it seems there isn’t a choice but to “take those things with you” so to speak.  I don’t have to take my job with me.  Clear as mud?
  2. Priorities: I spend the bulk of my energy on something that is short term, namely my job.  What is leftover is given to my highest priority: answering the call of God.  Now that seems bass ackwards.
  3. Community: I feel the way I relate to people is…different than most.  It is almost as if it is idea based.  I’m not quite sure how to explain this…I don’t think I fully understand it and honestly it could be a bunch of whoey but I’m kinda sorting through that at the moment.  If I go to seminary full time I am pretty sure it will be much easier to become a part of the community moreso than part time Distance Ed classes allow.
  4. Dotoral Studies: I am starting to wonder if Doctoral studies is where my path is leading.  Doing that part time would be…well, ridiculous.  That’s already a long process to begin with.  I am not sure I see any need to make it last longer.

So I’m at the point now where I am no longer asking if going to seminary full time is a possibility or alloweable if you will, but rather I am now asking, “When?”  At the moment I think it would be great to be able to go full time by Spring semester of 2009.  That’s 6 months away.  I am sure it will fly by!  This also brings about the question: “Where?”  Right now I work at the university where I attend seminary and the tuition benefits are beautiful.  So if I quite the job, all strings are cut so to speak.  A frightfully wonderful blank slate seems to be opening up. 

Well, my brain is full and I need to go to bed. Good night blogosphere.

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7 Responses to “Full time”

  1. Ruth Says:

    I was in agreement with you until I got to the last paragraph. Walking away from tuition benefits? Yowser. I don’t know what to say.

  2. more cows Than People Says:

    ooh…. how about a denominational seminary that has money for smart folks from the denomination? if you can financially swing full-time, residential seminary studies… i highly recommend it. HIGHLY.

  3. EJ Says:

    Seems to me there are two benefits to remaining employed. 1) Tuition benefits. I would not quit until I’ve explored Morecows (or some other) option. No matter what you do, teaching included, you are guaranteed not to be able to appropriately cover your sem expenses. Unless you have a plan in place before hand. I hear the options are out there, you just have to do leg work. 2) Working in the real world for as long as possible keeps one current and relevant. Connected to those whom you ultimately serve on behalf of God. It is so easy to get caught up in the unreality of the seminary world. So, even if you do end up going full time somewhere. Make sure to take classes at strange times, i.e. Night classes a weekend class (if they offer them). This way, you are connected with non-traditional students. i.e. the folks in the pews.

    Benefits to going full time? Well that’s easy. You get to immerse yourself in a community that can support you even when you leave. Life long friends with whom you will have a connection and whom you will ultimately need to help support you no matter where you end up. Not to mention, you certainly can devote your mental and emotional energy there more easily.

    At some point, I think you have to go full time. The WHERE? Ah, yes. That is the question isn’t it? Depends on what you would ultimately like to do. Me? I would love to study with Douglas John Hall. But at the time, that wasn’t possible, he had already taken whom he needed (I hadn’t even applied) and I’m now staying home with my kids. But that is up to you. Just surround yourself with people who will truly help you to discern and achieve what GOD is calling you to do.

  4. pinkhammer Says:

    You are definitely right on when you say “Yowser,” Ruth. Walking away from tuition benefits is kinda crazy…and I think EJ’s advice about waiting until I have something else lined up is good advice. I will definitely have to talk with MoreCows about what she mentioned in her comment. I think trying to do a master and a doctorate part time would take me about 10 years and I am not okay with that. I can’t keep this job for that long. I don’t think it would be a good idea on many levels. We will see.

  5. heatherelizabeth Says:

    i’m reactivating some paperwork at a presbyterian seminary in richmond. soon i’ll be doing a road trip to see if God gives a sense of peace about it. you’re welcome to ride along.

  6. Lorraine Says:

    Richmond is not far from where I am. :))

    For me, I like being part-time. But, I’m at a “free-standing” seminary (i.e., not one associated with a university), and I’m not doing distance-learning. We have a wonderful sense of community, even those of us who are part-time. Maybe it’s also because SO many of us are part-time? I don’t know…. Also remember that I have a family so I don’t know how I could be a full-time student.

    As I’m thinking out loud here I think size matters for me. We’re a small seminary, small campus — so when you sit on a bench on the quad you will see everyone as they walk by (the buildings are arranged in a square around the quad) — the students, staff, professor, president. Everyone. Also we all eat together — there is no separate dining room for staff or professors. We attend chapel together. All of these things contribute to a sense of community.

    Hmmm… that probably doesn’t help you at all. lol… in your case there is that detail of tuition benefits. That one would be hard to turn down!

  7. pinkhammer Says:

    Let me know when you are thinking of going Heather. I would be interested in going with you.

    And thanks for your thoughts Lorraine. It is good to hear all the different perspectives since I have no idea how this is going to pan out! : )

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